CFL Robs TSN

CFL Robs TSN

by TSM

Cliff Fletcher robbed the Calgary Flames in the Doug Gilmour deal.
Some think the Blue Jays robbed the Marlins in their most recent deal.
However, Mark Cohon may have just pulled off the greatest heist in Canadian sports history.

Cohon, the commissioner of the CFL(that’s the Canadian Football league for my new Seattle followers) just stole $30 million dollars from TSN in a new, five year deal for TV rights to the Canadian game.

I mean stole.

As one sports broadcast executive emailed me today, that’s $370k per game. There is NO way they can make money at that number.

This is rather bizarre move by TSN. One has to wonder just how desperate they are for broadcast content.

The league gushed that TSN was able to get this killer deal by virtue of being in period of exclusivity. Can you imagine how little they would have paid for the rights if others would have been allowed to bid. I mean honestly, who else would have bid? The CBC? Right. They are just rolling in the dough these days. Sportsnet? I don’t think there is any chance they pony up ANYWHERE near $30m

Now, I know one MSMer is going to email me tomorrow am, he always does when I tackle any CFL issue.

As I always tell him, this isn’t an anti CFL rant. If Cohon can extort $30m out of TSN, good for him. Good on him. Seriously. The guy should get a huge bonus from his bosses. Hell, MLSE should hire him as it’s next CEO.

Speaking of MLSE and CEO’s did you catch Michael Grange’s story on Sportsnet.ca?

Tim Leiweke would be a fascinating choice by MLSE to take over for Richard Peddie. However, the one thing Grange’s story confirms in my mind, is that very few people think the current boss Tom Anselmi is the, cough, cough, right guy for the job. What I want to see is how Bell and Rogers decide who the next head man will be.

New definition of sucker: Anyone that pays for Toronto Raptors tickets next season if the current regime is in place. The proposed ticket price is outrageous. The cost of doing business is always going up. To claim that’s the reason for the increase is insulting. This team, in a word sucks. I don’t care how passionate anyone is for the game or the team in Toronto, you give the franchise your hard earned money you are endorsing what little plan they have.

Being out west I don’t get to see many Maple Leaf weekday games. They start while I am still knee deep in meetings at the office. I don’t remember a time when a leafs team has in a similar situation standing wise and the fans were so disgruntled with the coach. Seriously, the army of leaf fans I follow on twitter who, thank you, keep me updated are ready to tar and feather Randy Carlyle . With Ron Wilson we always wanted his head, but mostly because his team, like his attitude sucked. If I am reading the tweets correctly, those in the know are telling me that the leafs current spot in mediocrity is despite Carlyle not because of him (if you know what I mean).

Lastly, two things I am sick and tired of hearing (or at least two):

1. NHL GM’s whining about how hard it is to make trades these days. The prices are too high, there are too many teams in contention….Shuuuuuuuut up please. You are GM’s. Your job is to improve your team. That’s it. You aren’t paid to whine. Shut up and make an old fashioned hockey deal. Go convince your competition that what you are offering what they should be buying. If you are good at your job you will do it.

2. The players aren’t prepared to mandate visors. No??? Okay then the league should mandate it for them. Enough said. Owners play the salaries. They have a right to protect, what did Jimmy D refer to the players as again, their cattle? Traditionally players have always sold the rookies and not yet players under the bus- hello rookie caps. This is the one time where they should absolutely do it again. If the players don’t get that, then the owners should 100% mandate it themselves.

Happy Friday!

TSM

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 29
  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 7 years ago

    Lots of different numbers on this one. Some say $30M, others $40 or even $45 and the Globe has it at $34M with some increases built in.

    I don’t think $30M is that outrageous. You had to figure that the CFL would get a decent bump from the last contract given that the partnership went pretty well. Plus, with another team coming into the league the supply of games TSN gets is increased by 12%, so on a per game basis it wouldn’t be double.

    But if the higher figures prove accurate and TSN paid over $40M in the face of no serious competition, then it really is a case of Bell bidding against itself. Like ESPN, just throwing piles of cash at any league with a ball or a stick.

