The Canadian Football League needs to be proactive when it comes to over-the-air television rights in this country. (Let’s exclude social media and what it may or may not do for the league’s brand for this conversation.)
On Monday, TSN announced it will carry every Major League Soccer game featuring Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, along with a slate of Montreal Impact matchups.
TSN was obviously encouraged by the ratings for the MLS final. 1.5 million Canadians watched the Seattle/Toronto FC championship game at BMO Field last month. In comparison, an average audience of 3.6 million Canadians watched the RedBlacks beat the Stampeders in the 2016 Grey Cup game.
The bottom line is the CFL now has more competition for television sports viewers. No one has done more for the CFL over the last decade than Bell and TSN. However, when the current TV contract ends, it’s important for the league to be agressive in perhaps using more than one network for two reasons: 1) A new look. 2) New revenue.