Realty One

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


TORONTO - Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which already owns the Maple Leafs, Marlies, Raptors and Toronto FC, is adding the CFL's Argonauts to its portfolio.

MLSE announced Wednesday it has an agreement to buy the Grey Cup champions.

There was already some cross-ownership. The Argos are currently owned by two-thirds of the MLSE triumvirate - chairman Larry Tanenbaum's holding company, the Kilmer Group, and Bell Canada.

In bringing the Argos fully into the MLSE fold, Rogers Communications will officially join its two MLSE partners as part of the CFL team's ownership.

Bell and Tanenbaum bought the Argos from David Braley in May 2015 after nearly a year of talks. Rogers did not get involved at the time, with speculation that it was not interested in the franchise because the CFL was tied to Bell, through its broadcast affiliate TSN.

Rogers owns the Blue Jays, the city's other major sports franchise, although there have been reports recently that the team may be available for the right price.

Rogers shot down that suggestion Wednesday when asked about why the change of interest in the CFL team.

"As we have said there are no plans to sell the Jays,'' a Rogers spokeswoman said. "We continue to look for the best way to get credit for our incredible sports portfolio in our overall company valuation.''

The sale is expected to close in January 2018, according to MLSE.

Approval from the CFL board of governors would not seem to be a problem.

"On the heels of a stunning Grey Cup showdown with the Calgary Stampeders that highlighted the sheer excitement of Canadian football, we're thrilled that the Argonauts will be joining the MLSE roster,'' CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. "We welcome MLSE to the CFL and look forward to working with them to further enhance the experience for Canadian football fans.''

(Canadian Press)


Lewis Grant said...

Very strange...Rogers puts the screws to the Argos by forcing them out of Skydome...and then buys the team?

One of the old regular posters on (RIP) used to have a tag on all his posts, "never forget: Larry Tanenbaum is evil". I'd like to know what's really going on behind the scenes with the Argos. My speculation is that it may not be good. But I don't really know much of anything for sure.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...Rogers ...TSN ...Bell Media ...setting the stage for a bid on the next CFL TV contract..or maybe a merger of TSN/Bell/Rogers into a Mega Company .... eventually swallowing up Rod, Scruffy and the Sports Cage towards a New Global Sports Empire!

Anonymous said...

This can't be good for the CFL.

CM said...

It can only be good for the CFL.! Rogers tried to kill off the CFL and brought in the disastrous Bills in Toronto series. I remember living in Toronto then Bills players didn't want to play there. Eric Wood was like we have no fans here. The place was half empty and fans wore jerseys of teams not even playing in the game. NFL dream is dead there the Bills in Toronto series was killed due to lack of interest on both sides to continue. The fact Rogers is in the tent is somewhat surprising but good for the CFL. Maybe Rogers will bid on next CFL contract which will only be good for league to have competition for rights and more coverage.

Anonymous said...

I thought we had laws about monopolies in Canada.

Anonymous said...

Rogers shot down that suggestion Wednesday when asked about why the change of interest in the CFL team.

"As we have said there are no plans to sell the Jays,'' a Rogers spokeswoman said.

Yup that sure answers the question.

My thought is nothing will change in the Centre of the Universe for the CFL. This is a business decision. Losses to offset huge profits to minimize tax.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic news for the CFL, just Fantastic!