  • comment-avatar
    mike (in boston) 7 years ago

    TSM: There is NO way they can make money at that number.
    .

    i totally get it if you don’t like TSN or the CFL, but declaring that they can’t make money seems a little … well, hopeful on your part.

  • comment-avatar
    Derrick 7 years ago

    I agree with the Mikes.

    The ratings for the CFL everywhere other than in southern Ontario are fantastic, normally better than NFL games. Why can’t they make money? They’ll increase the fees they charge the cable companies, and then our cable bills will go up.

    I did enjoy the rant.

  • comment-avatar

    So, one thing that I forgot to emphasize in the post, and this from the Star:

    “The five-year deal is worth “significantly” more than $30 million a season, according to a source.”

    $30 million a season, that’s why I know they will never make money.

  • comment-avatar

    $30m per year. No chance

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 7 years ago

    Why so definite though, do you know the rate card for the games on TSN?
    Not saying they’ll be raking in money but with steady ratings combined with the usual increases in subscription fees (and assuming cord cutting doesn’t become a significant issue), TSN could be able to make something.

  • comment-avatar
    Dave in Bolton 7 years ago

    If the CFL can get that wonder what the NHL will get

  • comment-avatar
    Blue Jays Devotee 7 years ago

    TSM, you are so right in terms of the Raptors, and I already commented how that 2.5% price from an optics point of view was incredibly stupid, and it contributed to my tipping point of dropping my fan interest.

    Until MLSE cleans house completely I will not return. We have gotten back so little over the years and nothing but spin in return about how great the future looks. Enough is enough already.

  • comment-avatar
    Robert 7 years ago

    I assume every GM who complains about how high the prices are is offering his own players at bargain prices. Right?

    Didn’t think so.

  • comment-avatar
    mike (in boston) 7 years ago

    $30 million a season, that’s why I know they will never make money.
    .

    How much money did TSN make last year off their CFL rights?

  • comment-avatar
    Kevin 7 years ago

    Why don’t you ask TSN why they are making this deal? If you know every in and out of every dollar and can then conclude they will lose money then I will gladly listen to your argument. Why not getting all the facts before spouting off that this isn’t a money maker for TSN. Do you honestly believe a for profit company would take a bath on any deal?Alot of thought, reason and foresight went into this from TSN.
    Just sounds like another “this is the only the CFL. This is too good for the CFL” comment that are honestly growing tiresome. TSN would not have made a deal that was sure to lose them money. Come off it already.

    Kevin

  • comment-avatar
    Kevin 7 years ago

    I believe I also read that a major reason for this deal, and the amount was because TSN was listening to the voices of the sponsors. Sponsors are the ones giving TSN cash and obviously pay one of the biggest deciding roles in a tv deal.

  • comment-avatar
    Rob in Aurora 7 years ago

    Somehow, I think TSN knows their business a little better than TSM or their competition who are saying they can’t make any money…The CFL has proven to work for TSN, so they know what they’re doing…they can’t have Bluejay Baseball, so they need something to compete.

    TSN has Tennis and Golf – Sportsnet has the Jays…and nothing – Everything Sportsnet touches is horrible…TSN is the class of the industry in Canada. (Not being a fan, just realistic). Its’ not that TSN is so great (they are quite good) But SN is an absolute joke…Remember the fanfare for Hazel Mae coming back a while ago?…how many people watched Hazel Mae vs Rod Black? ….. (Where is she now anyway?)

  • comment-avatar
    Another Steve 7 years ago

    Both stations carry tennis. Unless your definition of tennis starts and stops with the majors, that is.

    In two weeks Canada will be in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup for the 1st time ever. I consider that to be tennis – and it won’t be on TSN.

  • comment-avatar

    @Rob in Aurora “Sportsnet has the Jays…and nothing”

    They have plenty of hockey.

  • comment-avatar
    Derrick 7 years ago

    Sportsnet also has Raptors basketball, Indycar, junior hockey, soccer, and yes, lots of Jays.

    I think Hazel Mae is on maternity leave.

    How dare she!

