Vanier Cup-Grey Cup pairing may be at an end...thanks to a multi-sport TV deal?
The Vanier Cup-Grey Cup pairing we saw in 2011 and 2012 may not return any time soon. The pairing seemed to work fairly well in terms of bringing new fans and media attention to the CIS championship (2012 in particular saw excellent attendance and TV ratings), but there was some dissatisfaction from the CIS side, and now it's sounding like the twain may never be paired again (at least for the next little while). 2013 was obviously a no-go thanks to logistical issues in Regina, leading to the decision to send this year's Vanier to Laval, but it looked for a while like 2014 might mark a chance to reunite the games. A source tells me that isn't happening, though, and one key reason why is apparently a CIS plan to sign a deal with Rogers for broadcast rights to football, basketball and hockey championships. That makes sense on many levels (Rogers needs programming inventory, especially now that they've bought The Score, and The Score is a logical destination for CIS programming), and it may increase the profile of several CIS championships, but moving away from the Grey Cup could pose some challenges for the Vanier. I explore the situation further over at 55-Yard Line.