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CPL TV Contract

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5 hours ago, dyslexic nam said:

I think the exposure a TV deal would bring is worth more than some additional revenue - given any $$ likely would be pretty modest at the outset.  Getting the broader public and casual sports fans interested in CPL would be the biggest benefit of this kind of exposure IMO.

The exposure is definitely the most important part, as that affects other potential revenue streams. How much is a field side advertising board worth if it is only seen by those in the stadium? How much is that same field side advertising board worth if it is seen on a national TV broadcast? Same can be said for kit sponsors, etc.

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TRIGGER WARNING...potentially negative post follows.

As excited as I am to hopefully be able to watch some matches on TV, I am slightly concerned that the level of play on the field might not be of a sufficient standard to maintain a decent sized television audience.

For the sake of argument, lets assume that the level of the CPL will be equal to USL. I can't remember how many USL games I have tried to watch before saying I've had enough...and I don't consider myself a soccer snob. Unless you have a rooting interest for one of the teams in the game, the level of play on its own was not enough to keep my interest.

For the ticket buying public, the in stadium atmosphere and experience can help overcome the deficiencies in the level of play. For those watching on TV, the level of play needs to stand on its own.

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7 minutes ago, masster said:

TRIGGER WARNING...potentially negative post follows.

As excited as I am to hopefully be able to watch some matches on TV, I am slightly concerned that the level of play on the field might not be of a sufficient standard to maintain a decent sized television audience.

For the sake of argument, lets assume that the level of the CPL will be equal to USL. I can't remember how many USL games I have tried to watch before saying I've had enough...and I don't consider myself a soccer snob. Unless you have a rooting interest for one of the teams in the game, the level of play on its own was not enough to keep my interest.

For the ticket buying public, the in stadium atmosphere and experience can help overcome the deficiencies in the level of play. For those watching on TV, the level of play needs to stand on its own.

For the mass audience I think the general production quality of the broadcast is more influential.. If it's similar to a CFL level of production(ie camera angles, replays, commentators, pre-game post-game show) the it will feel like a top-tier league in many ways.

I have watched USL streams and it isn't really TV-level production.

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11 minutes ago, masster said:

TRIGGER WARNING...potentially negative post follows.

As excited as I am to hopefully be able to watch some matches on TV, I am slightly concerned that the level of play on the field might not be of a sufficient standard to maintain a decent sized television audience.

For the sake of argument, lets assume that the level of the CPL will be equal to USL. I can't remember how many USL games I have tried to watch before saying I've had enough...and I don't consider myself a soccer snob. Unless you have a rooting interest for one of the teams in the game, the level of play on its own was not enough to keep my interest.

For the ticket buying public, the in stadium atmosphere and experience can help overcome the deficiencies in the level of play. For those watching on TV, the level of play needs to stand on its own.

Not triggered.  I think that is a fair point.  Bit of a chicken egg thing though.  How can the league grow (and revenue grow to support enhanced player quality) if it is limited to gate revenue without much broad public exposure?  I am hoping that the level of play will be sufficient to engage any fans that may turn it on.   There will definitely need to be a nationalistic angle to it - "supporting our league" and all that.  And i think that can be a successful tactic.  The reality is that if it wasn't for that kind of national self interest, MLS would have no traction in this country either outside of live venues.  Things have improved in recent years, but the early years of TFC were nothing to write home about in terms of play quality.  Yet they got eyeballs watching because it was our team - and i think CPL can do the same.  

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8 minutes ago, mpg_29 said:

For the mass audience I think the general production quality of the broadcast is more influential.. If it's similar to a CFL level of production(ie camera angles, replays, commentators, pre-game post-game show) the it will feel like a top-tier league in many ways.

I have watched USL streams and it isn't really TV-level production.

I completely agree. I feel for sports in general, while not to say quality doesn't matter, the production and gravitas given to an event is even more important. If you make people feel an event is important and that people care about it, people will get invested - whether it's youth soccer or whatever. I think that's why live sports is so captivating for folks.

Edited by yellowsweatygorilla

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7 minutes ago, mpg_29 said:

For the mass audience I think the general production quality of the broadcast is more influential.. If it's similar to a CFL level of production(ie camera angles, replays, commentators, pre-game post-game show) the it will feel like a top-tier league in many ways.

I have watched USL streams and it isn't really TV-level production.

QFT. 

@masster the problem has always been the production.  Those USL broadcasts look like a single A baseball game.  Also, the announcers are completely amateur.  I think CPL has better venues, more attractive esthetics and fingers crossed the fan support to make a production far and above USL.

