CFL, TSN Extend Media Rights; Deal Reportedly Worth More Than C$30M Per Year
The CFL and TSN/RDS on Thursday announced an extension of their media rights agreement through '18. The deal includes rights to all CFL preseason, regular-season and playoff games, including the Grey Cup title game, in addition to the league's draft and combine. Some games also will air in French, and more games will air on RDS2. Radio rights to the Grey Cup on TSN and TEAM stations also are part of the deal (Bell Media). In Toronto, Bob Mitchell cites a source as saying the five-year deal is worth "significantly" more than C$30M per season, which is "more than double" the existing C$15M package that runs through the end of the '13 season. CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon "wouldn't confirm the dollar amount except to say it was a 'transformative deal' that would have a major impact on the economic stability of the league and its team." He said that the deal "bodes well for the CFL's future." The league and the Bell Media-controlled networks had been "talking for more than a year about renewing the existing pact." Cohon said, "We needed a deal that would dramatically change the economics of our league and that's what this does. This will allow losing teams to start making money and to make some investments in their future, whether it's new stadiums or practice facilities" (TORONTO STAR, 3/22). In Winnipeg, Paul Wiecek cites sources as saying the deal actually is worth "close to triple" the old deal. Part of that "windfall will be eaten up, of course, by the addition of a new ninth CFL team in Ottawa." But even with the additional team, sources said that the new deal "will still be worth over" $C4.5M overall per team per year (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 3/22).