Arash Madani of Sportsnet, is reporting that the CFL will officially announce a delay to the 2021 season on April 19th. Most people within the CFL world knew this was coming but now we have a potential date of an announcement.
Madani hinted that there could be some clarity announced also as it pertains to ‘talks’ between the CFL and XFL. Madani was a guest on the XFLMarkcast last week.
Sports radio host Rod Pederson also reported over the weekend a potential reason why the CFL season will be delayed and why the XFL and CFL are even talking in the first place.
This is what he wrote about the situation on his website.
“I’ve spoken with five solid sources whose stories on the CFL/XFL merger and 2021 season are all generally the same. One of their messages began with “You deserve to know truth'”
He goes on the say his sources are telling him that MLSE, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the owners of the Toronto Argonauts want to delay/cancel the season and are the driving force behind talks with the XFL.
It should be noted that MLSE also owns the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL and, Toronto Raptors of the NBA. Also, Rogers Communications, who owns Sportsnet is also a 37% owner of MLSE. Bell Media Inc, which owns TSN is a subsidiary of BCE Inc, which also is a 37% owner of MLSE. These are all important facts to know.
“MLSE realized it’s impossible to turn a profit with the Argonauts (roughly two years ago), they immediately turned their attention to blowing up the CFL and making it a profit-making venture.”
He goes on to say that the COVID situation is potentially being used as a cover to try and scrap the CFL season and start over with the XFL.
“The Covid situation is what it is and likely the smartest/safest scenario is to scrap this season and build for whatever the next version of the CFL is to be.
However current CFL operators, the majority anyway, want to play for the good of the league and their employees and the fact is the majority of them wanted to play LAST YEAR.
But sources have all confirmed to me that MLSE is all about – entirely about – balance sheets and care little for the history and viability of the CFL nor the people who keep it running.”
The issue is MLSE clearly has the money to run a season. They reportedly have an equity value of CA $1.66 billion. But they refuse to do it because they want to bring drastic changes to the CFL. Now enter the XFL with Dany Garcia, Dwayne’ The Rock’ Johnson, and RedBird Capital.
To be fair, the fact that the CFL in 2021 is still seeking money from the Canadian government shows you how bad the financials are for the league and that a drastic change is needed for the league to survive.
At the same time, very wealthy individuals and corporations own CFL teams. Why are they not stepping up, probably because they are tired of losing money? To say the situation with the CFL is complicated is an understatement.
We should learn more about this story as the week unfolds. Canada is the size of California so entities like TSN, Rogers, Sportnet, and MLSE are all intertwined making the situation even more complicated.
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