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Throw Long Bannatyne

CFL signs new ESPN Deal

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Startup football properties, like Charlie Ebersols AAF and Vince McMahons XFL, have been getting plenty of ink these days as they prepare to launch spring leagues over the next year.

In the midst of those well publicized launches, the 60-year-old Canadian Football League also has been making moves to grow and modernize. The league, known for only having three downs and much wider fields than the NFL, will announce a multiyear renewal of its media rights deal in the U.S. with ESPN this week.

Im always mindful of whats going on in the world around me, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said of the spring football upstarts. But its more important to us that we execute our plan.

Financial terms for the multiyear deal were not disclosed though Ambrosie said the new deal represented an improvement in economics for us reflective of last seasons ratings.

ESPN2 coverage of CFL games averaged 163,000 viewers last season, a 19 percent increase from the previous year.
 
The new deal calls for at least 20 games per season on one of ESPNs linear television networks, usually ESPN or ESPN2. That includes at least one division final and the Grey Cup championship game. It will place at least 65 CFL games on the direct-to-consumer service, ESPN+. The CFL says every game will be available.

I feel like we have the right partnership with ESPN, Ambrosie said. We have big, bold, new plans to expand our league and grow our business.

This is part of what Ambrosie has referred to as CFL 2.0, which means expanding globally. This week, the CFL is holding its first scouting combine in Mexico City. It is looking into partnering with American football leagues in other countries and scouting players outside of the U.S. and Canada.

The multiyear deal with ESPN gives the CFL a consistent outlet in the United States. ESPN has carried CFL games since 2014. Prior to that, the league bounced around from NFL Network to NBC Sports Network.

Ambrosie led the negotiations for the CFL. Linear programming executive Gregg Morriss and direct-to-consumer programming executive John Lasker led negotiations for ESPN.

The CFL season runs from June through November

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22 hours ago, SpeedFlex27 said:

When no one wants to crow about & disclose $$$ amounts I think it's peanuts.

Tend to agree with this. 

Id like to see them air one game a week, plus the play offs. 

Even with out money changing hands, more exposure to the states is great. Especially with the start ups coming. 

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On 2019-01-14 at 2:04 PM, Throw Long Bannatyne said:
Financial terms for the multiyear deal were not disclosed though Ambrosie said the new deal represented an improvement in economics for us reflective of last seasons ratings.

ESPN2 coverage of CFL games averaged 163,000 viewers last season, a 19 percent increase from the previous year.

 

22 hours ago, SpeedFlex27 said:

When no one wants to crow about & disclose $$$ amounts I think it's peanuts.

So viewership in up 19% from 2017 and Ambrosie says the new deal is an improvement in economics for the league, and your take-a-way from that is that because they won't say how much the new deal is worth it must be chicken feed?  That maybe the network would rather not give the new leagues a starting point for negotiations might not have something to do with it?  Na, you're right. 

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4 hours ago, WBBFanWest said:

 

So viewership in up 19% from 2017 and Ambrosie says the new deal is an improvement in economics for the league, and your take-a-way from that is that because they won't say how much the new deal is worth it must be chicken feed?  That maybe the network would rather not give the new leagues a starting point for negotiations might not have something to do with it?  Na, you're right. 

Knew you'd see it my way. Thanks. ;)

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17 minutes ago, Rod Black said:

Does this mean the feed will be from TSN with Rod Black the commentator? “The venerable Rod Black, the world wide voice of the CFL”! Bwahahaha! 

oh, Lord. Please, no.

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