Published on June 17, 2012 3:16 PM by dbo.
There was much disgruntlement and questioning of the CFL‘s pre-season television coverage this year. FIrst, when the schedule was released, no pre-season coverage was listed. Then about a month later, when only two games were listed much hand-wringing occurred over the drop from last year. Finally, when the final schedule of four games was announced, the CFL was criticized, TSN attacked and many a fan complained about their right to watch their team’s pre-season games being violated.
Just to be sure the CFL isn’t getting the shaft again, we’ve looked into what was scheduled on the three networks available to the owner of the CFL’s broadcast rights during the times of the four games not televised. We didn’t find any poker, spelling bees, fishing shows or other filler trumping the CFL.
So the blame this year can be placed largely at the feet of Euro 2012, an event held every four years. While the Summer Olympics also hits the CFL this year, it doesn’t cause any games to not be televised or even moved to TSN2, primarily due to the shift in the bye weeks. Next season, barring any big events I am not aware of, there should be at least one network available to show CFL pre-season games if TSN does hold the rights to other events like the NBA Finals or US Open golf. Therefore, as long as ratings continue to be strong, I think fans can sleep in comfort and not worry about 2013 coverage.
Some will argue the CFL should trump 1st Round Golf coverage, the NBA or even Euro 2012. However, outlets that purchase the rights to these events often are required to show all parts of it live as a condition of the licensing. So TSN would have to pass on the whole NBA Final or US Open just to preempt one night’s coverage for CFL football. The CFL may do well, but not enough to take away hours of programming for a network.