It has just been announced by league commissioner Mark Cohon that NBC Sports Network will be airing CFL games live on their channel in the USA. Starting August 27th nine regular season games will be broadcast to the masses, followed by East and West Division semifinals and the final. This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Grey Cup, and coverage will also include the Labour Day Classic doubleheader.
There are some obvious concerns and questions regarding how Americans will react to Canadian football, and one could be as simple as grammar. With our way of spelling words like "Grey" and "Labour", a literate yet ignorant American somewhere will notice these discrepancies and throw the whole sport out the window. With one less down and a bigger end zone, the fans will be able to recognize right away the player size difference between the NFL and the CFL. More importantly, will Americans care? With the dominance of college football and the NFL, part of me wonders if there's even space for a new kind of game?
I'm glad an American network and an exclusively Canadian sport can have business together; it will give our neighbours (notice the "u") down south a chance to see a Canadian culture outside of hockey. It also shows that the CFL brand is on the rise as it closes what is in my opinion a very successful deal and opportunity. Hopefully there will be some good establishing shots of our country in the broadcast, which could stimulate tourism to the football arteries like Calgary and Saskatchewan. Toronto, host city for the Grey Cup will also be recognizable for American football fans, as the Buffalo Bills have an ongoing contract with the Rogers Centre (notice the "re") to play games in Canada.
I want to know what you think of the CFL in the USA... will it be a bust? A hit? Leave your comments I'm looking forward to reading them!