CFL on NBC
|CFL on NBC|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||3 hours|
|Original channel||NBC Sports Network (2012-current)|
|Original run||2012 – present|
The Canadian Football League had previously had a much more generous contract with the America One television network that had run from 2004 through 2009. That contract allowed for the majority of CFL games to be televised in the United States, with America One syndicating the Canadian coverage (from TSN or, prior to 2008, CBC) primarily to regional sports networks. A number of factors led to America One not renewing their contract after the 2009 season.
On July 1, 2010, NFL Network began airing live Canadian Football League games, again simulcasting TSN. This much more limited package did not include any games in August (during the NFL preseason), any playoff games, the Labour Day Classic (one of the Labour Day games was carried in 2011 but not the other), Thanksgiving Day Classic, or the Grey Cup. NFL Network aired Thursday games, three Saturday games in July, and then Friday night games beginning again in September (after ArenaBowl XXIII; NFL Network also held rights to the Arena Football League and aired a weekly game on Friday nights). NFL Network announced it would not renew its deal with the CFL on May 25, 2012.
The package (which are basically, simulcasts from TSN) was picked up by the NBC Sports Network starting on Monday August 27, 2012 with 14 games total broadcast on NBC Sports Network including 9 regular season games (including both Labour Day Classic games) and  all of the playoffs and Grey Cup. NBC renewed its deal with the CFL shortly before the 2013 regular season, but the deal scales back the network's playoff coverage (the network will not air the first round games and will only air the conference finals on tape delay). The 2013 U.S. TV schedule will feature 11 regular season games live (including the lone Labour Day Classic contest), three tape-delayed contests in October (including the displaced Toronto-Hamilton Thanksgiving Day Classic, which will air at midnight the Wednesday after), and the Grey Cup live.
In an oddity, NBC Sports Network only owns the traditional television rights to the league, while another network owns the Internet rights; ESPN3 has carried CFL games on the Internet since 2008. (ESPN Inc., ESPN3's parent company, holds a minority stake in TSN.)
Prior to 2012, NBC also broadcast IRFU (the predecessor to the CFL's East Division) games and the Grey Cup in 1954. NBC's coverage during this period (simulcasting the Canadian national broadcaster) provided far more coverage than the NFL's existing contract with DuMont. NBC aired games on Saturday afternoons, competing against college football broadcasts on CBS and ABC (at the time, college football telecasts were far more restricted than they would be in later decades). The revenue from the contract allowed the IRFU to directly compete against the NFL for players in 1954. In 1958 there was a CFL regular season game played in Philadelphia due to a dispute between the city of Hamilton and the Tiger-Cats and a series of interleague exhibitions beginning in 1959. Interest in the CFL in the United States faded dramatically after the debut of the American Football League in 1960.
NBC also broadcast the CFL for three weeks during the 1982 NFL players' strike The first week of broadcasts featured the NFL on NBC broadcast teams, before a series of blowout games on the network and the resulting low ratings resulted in NBC cutting back and eventually cancelling its CFL coverage.
- NFL Network Going Canadian - CFL games begin airing on network July 1 Broadcasting & Cable July 1, 2010
- CFL to air on NFL Network CFL Official Site June 30, 2010
- McMillan, Ken (May 25, 2012). No CFL on NFLN, eh?. HudsonValley.com. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- Fang, Ken (21 July 2012). "CFL Finally Has A US TV Contract; Games Air On NBC Sports Network". Fang's Bites. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Bucholtz, Andrew (21 July 2012). "NBC SPORTS NETWORK'S CFL DEAL COULD GIVE IT MORE VALUABLE CONTENT". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- 100th Grey Cup Game to air live in US on NBC Sports Network.
- "100th Grey Cup to air live in U.S. on NBC Sports Network". CFL.ca. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- "54, 40 or Fight" (PDF). Retrieved February 18, 2011.
- CFL on NBC
- "1982: Bush-league football?". CBC Digital Archives. Retrieved 20 June 2013.