CFL Foreign Expansion

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patmc16
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Post by patmc16 » Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:45 am

Broadcasting the CFL in the USA? What a concept. The only places you can get the CFL nowadays are the digital channels on cable or satellite that you have to pay a whole lot extra for.

Second brainstorm: Broadcasting Hockey Night in Canada in the US, that is when or if the NHL ever gets started up again. We here in the US dont have the privilege of seeing or hearing grapes rant on and give his two cents worth. Love the guy. I mean we get BBC America, why not CBC America?
Due to our close proximity to Canada, we get to see Grapes here in Metro Detroit from the Windsor, Ontario CBC station. We also get to see some CFL, including the Grey Cup. The rest of the US is missing out. The only problem is that pretty much all of the hockey games involve at least one of the six Canadian teams, so most US vs. US games never get shown, other than in the playoffs. The early game almost always includes the Leafs, Habs, or Sens. The late game almost always includes the Oilers, Flames, or Canucks. Also, I couldn't see a "CBC America" working unless it is mostly different programming from the regular CBC. Getting a feed from CBC on a US network for HNiC and/or CFL games would be a better idea. CBC is essentially PBS in Canada, but even more liberal. It is run by the Canadian government. That's why the network was pretty PO'd when Grapes spoke out about the Canadian's lack of support of the US in Iraq. Who will put a PBS type channel in a cable line-up? No offense to our friends south of the border but, outside of the sports, it's a pretty dull network. The National isn't going to pull in many US viewers.

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Post by Shootmaster_44 » Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:56 am

The only problem is that pretty much all of the hockey games involve at least one of the six Canadian teams, so most US vs. US games never get shown, other than in the playoffs. The early game almost always includes the Leafs, Habs, or Sens. The late game almost always includes the Oilers, Flames, or Canucks.
Not to turn this into a hockey thread or anything, but the CBC shows only games involving a Canadian club because that's their target audience.....Canadians. In Canada the best rated games are Canadian games. While the NHL would love to see possibly an LA-Rangers or Islanders Cup Final as it would bring exposure to the US, in Canada it would score low ratings. It would be the same as a Expos/Jays World Series in the US. It wouldn't sell in the US on TV. Besides in Canada, TSN and to a lesser extent Rogers Sportsnet show enough games from elsewhere to cover that need. Plus, there's always ABC's coverage which is shown in Canada as well. The only bone of contention with that is I'm an LA Kings fan and my cable company carries ABC from Detroit. That means I never see the West Coast games on ABC and therefore rarely see my Kings on TV. In all last season I think I saw 4 or 5 Kings games on TV and 2 were on RDS in French!

To bring this post back towards its original intent. I would like to see the CFL on TV in the US. The easiest way for them to do this is to have US cable companies carry TSN, Sportsnet and CBC. The other idea is look at what the Australian Football League did with their coverage and copy that. For those who don't know, the AFL doesn't sell the rights persey, they sell subscriptions to "AFL International." Fox Sports World subscribes to this and in a sense gives the AFL a infomercial for their coverage.

My other idea is this, why doesn't the CFL approach one of the NFL broadcasters (ABC, CBS, FOX or ESPN) and offer their games as low cost late night or daytime programming. I'm sure ESPN would love to put the CFL on at Noon Eastern weekdays instead of 2 episodes of the 2004 Women's Trick Shot Masters (Pool), 2004 National SWAT Championships and PRCA Extreme Bulls. Sure the games might not be carried live, but it will be on US TV. I'm sure a Riders-Lions game would get better ratings than pool, darts or the other garbage on during the day.

The last option I have is simply putting a weekly 1 hour highlights show on US TV. ESPN or Fox Sports Net I'm sure would carry that in the very least. If response to this was good, then branching out into full-length games would be good. The 1 hour show could be modeled on NFL Primetime and if the NFL wants to get involved, possibly use whatever network's main NFL analysts for it. The bottom line is the CFL must use their pact with the NFL for their benefit as well, not just for the NFL's.

Now that I think of it, doesn't the NFL have their own network in the US? Why can't it show live CFL broadcasts? It could simply rebroadcast TSN, CBC or Sportsnet's coverage of the games. Much like the Aussie Rules broadcasts, whenever something occurs that doesn't occur in the US game, stop and explain it. That way fans of the NFL, could learn to enjoy Canada's great game.

