Thanks to an enterprising fan who looked at the WatchESPN schedule for June, he discovered that ESPN2 will be airing a handful of CFL games this summer. Beginning June 29 and going into July, ESPN2 will have a slate of games, most will air on Saturdays.
Now what about last year’s CFL US rightsholder, NBC Sports Network? It appears NBCSN will continue carrying games as it did in 2012. According to Friend of Fang’s Bites Steve Lepore of SBNation, NBCSN’s first CFL game of 2013 will be on June 27, the league’s season opener. So this means that in some cases, CFL fans in the US can see as many as two games a week during the summer.
As it has since 2008, ESPN3 will stream CFL games online through the WatchESPN website or through its mobile/tablet app.
ESPN2 aired CFL games from 1994 through the 1997 season. After a consortium of regional sports networks aired CFL games through America One in the aughts, NFL Network picked up the CFL between 2010 and 2011, but never went past August because of commitments to NFL preseason games and NFL Sundays in the fall. NBCSN jumped in two months into last season and aired nine regular season games as well as the postseason including the Grey Cup.
The CFL has not made an official announcement as of yet and neither has ESPN nor NBC Sports Group.
Based on information posted on the WatchESPN site and through ESPN’s public relations website, I can piece together the following preliminary ESPN2 schedule. All times listed are Eastern.
Saturday, June 29 — Saskatchewan at Edmonton, 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 4 — Winnipeg at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 13 — British Columbia at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 20 — Montreal at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Thursday, July 25 — Edmonton at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
There is nothing for August as of yet.
For NBC Sports Network, we have one game confirmed thus far:
Thursday, June 27 — Montreal at Winnipeg, 9 p.m.
Expect both ESPN2 and NBC Sports Network to pick up TSN’s feeds for the CFL. When I get official announcements from ESPN and NBC, I’ll be sure to post them.
UPDATE, June 17, 5:25 p.m.: Hearing that the ESPN2 deal with the CFL is not final as of yet, but a spokesman tells Fang’s Bites that it’s hoped that it will be made official later this week.
As for NBC Sports Network, I’m waiting to hear more information on its schedule and whether it will air the Grey Cup as it did last season.