Wednesday, July 23, 2014

CFL Television Rankings and ESPN Contract

Chris Zelkovich who formerly at the Toronto Star had a blog about Canadian sports media and ratings is continuing that tradition over at Yahoo Canada Sports. He has the weekend Canadian sports ratings and the three CFL games held on to the top three spots, over all the rest of the sports programs including all the Blue Jays games:

1. CFL, Alouettes at Lions, Saturday, TSN: 717,000
2. CFL, Ticats at Stampeders, Friday, TSN: 692,000
3. CFL, Argos at RedBlacks, Friday, TSN: 673,000

Zelkovich points out that "Yet despite this string of awful football, the viewers haven't turned off. The Edmonton-Winnipeg game on Thursday drew an average audience of 759,000 -- 56,000 more than last year's regular-season average of 703,000."

I've pointed out in the past that the fact that the CFL is Western provinces heavy in terms of viewers is a good thing. A viewer in Alberta on average makes far more money than an Ontario and has considerably more disposable income. That also goes for a viewer from Saskatchewan. That's probably why sometimes there's some bizarre Western restaurants advertised nationally.

There's a good article in the Winnipeg Sun about the current CFL ESPN deal:

"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."

That means along with the CFL TSN average of 703,000 viewers, those games could have received around a million viewers (with the caveat that I don't remember exactly which games were on ESPN 2 and they could have been among the least viewed). That's not bad.

"Cohon is shooting for the stars. ESPN was part of a new broadcasting deal with Major League Soccer in May. Three networks, including ESPN, are reportedly paying a combined $90 million per season for the MLS broadcasting rights."

That's interesting that with considerably more teams and games the MLS rights in the US aren't that much more than the Canadian CFL rights (around $40 million).

"The current deal with ESPN is only just the beginning, as Cohon said it is netting the league only six figures. The fact every game can be seen on one network is likely the best news for the CFL, which ESPN aired often during its early days."

 So that could be at most just under a million. I hope that's per year. Too bad that ESPN had to move the Hamilton home opener from the main network. I would have been curious to see the ratings.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Alouettes Troy Smith Honks in BC

I didn't see the game in Vancouver last night and didn't even know anything about it until I saw this tweet from @fenderguy69: Was Troy Smith's outing last night the worst "good conditions" QB performance ever? 29% CompAvg. 2.6 Yards/Attempt. 13.1 QB Rating. I went and looked up the stats in BC's 41 to 5 victory over Montreal, and sure enough Smith had five completions off 17 attempts (that 29% completion average) for 43 yards. And an interception. And he ran once for a yard. Wow. I think it is time for Montreal to shutdown the Smith NFL retread experiment. No catches for Chad Johnson, but one for eight yards for Dave Stala.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Follow Tigercatatonia On Twitter

Tigercatatonia has been on Twitter for a while, but the handle hasn't been used much. I'm working towards automating it so that new posts will automatically show up on the Twitter feed. So go ahead and follow!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hamilton at Calgary Half-Time

The Cats are down by three, which isn't bad considering. Masoli was six for thirteen for 83 yards and a pick. The pick hurt as it was in the end zone  and the Cats would have had a chance for three points.

Gable has had seven rushes for four yards. That's not a good sign for an offensive line that's starting three Americans. Fantuz has no catches.

The defence has been surprisingly good. Mitchell had only 11 completions out of 20 passes for 102 yards. The Cats did look bad on the Sinopoli TD.

Hamilton at Calgary Depth Chart Analysis

The Cats try to get off the schneid. Against Calgary. On the road. Ugh.

On to the offensive line. Alford and Lewis are the import tackles. And bizarrely import Simmons is a guard too. Three Americans on the line. I remember back when Marcus Kavka, an American played guard. As I recall that was a bad loss. Rice is the Canadian guard and O'Neill is the centre. The Cats are really missing Dyakowski. Non-import Wojt is on the one game injury list, as is import offensive linemen Dile and Figueroa.

The two wide receivers are the import Ellingson and Giguere. The three starting slots in five receiver sets are Grant and Tasker, both imports and the returning from injury Fantuz. Koch is on the one game injury list. Gable starts are running back with the non-import Prime as fullback when the Cats actually use one. With Prime not in, that's four starting Canadians out of seven required on offense, which isn't normal in the CFL. Masoli starts at quarterback, with LeFevour and McGee (who?) backing up.

On defence, Norwood and Boudreaux are the starting defensive ends. In the middle are the non-imports Bulcke and Laurent. Starting two Canadians in the middle is also a little weird, but not as weird as three Americans on the offensive line.

The linebackers are all imports this week, with Lawrence, Reed and Harris.

Corners are Breaux and non-import Stephen continuing the Cats experiments with non-import corners. Half-backs are Stewart and Davis. Non-import and former Rider Butler starts at safety. So that's four Canadian starters on defence, which is a little weird too. That's eight total starting Canadians, one more than required. I guess the Cats could have started four Americans on the offensive line.

For comparison purposes, Calgary starts four Canadians on the offensive line, no Canadian receivers and a Canadian fullback. Also non-import Walter starts at running back in place of Jon Cornish, which strikes me as a little odd, but Calgary is undefeated so what do I know. On defence they only start one Canadian, Corey Mace at defensive tackle.

At least the Cats don't have Cornish to deal with this week. However they have a cobbled together offensive line and Masoli starting. Unsurprisingly Calgary is nine point favourites.

Apparently the game is on ESPN2 tonight. Hopefully the Cats don't honk it up too much. Also in case you hadn't heard, the Cats have lost nine in a row in Cowtown.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

2014 CFL Predictions Week 4

Edmonton at Winnipeg
One wouldn't have expected these teams to both be undefeated at this point in the year. Probabilistically in such a situation one should go with a home team, considering their large advantage in the CFL. However I like Mike Reilly against Drew Willy in this situation. He just has a lot more games started than Willy.
Edmonton 35 Winnipeg 33

Toronto at Ottawa
A historic game. The REDBLACKS home opener. Normally I would take the Argos in such a game, but the Argos have a lot of receiver injuries, including Durie (who is on the six game list) which especially hurts considering he is good and Canadian. Maybe it ends up a special night and Ottawa wins in their second return to the CFL.
REDBLACKS 26 Argos 21  

Hamilton at Calgary
As a Hamilton fan, I certainly want the Cats to win, but the Stamps on the road just isn't going to happen. Unfortunately I don't think that Masoli keeps it close either. Also the Cats have lost nine in a row in Calgary. Not a great stat.
Stampeders 32 Ticats 18

Montreal at BC
Battle of mediocre 1 and 2 teams. I'll take an improving Kevin Glenn at home with the time zone difference against Troy Smith.
Lions 29 Alouttes 24