I remember watching MLS in 2004 and production was much better than USL even back then.  Even with shit American football lines and low standards it was watchable because the production made it easy to follow.  

Saying that, I hope Edmonton has improved as a venue.  Matches at Foote field were tough to watch online.

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In terms of quality of production, Winnipeg and Hamilton have their CFL level broadcasting setup built in. York Lions stadium has a setup from the Pan Am games I was told by Preben Ganzhorn. Spruce Meadows as well I was told by Ian Allison that they are fully setup but only needed the specs from CanPL HQ (number of cameras, positions, etc ... this was months ago), and FCE has already been doing broadcasts during their NASL time and have their own HD production truck. So in terms of production quality, those facilities are an excellent start. 

But I would agree that the standard of play may not be that inspiring and I have no idea how they plan to ‘spruce up’ their broadcasts. Hopefully they are quite professional, but like everything else this will all be quite new. 

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1 hour ago, mpg_29 said:

For the mass audience I think the general production quality of the broadcast is more influential.. If it's similar to a CFL level of production(ie camera angles, replays, commentators, pre-game post-game show) the it will feel like a top-tier league in many ways.

I have watched USL streams and it isn't really TV-level production.

i share this opinion. I find this is also an issue for most not in Canada men's national team games.

Edited by matty

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4 hours ago, Kent said:

I imagined that it was possible for TSN to broadcast some games with the league paying for the expenses of putting the games on. But now that I hear this, I'm assuming it's 8 figure deals from each of TSN (Canada), ESPN (USA), and Sky (UK).

I don't think I am breaching any confidentiality by saying... nope.

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1 hour ago, rob.notenboom said:

In terms of quality of production, Winnipeg and Hamilton have their CFL level broadcasting setup built in. York Lions stadium has a setup from the Pan Am games I was told by Preben Ganzhorn. Spruce Meadows as well I was told by Ian Allison that they are fully setup but only needed the specs from CanPL HQ (number of cameras, positions, etc ... this was months ago), and FCE has already been doing broadcasts during their NASL time and have their own HD production truck. So in terms of production quality, those facilities are an excellent start. 

But I would agree that the standard of play may not be that inspiring and I have no idea how they plan to ‘spruce up’ their broadcasts. Hopefully they are quite professional, but like everything else this will all be quite new. 

I was thinking "quality of production" to be more like on screen graphics,  panel/set design and setup, cutaways to commercials, stats segments etc. Not so much the camera setups. While that is important,  it seems relatively easy to do. The extra presentation is what will take effort to put forward the best look for the league. 

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1 hour ago, Tigers said:

I was thinking "quality of production" to be more like on screen graphics,  panel/set design and setup, cutaways to commercials, stats segments etc. Not so much the camera setups. While that is important,  it seems relatively easy to do. The extra presentation is what will take effort to put forward the best look for the league. 

Yes I actually assumed that that was what you meant. But I think the full broadcast platform is part of that puzzle as well ... good camera angles, enough cameras, decent picture quality, and worthwhile commentary. 

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2 hours ago, Tigers said:

I was thinking "quality of production" to be more like on screen graphics,  panel/set design and setup, cutaways to commercials, stats segments etc. Not so much the camera setups. While that is important,  it seems relatively easy to do. The extra presentation is what will take effort to put forward the best look for the league. 

It's not and it will cost at least $15k a game...and that $15k is for the most garbage broadcast you can do

Edited by matty

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3 hours ago, Tigers said:

I was thinking "quality of production" to be more like on screen graphics,  panel/set design and setup, cutaways to commercials, stats segments etc. Not so much the camera setups. While that is important,  it seems relatively easy to do. The extra presentation is what will take effort to put forward the best look for the league. 

Camera positioning is massively important. If the cameras for regular play are near the ground it looks like you are watching some guys kick around at the park. Get it to the type of height we are used to watching on TV and it seems pro. Like Matt said, we see it with national team games from time to time. Or MLS preseason games in Florida or wherever. It looks much worse than regular season games, and not because the players are rusty.

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19 minutes ago, C2SKI said:

I hope they mount cameras to the hydro pole at Westhills and point them back towards the main stands.

Haha. I was just thinking about that. I don’t know where the main camera will be assuming we don’t want to show a highway, hydro pole and smattering of standing fans. O, and I guess the luxury box dealies?

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9 hours ago, masster said:

TRIGGER WARNING...potentially negative post follows.

As excited as I am to hopefully be able to watch some matches on TV, I am slightly concerned that the level of play on the field might not be of a sufficient standard to maintain a decent sized television audience....

