CFL on American Syndication 1970s

CFL on American Syndication 1970s

Postby vikingsfan1963 » Sun May 02, 2021 10:22 pm

I seemed to recall as a kid watching CFL games on a UHF station in 72-73 but could not anything about those games until tonight. Alex Karras was the color guy for those games that were shown on Wednesday nights. I believe the creation of the WFL led to the demise of this programming in the US
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Re: CFL on American Syndication 1970s

Postby Brian wolf » Sun May 02, 2021 10:29 pm

Didnt Warren Moon's success in Canada lead to ESPN picking up the CFL rights in 1980 ?
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Re: CFL on American Syndication 1970s

Postby Citizen » Mon May 03, 2021 8:26 am

A distributor called Syndicast bought time on a handful of American stations (including WOR in New York and KTTV in Los Angeles) to show CFL games on Wednesday nights. Don Chevrier and Alex Karras were the announcing team.

It had scheduled 20 games for the summer of 1972, but ended up showing only eight because the distributors were unable to get a national sponsor. The '72 games were shown several days after they were played, but the 1973 schedule was made available on same-day tape delay to about 80 stations.

In the case of WOR, that meant a taped CFL game was often shown late at night after the completion of a live Mets game. KTTV's level of confidence in the programming was made evident when they started showing CFL games at 7:30 Saturday mornings.
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Re: CFL on American Syndication 1970s

Postby RyanChristiansen » Mon May 03, 2021 5:21 pm

A bit tangential, but a buddy of mine who used to live in Grand Forks, North Dakota, grew up watching Winnipeg Blue Bombers games on TV. This was back in the 70s when the only TV you could watch was captured by antenna. Grand Forks is 80 miles south of Canadian border and 150 miles from Winnipeg, so there must have been some outlying Canadian TV signal that reached down into The States. Before television, you could catch the games on the radio and you probably still can on a clear night and if you have an analog tuner instead of a digital one. And before radio, the newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota routinely reported on Winnipeg "rugby football" games, at least as far south as Minneapolis. The advance of technology has not necessarily been a good thing for the CFL in terms of gaining a U.S. audience.
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Re: CFL on American Syndication 1970s

Postby JohnH19 » Mon May 03, 2021 6:50 pm

Here in Winnipeg, we used to be able to get ABC out of tiny border town Pembina, North Dakota with an antenna. Cable arrived in the late 60s to also give us access to NBC and CBS out of Grand Forks.

Our family didn't splurge for cable until November 1971 so the only NFL games I got to watch at home were MNF on ABC out of Pembina and Sunday games on CBC when they weren't showing a CFL game. I never did see any AFL games.
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Re: CFL on American Syndication 1970s

Postby Reaser » Tue May 04, 2021 1:56 pm

In the Great State of Washington, when I was a kid in the 80s and to the early 90s we got CBC as part of our cable -- even all the way down the roughly 60-miles south of Seattle, where I grew up. Made me a fan of both the CFL and NHL at a young age.

It was even in the single-digits, want to say channel 9? Wasn't happy when it disappeared off the local channel lineup later in the early 90s.
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Re: CFL on American Syndication 1970s

Postby vikingsfan1963 » Wed May 05, 2021 3:06 pm

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the CFL and Aussie Rules Football were the primary "live" events carried by ESPN during its infancy. Of course, I'm guessing some boxing would have been live as well.
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