Published on February 16, 2009 9:45 PM by dbo.
Things to note about the 2009 CFL schedule:
I thought it would be useful to do some analysis of the new schedule. First I broke the schedule down by day of the week. This provides a picture of the consistency of the schedule. BC is the most consistent with seven home games on Fridays and two on Saturdays. The remaining teams schedule games on three different weekdays. (I lumped games on stat holidays together as another weekday). Two or three different days per team is very consistent and a requirement due to the needs of the television broadcaster, TSN. The CFL has made some progress in this area, as the amount of games on Thursdays (eight total), is down from fifteen Thursday games in 2008.
Hamilton has a unique schedule with a third of their games on stat holidays (Canada Day, their traditional Labour Day game and Thanksgiving). On both Canada Day and Labour Day they face their rivals, the Toronto Argonauts. Edmonton is happy with their schedule with no 8 pm local start times, but in exchange they received five Thursday night games. Toronto received five Friday night games, up one game from last year, while BC, with their late start times prime for the second half of Friday Night Football double-headers, received seven Friday night games, also up one from last year.
* — Four games occur on Stat Holiday Mondays (Labour Day and Thanksgiving) and two on a Stat Holiday Wednesday (Canada Day)
As for start times, BC also leads the way with just two different start times while Winnipeg and Hamilton have seven different start times for their nine home games. Television schedule requirements do play a large part in game start times. Still, more consistent start times not only helps local fans, but also television audiences find the games.
The number of five day turnaround between games appears to be reduced. Although there are still complaints, the options are limited when short turnarounds are forced due to traditional match-ups that clubs will not adjust. Also substantially reduced, which will provide much more variety week to week, are the home-and-home games. By my quick review it appears no club is involved in more than two home-and-home series.
Overall, the 2009 schedule looks like a good evolution for the CFL. Even with a single television broadcaster the schedule has gravitated towards more consistent dates and times when the fear was the schedule would need to be spread out to accommodate TSN’s schedule. Now the schedule is out, fans can purchase their tickets in confidence and look forward to an exciting season in 2009.