2012 Schedule: Wants and Needs

Published on February 18, 2012 9:31 PM by dbo.

Note: See the Schedules page if you are looking for the 2012 CFL schedule.

The CFL released the 2012 schedule Feb. 17th. This year’s schedule contained no surprises, but details of many components were made known with its release.

Schedule Summary

  • The pre-season begins Wednesday, June 13th and concludes Friday, June 22th.
  • The regular season opens Friday, June 29th with Saskatchewan visiting Hamilton. Opening night is capped off with BC hosting Winnipeg.
  • Winnipeg opens the regular season with 4 games on the road, before finishing the first half with 4 games at home (and a bye week). A long road swing to start the season for Winnipeg was expected because of delays in the construction of their new stadium. Winnipeg has bought an extra month before their first home game with an extended road trip for their team.
  • Bye weeks have moved up to weeks 6 and 7, to accommodate TSN’s London Olympic broadcasts from July 27 — August 12.
  • As expected and announced by the CFL prior to the schedule release, there is no Touchdown Atlantic or other neutral site games this year.
  • A single Canada Day game ends week 1 as it falls on a Sunday. Labour Day and Thanksgiving weekends remain as the focus weeks of the season. The Argos play a special August 6th Civic Holiday game.
  • The traditional Toronto at Hamilton Labour Day contest returns after a year’s absence. All teams play home-and-home series on Labour Day weekend and the following weekend.
  • TSN has all the games and boasts 15 double-headers.

Schedule Analysis

In cfldb’s annual analysis of the schedule, we find the 2012 schedule to be typical of the past fear years, despite the necessary changes due special circumstances this year. Once again, each team plays one set of back-to-back games over weeks 10 and 11, Labour Day weekend and the following week. This is quite an accomplishment considering the other restrictions facing the schedule maker this year.

Wednesday and Thursday games increase by one to a total of eight in 2012. Overall the weekday analysis is consistent with last year, with Friday and Saturday receiving the bulk (two-thirds) of the contests. Edmonton leads the way in consistency, hosting games only on Fridays or Saturdays this year.

Table 1: CFL 2012 Regular Season Home Games by Team and Day of the Week
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Stat*
BC - 4 4 1
Calgary 1 3 3 1 1
Edmonton - 6 3 - -
Hamilton 1 3 4 - 1
Montreal 2 3 3 1
Saskatchewan - - 6 3 -
Toronto 1 1 1 1 2 1 2
Winnipeg 2 3 3 1 -
Total 1 - 1 7 23 25 10 5

* – Four games occur on Stat Holiday Mondays (Labour Day and Thanksgiving) and one on a Holiday Monday (Ontario August Civic Holiday, not an official Statutory Holiday)

Game times remain inconsistent across the league. Toronto and Saskatchewan trail everyone with six different times across nine games.

Table 2: CFL 2012 Regular Season Game Unique Start Times by Team
Unique Times Mode (Local) Freq Count
BC 3 7:00 PM 6
Montreal 3 1:00 PM, 7:30 PM 4
Hamilton 4 7:00 PM 5
Edmonton 5 7:00 PM 5
Calgary 5 7:00 PM 4
Winnipeg 5 7:00 PM 3
Toronto 6 7:30 PM 3
Saskatchewan 6 2:00 PM 3

While a move to byes in weeks 6 and 7 provides an earlier break for players, it did nothing to affect the average number of days between games which remains fair and consistent for all teams.

Table 3: CFL 2012 Regular Season Days Between Games by Team
Min Avg Max
BC 5 7.5 13
Calgary 4 7.3 12
Edmonton 4 7.4 15
Hamilton 5 7.4 12
Montreal 5 7.4 14
Saskatchewan 5 7.5 13
Toronto 4 7.3 12
Winnipeg 5 7.5 13

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Reviews of the 2012 schedule are mixed, as is the case every year. In Toronto, there is a lot to like and dislike. Rightfully so, the blame for the Argos randomized schedule is laid at the feet of the Rogers Center, who since Rogers purchased the stadium has provided no flexibility in dates for the football club. This year’s result is a three game road swing to end September before before returning home for three games in October, day of the week and game times random it appears. Toronto and Hamilton face off four times this year, including the season ender, and new quarterbacks Ricky Ray and Henry Burris will get to taste the Battle of Ontario in mid-season back-to-back games this year.

Edmonton knows they have nothing to complain about with their schedule. Calgary feels they have a tough schedule to start the season with an early Eastern road swing.

Of course, no CFL action should be without its conspiracy theories.

Try to Get What You Need

A delayed stadium opening in Winnipeg, the London Olympics affecting availability of times with the broadcast partners and the normal stadium availability issues in Toronto and the CFL still produced a schedule consistent with the past versions.

All games are on the main TSN network with the adjustment of the bye weeks and RDS will carry all 18 Montreal Alouette games as usual. RDS2 has been added as a broadcaster of 16 non-Alouette participating games, further the league’s exposure in Quebec. (Who is the most popular in Quebec? Calgary, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg appear six times each. The least popular? Hamilton and Toronto and BC only appear three times each.)

The most shocking thing to many was the lack of broadcast details for pre-season games, with many believing it indicates no 2012 CFL pre-season games will be televised. It may be to early to jump to that conclusion. Were the ratings of last year’s pre-season broadcasts disappointing? From all reports and the results from four games the I saw, not at all. They were consistent with the regular season average. So what is the deal? Like last year, when the pre-season telecasts were announced in May, TSN may want to wait until they are closer to the dates so they have their broadcast schedule confirmed and know what holes they have to fill in their schedule. I fully expect there to be some pre-season games televised. There certainly needs to be a crew in Winnipeg for their pre-season game June 20th so the television crews can work out the bugs before televising a regular season game from the new Investors Group Field. While that game may not be televised if the risk to the production quality is deemed to great, but other games will have crews present, so if there is air-time available on TSN or TSN2, they will take it to make the most from their expense.

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2012 Schedule: Wants and Needs was published on February 18, 2012 9:31 PM by dbo.

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This article is categorized under League and tagged with schedules.