SBD/18/Leagues Governing Bodies

THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER'S CFL: LEAGUE DEBT FREE IN '98?

          The CFL's Board of Governors concluded its two days of 
     meetings in Toronto and announced scheduling changes to be
     more "fan friendly," according to Tony Maraschiello of the
     TORONTO SUN.   Maraschiello: "As part of the new focus on
     the fans, there will be no weekend games next season before
     Labor Day, an indication the CFL is listening to the fans
     who want to spend their summer weekends at the cottage.
     After Labor Day, all games will be either Friday, Saturday
     or Sunday afternoon, giving school kids an opportunity to
     attend games."  CFL Chair John Tory said that it "appears"
     the league will be debt free for the '98 season.  Tory added
     talks are still continuing with the World League about
     playing a World Classic Bowl in June (TORONTO SUN, 12/18). 
     The league also unveiled three marketing slogans for '98:
     Made in Canada for Canadians, Back to Our Future and Making
     Football Fun Again (Mark Harding, TORONTO STAR, 12/18). 
     Tory added that the league schedule will be released Monday,
     "months head" of usual: "Given our history, the schedule
     usually isn't out until March" (GLOBE & MAIL, 12/18).
          TV PACKAGE: The league will continue to play Sunday
     games after September 1 despite being urged by CBC Sports
     head Alan Clark to avoid going up against the NFL.  Tory:
     "[O]ur fans comes first.  [TV] revenue is important to us
     and we want the money and exposure, but when it comes to
     money it probably represents less than 10 per cent of what
     teams take in."  But Tory added that "for the first time in
     league history there will likely" be live broadcasts next
     season of CFL games on ESPN2 (TORONTO STAR, 12/18).

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