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CFL could alter schedule to accommodate NFLN deal

104th Grey Cup Championship Game

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 27: Henry Burris #1 of the Ottawa Redblacks wins the Most Valuable Player award following victory in the 104th Grey Cup Championship Game against the Calgary Stampeders at BMO Field on November 27, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

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The CFL could be coming to NFL Network. And as part of that deal, the CFL may alter its schedule to move the Grey Cup from late November to the middle of October.

“I’d like to see the Grey Cup earlier, it won’t happen for 2018, but for 2019 it’s possible,” CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said Friday, via the Ottawa Sun. “I’d like to see it maybe the third week of October. That week, almost everywhere in Canada is a fantastic weekend. I’ve traveled -- we’ve lived in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Oakville, Montreal -- the third week in October is amazing. The leaves are changing colors. It’s autumn, it’s not cold.”

Of course, that would require starting the season sooner, which could cause problems with TSN, the CFL’s primary Canadian broadcast partner, given a little something known as the Stanley Cup playoffs. TSN, which doesn’t have Stanley Cup playoff rights, wouldn’t want to put CFL games up against high-stakes hockey games. However, an adjustment to the season would give NFLN game content during the slow months, if a deal can be done between the CFL and the NFL.

“We’ve talked about the idea of what are they doing for programming on the NFL Network, could we be a positive source of amazing content?” Ambrosie said. “I’m entirely on board with sharing our game with more people around the world . . . and I’m not just talking about the U.S. market. We should stop being so Canadian and shy about this. With three downs and a big field and it’s wide open and these are world-class athletes -- we’ve got the greatest game in the world.”

The NFL may disagree with that one, but the CFL is good enough to potentially take a spot on the NFL’s platform during the months when NFLN is a wasteland of NFL Films programming, Hard Knocks reruns, and the goofy top 100 player list.