  • comment-avatar

    Sorry TSM, but until you can provide some numbers on how much money TSN has made off the CFL in previous years and how much they are projected to make off the CFL in coming years, your words are pretty much hollow.

    As of right now, you’re basically saying “Look at this high number! Can you believe how high it is!?!” with no context or point of reference with other programming.

    This post makes a pretty bold statement saying there is no way TSN can make money off it, yet there is no background information or data to back it up. It is lazy at best and downright misleading at worst.

  • comment-avatar
    Poker Guy 7 years ago

    @Another Steve:
    You’re right about TSN and their tennis coverage. Since ESPN owns them, they are obligated to carry the 4 slams, since ESPN has outstanding coverage, tennis fans benefit there. However, that’s it. Hockey rules the day at TSN, period.
    Kudos to SN for picking up tennis coverage showing the other ATP tourmanents, as well as Davis Cup.

  • comment-avatar

    How the CFL beats the NFL or heck even a show on Watching Paint Dry is beyond me, one great thing about the CFL is that it works as a great sleep aid.

  • comment-avatar
    Dave in Bolton 7 years ago

    ^^^ agree with him

  • comment-avatar
    mike (in boston) 7 years ago

    Rouge Point has a good post with some actual details on the deal:

    http://canadiansportsfan.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/details-of-new-cfl-on-tsn-deal/

  • comment-avatar
    Don in Regina 7 years ago

    I don’t!

  • comment-avatar

    I’m inclined the agree with the Mikes, Derrick and Kevin. The CFL is probably the third most valuable sports property in Canada, after NHL and NFL. NFL is really only ahead of it because of the Super Bowl.

    The CFL is getting about double now than they were before. TSN’s average audience for the regular season jumped by about 300, 000 (came close to doubling) over the last contract (the new ratings system affected that though).

    To compare to NHL. I’ll put the CFL number at $35 million. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it seems $30-40 million is the consensusl for 81 games regular season and 5 playoff games. TSN pays about $33 million a season for NHL, where they show 70 games with Canadian teams + playoffs. That is sure to go up before the CFL contract ends. If you look at CFL and NHL on TSN ratings, they aren’t all that different. I don’t have season averages right now, but I think they’re about on par. CFL might even be a bit ahead.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 7 years ago

    Blue Jays are more valuable as a TV property too. About 80% of the per game number (and that was before this offseason) with more than double the number of games. Plus Rogers owns them so they keep the rights fee (minus the part that goes into league revenue sharing).

  • comment-avatar
    Bob Dobalina 7 years ago

    TSM sounds like a bit of a dumbass. CFL averages over 600,000 viewers per game. That number easily trumps everything but the NHL in Canada. It’s a more than $40 million per year is a more than fair number.

  • comment-avatar

    What a crapy story. Don’t let the facts get your way, for your hate of the CFL. Plus the CFL does very well in the GTA regarding TV ratings. The Argomratings are second only to the Leafs. With the TV numbers the CFL gets of course they would get a huge contract, I,love people who just can stand that the CFL is growing,and now all teams will make money,which will increase potential new ownership groups.

  • comment-avatar

    The author’s knowledge on the CFL, tv advertising….and life? is facile. When you write a story bring some hard facts to the table.

  • comment-avatar
    Bill T 7 years ago

    As others have said, TSN probably knows their business better than a Toronto blogger. They didn’t get rich by giving money away to the CFL, or to anyone else for that matter.

    A typical CFL games is viewed by about 6-7 hundred thousand people. If people like Darren don’t like it, that’s fine, as there’s plenty of other stuff to watch on TV. It’s obvious that enough people are watching to make the league an enticing buy for TSN.

  • comment-avatar

    the only ones who got robbed was Rogers Cable at the hands of Ralph Wilson to the tune of 80 million dollars for the rights to the Bills in Toronto Disaster. That was a good ole fashion spanking.
    TSN knew what they were getting with the CFL’s phenomenal TV ratings and paid the going rate. CFL is even outdrawing the MLS in the states (ESPN/NBCSN) without even having a US based franchise.