Welcome to wide world of football

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

REGINA -- From Korea to Australia to Ireland, CFL fans from around the world are using the league's pay-per-view webcast service to watch games on their computer.

All told through the first six weeks of the season, fans have logged in from at least 16 different countries from around the globe and from 40 states south of the border.

The list of interesting locations where the game has been beamed includes Israel, Taiwan, China, Japan, Guam, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago.

"We know we have fans around the world, but to see it this specific is surprising," said Chris McCracken, the CFL's director of broadcasting and media assets.

Ironically, soon-to-be ex-commissioner Tom Wright was apparently the first to suggest the brilliant marketing idea in the league's head office.

While official numbers of how many people are using the system haven't been released, the webcasting service - which just started this year - is breaking even for the league in its infancy stage. Live games cost $9.95, while archive games come with a $6.95 cost. They're available by using cfl.ca.

GAME IN YOUR HAND?: McCracken is hoping that live streaming video of games will be available on some cellphones by this fall. Live score updates are already provided to some cellphone subscribers .

SHORT HIT: So according to coach Ron Lancaster's math, the hapless Hamilton Tiger-Cats need to go 8-3 through the rest of the season to have a shot at the playoffs. Good luck with Mission Impossible IV.

BIZARRE BUT TRUE: For the first time ever, the Edmonton Eskimos have four losses on their record before the end of July. However, that stat is really only relevant - for the most part - from 1981 to now. From 1961 to 1980 the club never played more than three games by the end of July.

PARTING SHOT: Why in the world did the CFL ever allow coaches the ability to challenge the spot of the ball? That particular replay challenge is the biggest waste of time in the game because unless there is a T.V. camera shooting right down the line of scrimmage, there is no way any referee could overturn the ruling on the field.


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