Broadcast deal means cash infusion

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:23 AM ET

The new TV deal between the CFL and TSN will pump significantly more money into the coffers of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and every other CFL team.

But it'll leave some fans, especially in rural areas, out in the cold.

If published reports are accurate, each CFL club could reap an additional $600,000, or more, per season in league sponsorship money, beginning in 2008.

"It's certainly the best deal that's been around for well over 20 years, I'm sure," Bomber president/CEO Lyle Bauer told the Sun yesterday. "It'll help on the revenue side, and it'll help on the exposure side ... with all the games being broadcast."

Reports suggest the new deal is worth $75 million over five years, or $15 million per year. That's up from $9 million per season in the previous arrangement.

The increase -- $6 million per season -- would work out to an additional $666,000 per team, if split evenly between the eight teams and the league office.

That would go a long way in helping the Bombers reach the new $4.05 million player salary cap, which takes effect next year, without bleeding red ink.

The new deal may not benefit all CFL fans, though.

For the first time, TSN, an all-sports cable network, plans to produce and broadcast the playoffs and the Grey Cup game, meaning those games won't be available on conventional television, beginning in '08.

Bauer downplayed the change, saying more and more homes have access to TSN.

"With satellite and cable and things along those lines, the numbers you're talking about are diminishing on a fairly regular basis," he said.

It'll mark the first time the Grey Cup can't be seen on CBC-TV, which has drawn an audience of more than three million viewers each of the last few years.


Videos

Photos