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Canadian TV Deal for Toronto FC/MLS Games


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Does any one know or have heard if there is any type of TV deal being negotiated to broadcast Toronto FC games in Canada? I doubt any of the Major Canadian Networks will pick it up (CBC, CTV, Global), but perhaps TSN, SportsNet or The Score? Gol TV is not being carried by too many cable and satallite providers, but they might be a possiblity?

Who carries the Whitecaps, Impact, Lynx? Fox Sports World? RDS?

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I dont know anything that you guys dont know. But I think that its pretty much written in stone that Sportsnet will carry the TFC. The only problems i see with that relationship is the fact that they show jays games and if push came to shove TFC would be pushed aside

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quote:Originally posted by mrpopulistfutebol

I am acutally going to take a different route on this one. I think that TSN is going to pick up the TFC just because TSN is owned by the people who own the Leafs who own TFC.

Just a thought.

MLSE doesn't own TSN.

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quote:Originally posted by Rudi

Bell Globemedia owns CTV/TSN.

MLSE is owned by Ontario Teachers Pension Fund, BellGlobemedia, and various other interests.

I think it will be a shared deal with the bulk of the games/coverage being on Leafs TV (which will likely be renamed MLSE or something like that) and the odd game on TSN.

Highly doubt that Sportsnet will be able to commit enough air time (because of their baseball coverage) to entice the MLSE folks to sign on to that.

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quote:Originally posted by SeanKeay

If MLSE put the games on Leafs Tv.... there incredibly stupid. Leafs TV dont have much viewers and hiding tfc on that station would be soooo bad

I agree Sean. Leafs TV (and Raptors TV for that matter) are for the diehards. They don't increase the exposure of the clubs to the masses, they are there to attract the diehards.

The jury is still out re. success but it's a valid enough strategy for an established team that gets plenty of expsoure in the media anyway.

Also, there is the question of the CRTC. They licenced a Leafs tv channel. Soccer is not part of that mandate. MLSE would have to apply for change to the licence. That said, it's a non-starter anyway as there is no reason whatsover to hide TFC where only a few thousand people will find it.

It's certainly not worthy of the production budget required to do a game. You'd be spending $10-20 per viewer .... or worse!

Sportsnet or TSN. Nothing else makes sense.

db

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quote:Originally posted by dbailey62

I agree Sean. Leafs TV (and Raptors TV for that matter) are for the diehards. They don't increase the exposure of the clubs to the masses, they are there to attract the diehards.

The jury is still out re. success but it's a valid enough strategy for an established team that gets plenty of expsoure in the media anyway.

Also, there is the question of the CRTC. They licenced a Leafs tv channel. Soccer is not part of that mandate. MLSE would have to apply for change to the licence. That said, it's a non-starter anyway as there is no reason whatsover to hide TFC where only a few thousand people will find it.

It's certainly not worthy of the production budget required to do a game. You'd be spending $10-20 per viewer .... or worse!

Sportsnet or TSN. Nothing else makes sense.

db

The Raptors are going to have 30 games on The Score this season.

Guess that doesn't make sense. ;):D

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Agreed with Sean & David, and would also add that you couldn't turn Leafs TV into a generic "MLSE" tv station for all things MLSE, as where would that leave Raptors TV?

I would agree that Sportsnet's plate is full, but I'd be surprised if no games ended up there whatsoever. I see a combination of a number of networks getting the games, paid for initially by MLSE - TSN, Sportsnet, The Score, Outdoor Life Network, etc.

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quote:Originally posted by Gian-Luca

Agreed with Sean & David, and would also add that you couldn't turn Leafs TV into a generic "MLSE" tv station for all things MLSE, as where would that leave Raptors TV?

It would leave it exactly where it is......an NBA controlled product. Unlike Leafs TV where MLSE is in complete controll of programing.....Raptors TV is not even allowed to have its own web page....it resides on the NBA's web page.

MLSE controls Leafs TV and could, easily, if they wanted to convert it to MLSE TV (makes sense as the bulk of its "live" programing is already non Leaf (Marlies, ECHL, College hockey, etc).

As for the economics, it would really depend on how many current subscribers take the time to cancel their Leafs TV subscription in the summer. Let's say that Leafs TV has 100,000 subscribers (that was the number in 2004) and half of those cancel in the summer because, as we know, there is no hockey in the summer. Now let's also assume that half of those people who cancel would not cancel if there was live soccer (ie. they are not just Leaf fans but also sports/soccer fans). At $2 a subsriber, then, having TFC games on Leafs TV just made the organization $50,000 a month! Not huge but could they get that much in rights fees for TFC from one of the other networks? If you could sell enough advertising time to cover the cost of production (likely as they would be very low cost broadcasts (two voices, maybe 2 or 3 cameras).....then tha t$50k just flowed to the bottom line.

