CFL on TSN
|CFL on TSN|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|Running time||3 hours|
|Original network||TSN (1987–current)|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||1987 –|
The CFL on TSN is TSN's presentation of the Canadian Football League. TSN has broadcast CFL games since the 1987 season and has been the exclusive broadcaster of all CFL games (including the playoffs and Grey Cup) since 2008. While the CFL on TSN shows all CFL games, a more entertainment-focused Thursday Night Football telecast (unrelated to the National Football League package of the same name) was added in 2015.
The CFL on TSN's studio panel consists of host Rod Smith and a rotating crew of former CFL all-star players Matt Dunigan, Milt Stegall, Henry Burris, and Davis Sanchez, and former CFL coach Mike Benevides. Former CFL on CBC studio host Brian Williams occasionally contributes to the studio show also.
Smith took over host duties from Dave Randorf on June 23, 2014 after Randorf joined Rogers Media on June 2, 2014 as a play-by-play commentator for the company's National Hockey League television coverage.
Matt Dunigan returned to the CFL on TSN studio show after spending the 2004 season on the sidelines as the general manager and head coach of the Calgary Stampeders. Dunigan's in-depth knowledge, outgoing personality and passion for the game have made him a fan favourite with viewers.
Milt Stegall joined TSN as a guest analyst in 2009 after a 14-year playing career in the CFL.
Henry Burris joined TSN early in the 2017 season as a guest off-screen analyst narrating short explainer films of standard CFL plays using file footage, then joined the studio panel full-time late in 2017. The record-setting retired quarterback was named the league's Most Outstanding Player twice (2010, 2015), won the Grey Cup three times (1998, 2008, 2016), and was named the Grey Cup MVP twice (2008, 2016) during his 19-year CFL career. Burris works as a television host for the local Ottawa version of CTV Morning Live.
Davis Sanchez joined the CFL panel in 2018 after a stint with TSN 690 sports radio in Montreal commenting on Alouettes games. The 3-time Grey Cup-winning cornerback (2005, 2009, 2011) and three-time East Division defensive All-Star (2000, 2004, 2008) spent 10 seasons in the CFL and 2 in the NFL.
Mike Benevides rejoined the CFL panel in 2019 after being let go from his last coaching role with the Edmonton Eskimos. Benevides was part of the coaching staff of 3 Grey Cup winning teams (2001, 2006, 2011), and was previously a CFL commentator on TSN during the 2015 season.
Veteran sportscaster Chris Cuthbert has been the primary voice of the CFL on TSN since joining the network in 2005 after leaving the CBC in 2004. He is paired with longtime colour commentator Glen Suitor. Sara Orlesky has been the lead sideline reporter for Friday Night Football since 2008. The secondary commentating team is Rod Black and Duane Forde. Gord Miller and Dunigan work as the third team, when needed.
ESPN3, the online arm of ESPN Inc., carried most CFL games from 2008 through 2017; beginning in 2018, live broadcasts moved behind a paywall to ESPN+, ESPN's subscription over-the-top service, with ESPN3 continuing to offer replays of games originally carried on one of ESPN's linear networks.
As part of the 2013 contract extension, which included both U.S. and Canadian broadcast rights, ESPN's terrestrial networks (particularly ESPN2) have carried TSN's coverage of select CFL games on U.S. television (especially the Grey Cup game). The TSN deal also allows for CFL games to be simulcast on ESPN's other international networks, as well as through BT Sport, ESPN's licensing partner in the British Isles.
In the early 1990s, Prime Network simulcast TSN's coverage.
In 2008, Friday night games were shown on the World Sport channel of Voom HD. However, in January 2009, Cablevision shut down Voom HD. America One held the rights to other TSN and (prior to 2008) CBC simulcasts through the 2009 season; America One syndicated its games to various regional sports networks across the United States. After that agreement ended, the CFL secured one-year limited broadcast deals with NFL Network (2010–11) and NBC Sports Network (2012-13).