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Canadian Football League: Dates, teams, schedule & history

If you need more football to watch, the Canadian Football League is a high-quality option.

This article will outline the Canadian Football League, which is currently ongoing, and we will give you an overview of how this league works, the 2023 schedule, and the history behind it.

When does the CFL take place?

The Canadian Football League typically runs from mid-June to late-November.

The 2023 Canadian Football League regular season started on Thursday, June 8th, 2023 and will conclude on November 19th, 2023 with the Grey Cup.

What is the format of the CFL?

The Canadian Football League is made up of a total of nine teams. There are two divisions, four teams in the East and five teams in the West:

East

  • Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  • Montreal Alouettes
  • Ottawa Redblacks
  • Toronto Argonauts

West

  • BC Lions
  • Calgary Stampeders
  • Edmonton Elks
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Once the regular season has concluded, six teams (three from each division) will advance to the playoffs.

This will include the winner of each division, who will receive a bye into the divisional finals. The second-placed team in each division will host the third-placed team.

The exception to this format is the 'Crossover Rule'.

This states that if the fourth-placed team in either division has a better record than the third-placed team in the opposite division, they will replace said third-placed team and will instead play the second-placed team, despite being in different divisions.

How can I watch the CFL?

TSN and RDS will be providing coverage, as will the CBS Sports Network, which is exclusively broadcasting 34 games this season.

Otherwise you can live stream games by using the free CFL+ platform on the CBS Sports Network website.

What is the schedule for the CFL?

Below is the schedule for the 2023 Canadian Football League. Note that seven weeks have already been completed and we are currently in week eight of the regular season:

Preseason

  • Week 1: May 22nd
  • Week 2: May 26th to May 27th 
  • Week 3: June 1st to June 2nd

Regular Season

  • Week 1: June 8th to June 11th
  • Week 2: June 15th to June 18th
  • Week 3: June 22nd to June 25th
  • Week 4: June 30th to July 3rd
  • Week 5: July 6th to July 9th
  • Week 6: July 13th to July 15th
  • Week 7: July 20th to July 23rd
  • Week 8: July 28th to July 30th
  • Week 9: August 3rd to August 6th
  • Week 10: August 10th to August 13th
  • Week 11: August 17th to August 20th
  • Week 12: August 24th to August 27th
  • Week 13: September 2nd to September 4th
  • Week 14: September 8th to September 9th
  • Week 15: September 15th to September 16th
  • Week 16: September 22nd to September 23rd
  • Week 17: September 29th to September 30th
  • Week 18: October 6th to October 9th
  • Week 19: October 13th to October 14th
  • Week 20: October 20th to October 21st
  • Week 21: October 27th to October 28th

Playoffs

Eastern and Western Semi-Finals

  • November 4th, 3:00 PM ET (Eastern)
  • November 4th, 6:30 PM ET (Western)

Eastern and Western Finals

  • November 11th, 3:00 PM ET (Eastern)
  • November 11th, 6:30 PM ET (Western)

Grey Cup

  • November 19th, 2023, 6:00 PM ET

History

The Canadian Football League we have today started in 1958. Between 1993 and 1995, the CFL attempted to expand into the United States, but ultimately that was a failed project and none of the America-based teams were able to survive.

As mentioned, there are nine teams in the CFL today and, while it is a niche market for most American sports fans, the CFL has been able to catch the attention of football fans especially during the summer months when the NFL is out of season.

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