Not saying this is what is going to happen but I would caution those amongst you who dismiss Leafs TV simply cause it does not have a wide enough audience.....I don't think growing the game is the primary motivator of MLSE.....I think enhancing the value of all their products (including their broadcasting products) is their primary motivator.

As for the license.....if Omni TV can easily transform itself (within its license) from mutli-cultural station to being the new home of Law & Order and David Letterman.....I am pretty sure a hockey channel can broadcast another sport (or at least get permission to do so).

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Yeah, and The Score went from a sports highlights/ticker station (headline Sports) to broadcasting live EPL matches alst year. Much as I love The Score for its pro-soccer leanings, TFC needs to be on basic cable via Sportsnet/TSN, in order to reach the masses. Leafs TV is a non-starter IMO.

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quote:Originally posted by bettermirror

TFC will be on all three stations I'm sure. None will want to invtest until they are a proven money-maker. I fully expect Sportsnet to host the majority with TSN probably purchasing the playoffs (if they make it).

See that is the rub....I don't think anyone will pay for the rights until they have proof there is an audience.....they will want, either, MLSE to pay to get on the air and give MLSE the ad revenue or they will want to j/v with MLSE such that no rights fees are paid until such time as the ad revenue exceeds the cost of production and then they will share the ad revenue to the extent they exceed costs (this is esentially the deal the NHL has with NBC).

Given those choices, what would you do if you were MLSE and already owned a tv station yourself?

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quote:Originally posted by TOareaFan

It would leave it exactly where it is......an NBA controlled product. Unlike Leafs TV where MLSE is in complete controll of programing.....Raptors TV is not even allowed to have its own web page....it resides on the NBA's web page.

That's not the point I was making. My point is that it would look silly for MLSE to suggest by its title, that the channel is "all things MLSE" when one of the major teams they own is on a different channel altogether. "All things MLSE with the major exception of the Raptors" doesn't have much of a marketing ring to it. I'm also doubtful they would want to play around with the "Leafs" aspect of the title, given the flagship status of the team in the City.

That's if MLSE has any desire to show TFC games on Leafs TV, which to my understanding, they don't, namely for the lack of exposure. Whether they want to grow the game or their business, with TFC it comes to the same thing - they are only going to grow their soccer side of the business if the word gets out, and it won't get out much if the matches are all buried on Leafs TV.

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I don't think there's anything wrong with showing Toronto FC matches on Leafs TV... but NOT being the exclusive channel for live games, that's incredibly stupid.

however unlikely it is, I just don't think they'll put anything BUT the Leafs on LEAFS TV, they could be showing replays or even live matches (granted that it's on cable somewhere as well). The worst that would happen is that you piss off some hockey nut who wanted to re-live the "glory" days of the early 90s for the tenth time.

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  • 5 months later...

In Chris Zelkovich's column in today's Toronto Star:

quote:

Don't be surprised if CBC announces a deal in the next two weeks to carry Toronto FC games. The MLS package would fit nicely with the CBC's FIFA deal and the World Cup.

I don't know whether this is speculation or fact. I am not sure how much sense this makes for CBC.

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MLSE appears to have a company policy of wanting its properties on National TV. That's why the Raptors have 24 games on Raps TV. It wouldn't surprise me if the CBC even forks over some rights fees to MLSE to win the broadcast rights. All the other networks in the mix (Sportsnet, Score, FSW, etc..) will be unlikely to offer an upfront rights fee and might only share some advertising profits (similar to the deal the NHL has with NBC in the US). CBC might be willing to make a sweeter offer in order to help promote their coverage of U20 championships. Lord knows that, right now, once Hockey season is finished, the CBC's sports dept can pretty much go on extended vacation.

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Quote from William Houston - Globe and Mail

The Becks effect

David Beckham rates as an intriguing factor to negotiations for TV coverage of the new Major League Soccer franchise in Toronto.

Toronto FC will play Beckham's new team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, early in the season, before he arrives, and again in August or perhaps September. Obviously, the second game is a carrot for the networks.

"David Beckham has been a topic in negotiations," said Tom Anselmi, the chief operating officer of FC owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Sources say the CBC, The Score and Rogers Sportsnet are interested in airing FC games, and perhaps also TSN, although its summer schedule is loaded. The digital soccer channels GOLTV and Fox Sports World Canada may be in the mix.

It's unlikely networks will pay MLSE a rights fee.

"We don't go into it believing it's a hugely lucrative property, yet," Anselmi said. "The team doesn't have an entity yet. We'll probably steer down the path of some sort of shared-risk and shared-opportunity agreement — a let's-grow-the-property-together approach."

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quote:Originally posted by marktci

In Chris Zelkovich's column in today's Toronto Star:

I don't know whether this is speculation or fact. I am not sure how much sense this makes for CBC.

To echo what VIPjr said, TFC games could help promote soccer on CBC now that it has a partnership with FIFA. Also, now that CBC has lost the CFL, they have a hole in their Saturday night summer schedule.

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