CFL hopes ESPN deal leads to future TV growth

CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon during the annual State of the League Media Conference, ahead of the...

CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon during the annual State of the League Media Conference, ahead of the 101st CFL Grey Cup between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders on November 22, 2013. (Al Charest/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:41 AM ET

The CFL would love to take its new broadcasting agreement with ESPN and turn it into something even bigger down the road.

That is the reason why the league entered into an exclusive, multi-year deal with “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” late last month. One ESPN platform or another will carry every CFL game this season.

“What we are looking at is something that gives us great exposure, and what we hope for after a four- or five-year period is that we’ll be able to really build an audience with ESPN and build a U.S. audience,” CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said earlier this month.

Last year the network aired six games on ESPN2 and another package of contests on ESPN3, its digital network. Cohon said the ESPN2 matches drew approximately 300,000 viewers south of the border, and the network was happy with the results.

“The ESPN2 games did adequate in the spots we programmed them,” Gregg Morriss, ESPN’s manager of programming and acquisitions, told the Sun.


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