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Re: CFL Foreign Expansion

Post by American Dragon » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:04 am

Shootmaster_44 wrote:I finished reading Jeff Giles' book last night and he mentions how he thinks US expansion is a good idea. I was just curious of two things a) is US expansion a good idea for the CFL? b) if so where? c) Other ideas for expansion?

My two cents are as follows:
a) Yes eventually it is inevitable. The CFL will need to expand still once all the viable Canadian markets are sewn up. The CFL will have to look first to the US.
Meh, the last time the CFL tried the US expansion bit, it blew up in their faces. Other than Baltimore, the rest of the markets were widely forgettable and folded up shop rather quickly.

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Post by Geoff » Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:43 am

Same could happen to any sports leage. Ownership apears find but is unstable, poor advertising, little to no PR. It's not the CFL's fault.

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Post by Pounder » Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:49 pm

Shootmaster_44 wrote:
Not to turn this into a hockey thread or anything, but the CBC shows only games involving a Canadian club because that's their target audience.....Canadians. In Canada the best rated games are Canadian games...

...To bring this post back towards its original intent. I would like to see the CFL on TV in the US. The easiest way for them to do this is to have US cable companies carry TSN, Sportsnet and CBC.
I hope you understand that I found this kind of funny, kind of goose-and-gander. Just reverse the countries, change the sport, and you can say the same thing about American audiences, tenfold.

US networks, frankly, would like to find a surer way of getting the male 18-35 to watch TV, then they'd ditch sports (outside the NFL, MAYBE) altogether. They make a lot more money on soaps, folks.

Will ESPN adjust programming now that their college channel is a month from startup? Will we know any better until the NHL is playing again? I'm thinking they're making too much money off of poker right now to get back into the world sports business.

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Post by jeffconn » Sat Feb 05, 2005 2:16 am

Pounder said:
Will ESPN adjust programming now that their college channel is a month from startup? Will we know any better until the NHL is playing again? I'm thinking they're making too much money off of poker right now to get back into the world sports business.
That's VERY true. What we see as non-sports, such as poker and strong man competitions, are PAID to run on ESPN, usually by sponsors with deep pockets who want the ESPN exposure and sense of legitimacy. In fact, there is a backlog of sports and sportslike events (the national geography bee?) just waiting for the opportunity to buy ESPN time. If the CFL wants to be on ESPN, they'll need to open up the wallet and let the Canadian dollars fly out.

By the way, the CFL WAS aired south of the border in 2004, on the cable and low power America One Television Network. Since the network isn't owned by a major media conglomerate, it isn't seen in most of the USA.
http://www.americaonesports.com/
http://www.americaone.com/

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Post by Pounder » Mon Feb 07, 2005 5:07 pm

jeffconn wrote:What we see as non-sports, such as poker and strong man competitions, are PAID to run on ESPN, usually by sponsors with deep pockets who want the ESPN exposure and sense of legitimacy.
Sponsors? Oh, heck yes. Legitimacy? To heck with that, the sponsors are selling gaming in Vegas and muscle supplements and snowboards and "doing something about overbearing parents trying to push the target kids into traditional sports." That's blatantly obvious... and it's working, folks. I can start to see where ESPN may chuck or relegate the "normal" sports programming someday in the manner that MTV hardly ever shows music videos anymore.
jeffconn wrote:By the way, the CFL WAS aired south of the border in 2004, on the cable and low power America One Television Network. Since the network isn't owned by a major media conglomerate, it isn't seen in most of the USA.
http://www.americaonesports.com/
http://www.americaone.com/
The America One deal is basically a joke in the ABA discussion, so I've been in denial ever since the ECHL announced a similar deal, not that I can find the programming in Boise. Therefore, it doesn't exist... trust me.

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Post by BCRantzilla » Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:09 am

One city we have forgotten in all of this is Baltimore. By many accounts out in Maryland, a CFL team would still draw in the 20,000 per range there even though the NFL is there. In fact a large contingant of fans of the defunct Stallions, (moved to Montreal when the Ravens arrived,) make the trip to the Grey Cup every year. Fans like that do deserve a CFL team. (Perhaps in Landover if Memorial Stadium isn't around anymore?)

Portland is probably the biggest no-brainer out there with the only exception of Quebec City. (In terms of CFL expansion in general.) I wouldn't put a team in Fargo because they may be way too close to Winnipeg to draw for anyone but the Bombers, (who would probably sellout with the combined attendance,) but I wouldn't rule them out for the odd exhibition .)