Have made the point on here before about even the most professionally produced USL youtube streams being difficult to watch for more than a few minutes as a neutral. Back in the original CSL era we were so starved for soccer in broadcast terms that the hardcore addicts were going to use it to get their fix. There are so many other options available now, so it would probably be more about the prestige that goes with being on mainstream cable than any huge expectation of generating a lot of revenue that way. Time will tell.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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24 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

Have made the point on here before about even the most professionally produced USL youtube streams being difficult to watch for more than a few minutes as a neutral. Back in the original CSL era we were so starved for soccer in broadcast terms that the hardcore addicts were going to use it to get their fix. There are so many other options available now, so it would probably be more about the prestige that goes with being on mainstream cable than any huge expectation of generating a lot of revenue that way. Time will tell.

I agree it's more about being broadcasted because that allows you to make more money off sponsors. I also don't think the leagues necessarily risks losing viewership over a weak product, as some might think, as there will likely be a solid local base of viewers thanks to bars, restaurants, cafes and various businesses seeking to show something local for patrons. Even if hardcore soccer fans (not counting fans of the local) do not tune in there should (in theory) be a decent base.

If you have 1500 Barton St. Battalion supporters watching at home and 1000 pubs showing a Forge road game in Hamilton you're doing alright. Especially if you end up on like SportsNet World or TSN2 or beIN.

Edited by matty

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1 hour ago, C2SKI said:

I hope they mount cameras to the hydro pole at Westhills and point them back towards the main stands.

My source says there will be eight cameras used to broadcast games at Westhills (and I assume each of the other stadia) and we were told at the very first pub night that cameras would be positioned to face into the three stands. They are well aware they have to make the broadcasts look as good as possible.

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12 hours ago, matty said:

It's not and it will cost at least $15k a game...and that $15k is for the most garbage broadcast you can do

 

11 hours ago, Kent said:

Camera positioning is massively important. If the cameras for regular play are near the ground it looks like you are watching some guys kick around at the park. Get it to the type of height we are used to watching on TV and it seems pro. Like Matt said, we see it with national team games from time to time. Or MLS preseason games in Florida or wherever. It looks much worse than regular season games, and not because the players are rusty.

Yes, it's expensive.  But aside from that, you just have to go out and put the right number of cameras in the right spot - it doesn't require creativity, it's not rocket science,  I'm sure there's an established manual they can follow even. They just have to do it.

 

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8 hours ago, ted said:

My source says there will be eight cameras used to broadcast games at Westhills (and I assume each of the other stadia) and we were told at the very first pub night that cameras would be positioned to face into the three stands. They are well aware they have to make the broadcasts look as good as possible.

Glad to hear that. I didn’t know what the broadcast setup would be like in Victoria or Halifax, but considering it was months ago others were talking about their broadcast situations I wasn’t too concerned. Much different situation in Victoria compared to Winnipeg though but happy to know they’re on it. 

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1 hour ago, Tigers said:

 

Yes, it's expensive.  But aside from that, you just have to go out and put the right number of cameras in the right spot - it doesn't require creativity, it's not rocket science,  I'm sure there's an established manual they can follow even. They just have to do it.

 

ummmmm you have to check lighting and adjust for weather and link everything and EDIT IT live and test sound (which is a nightmare in wind or rain...oh by the way SOUND IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FUCKING THING) and maintain broadcast.

basically you have to have dozens staffed to make sure all this is working right for the entire game. bad sound? people will get annoyed and turn it off. no editing? people will get bored and change the channel.

Edited by matty

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2 hours ago, matty said:

ummmmm you have to check lighting and adjust for weather and link everything and EDIT IT live and test sound (which is a nightmare in wind or rain...oh by the way SOUND IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FUCKING THING) and maintain broadcast.

basically you have to have dozens staffed to make sure all this is working right for the entire game. bad sound? people will get annoyed and turn it off. no editing? people will get bored and change the channel.

Also, live switching is an art form. The director/switcher has to know the sport in order to make the right cuts. All this is happening live so the decision making is crazy fast. Unless, you turn on two cameras and put it on youtube...

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This talk of CBC as a possible broadcaster reminded me - didn't they trademark "Soccer Night in Canada" about a year or two ago? It would also make sense from a Crown Corporation perspective that a deal could be seen as the government helping subsidize a league for Canadian Content purposes as the CRTC mandates.

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14 minutes ago, LAK said:

Also, live switching is an art form. The director/switcher has to know the sport in order to make the right cuts. 

An art form that is basically unknown to anyone producing broadcasts of soccer in North America currently IMO. 

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I'm more concerned about the low camera angle in some of the smaller stadiums. If the camera is not high enough you get a sort of a "2D view" instead of "3D view" of the entire pitch

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