Boise wouldn't be too bad of a choice either.

Aside from that, I would avoid the Northeastern US completely because of the glut of CFL and NFL teams already there. (Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal all very close to the boarder as it is and none of the big cities in the US would draw.)

LA could care less about football as their failed NFL and AFL teams have shown. In fact unless the team is an institution like the Lakers or the Dodgers, LA isn't a sports town outside of the college campuses. There is no stadium for football, (the colosseum is a dump that hasn't been maintained at all since the Raiders left town,) and no initiative to build one. (I heard a very funny story out there that a stadium was going to be built in COMPTON! :lol: Yeah, that will get 'em to come out...)
And that is all the people need to know!

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Post by Pounder » Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:52 pm

You really think Baltimore would bring 20,000 out for CFL now? I just don't see that. I know there will always be the "f*** NFL" contingent that feel very strongly to want to sell this, but that is far less than 20,000. Now that Peter Angelos has to get off his a** to sell the Orioles again, that market has a chance- at least- of seeing a lot of effort going into actually selling tickets.

I don't know what to think about Portland right now. There's a couple of interesting "preliminary discussions" out there. (1) Alberto Salazar wants to build a track & field stadium on an industrial plot in the eastern reaches of the metro area... think Prefontaine. (2) There's an MLS to PDX group that's pretty much in the nascent stage. I'll know more in early March when they appear at a Timbers Army gathering. Thing is, Mexican club Pachuca seems to be behind this. Possibilities include buying up PGE Park and sending baseball out or building a stadium (not a good idea) on the site pending abandonment by the local dog track, not too far from the Salazar proposal. The city and the Pacific Coast League have been teasing forever about a purchase being imminent for the PCL Beavers and USL Timbers, but there's still no closure (and we're right about at the target date). The Winterhawks are having a better season than last year, but are losing fans. CFL in Portland- at one time I'd have thought so, especially when the big push into America was in full swing. Now, I don't see it.

I have not heard Compton mentioned. I've heard Carson, next door. BC, have you been there? The parts of the town nearer the 91 and 605 are basically industrial, the Home Depot Center (LA Galaxy and Chivas USA) is located on the Cal State campus nearby, and you just don't run into bad neighborhoods from the traffic sources to where the stadium site(s) are located. Put your rap records down and take a look!

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Post by minnfan » Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:24 pm

Again with the "this city, that city, and maybe those two also"?

Look, one of the main reasons the US CFL teams failed was because the Canadian based teams could not break through the import ratio problem. They tried, tried hard, but failed.

For those who don't know, the CFL teams are required to carry a number of Canadians on their rosters. This usually means kickers, linemen and the occasional skill position star. The US based teams could not be forced to follow those rules due to US laws regarding employment and quotas.

That's why in two years Baltimore was in two Grey Cups, Larry Smith had been connected with the CFL for decades and knew how to stockpile his team with US only players. Fred Anderson (Sacramento and San Antonio) did the same and nearly won a Grey Cup himself as the Texans were probably the second best team in the league behind Baltimore. Memphis and Birmingham both had contenders if not actual challengers and they only played a single season.

I've got video and newspaper clippings from 93, 94 and 95 that show clearly the fears the owners and head coaches (not to mention the Canadian fans) had about having their championships dominated by US based teams for the rest of time. That's why the US teams were placed in their own division in 1995 after playing in mixed US/Canadian divisions in 1994. In guaranteed a Canadian based team in every Grey Cup.

Additionally, US players on Canadian teams had to get a higher salary than their US counterparts because the Canadian dollar is so undervalued against the US dollar. Plus the fact that taxes in Canada, payroll taxes, are gigantic compared to US taxes. Most US players made every effort to play on the US based teams to avoid that.

Those two problems, the CFL "import" limits and the difference between the two dollars, still exists. It means, no matter what, that there will be no further US expansion until they are dealt with.

Portland was tried, back before Sacramento and San Antonio were selected as the first two US teams, their interest after a pre-season game played at whatever stadium they used drew some 12,000 unimpressed spectators.

Detroit/Windsor territory is owned by the new owners of the Ottawa franchise. Nobody else can own a team in that area.

Good idea, no way it'll happen.

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