I found some more stories on the CIS, mostly on the format change for the nationals.

Links:
:. [Halifax Chronicle-Herald: CIS hockey tourney gets makeover]
:. [Halifax Chronicle-Herald: CIS priority should be all about promotion]
:. [Yahoo: CIS introduces Super Championship Weekend for basketball and hockey: here’s the pros and cons]
:. [SportsNet.ca: CIS tweaks hockey, basketball championships]


The first C-H story has quotes from two AUS coaches. IMO they miss the mark. Their concern is that after an opening loss, teams are eliminated after one game under the new format. Duh! The present format ensured that at least 3 teams were eliminated with one loss each year.

Quote Originally Posted by Glenn McDonald
“There will be two distinct casualties and all I can say is I hope it’s the seventh and eighth seed,” Saint Mary’s Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg said in an interview Tuesday.

“I would feel awful for anybody who lost the first game, and it’s very easy to do. I think it’s very unfair to have a team fly in all the way from Alberta and they could be gone in one game.

“You have to respect the decision. We’ll try it out and see what happens. But no true hockey people are happy with it.”

...

Acadia head coach Darren Burns, who guided the Atlantic conference champion Axemen to last week’s University Cup in Saskatoon, said he “doesn’t have any objections” to the format change.

“I know some people are concerned about a lose-and-you’re-out scenario,” Burns said. “It seems to work with NCAA basketball. They get a lot of hype around it.”

Acadia lost 4-2 to the Windsor Lancers in its first game at last week’s nationals. The Axemen needed to beat the host Saskatchewan Huskies by at least three goals in their next game to even have a shot at playing in the championship final. They ended up losing 3-2.

“If you lose once now, you’re already behind the 8-ball,” Burns said. “I don’t think this new format deviates from that too much.”
The second C-H story dealt with the usual cost/benefit arguments and then turned to the marketing aspect. IMO this is where having SportsNet committed could be a big thing. But with NHL hockey dominating their Saturday nights, adding eight semi-final games might make it hard to squeeze it all in. Maybe a Monday night men's hockey final?

Quote Originally Posted by Chris Cochrane
But I’m wondering if too much attention is being focused on tournament format changes and not enough on what has become the real challenge for market-driven CIS sports.

That is the lack of effective promotion.

Why is it that the CIS offers the highest calibre of amateur hockey in Canada, yet in many areas struggles to meet the attendance numbers that would normally be associated with junior A hockey?

Why, in such a hockey-fixated nation, do CIS programs not better capitalize on the high-profile status of former major junior players for promotional reasons?

Why do many university officials passively accept that such a strong product as CIS men’s hockey isn’t being properly promoted in the sports marketplace or the local community, yet do little or nothing to help correct that situation?
The Yahoo story covers the ups and downs but adds some stats about the football viewership. IMO it might be better for hockey (at least) if TSN held the rights. For one thing, the same show on TSN doubles its ratings over SportsNet, and even more from SportsNet 360. Plus with TSN lacking a national hockey product they might have incentive to promote. Then again, SportsNet showd their commitment to the CIS by forking over the money.

Quote Originally Posted by Neate Sager
Sportsnet, with a media partnership that runs through 2018-19, is committed to giving university sports a bigger platform. The network's early returns have been lukewarm, though. English-language viewership for football's Vanier Cup in on Sportsnet 360 late November was about 65 per cent lower than it was for the 2012 championship that was aired on TSN's main channel as part of its 2012 Grey Cup coverage. At least there is a willingness to try something semi-halfway radical to break outside of the traditional CIS nice. It announced on Thursday that is going to pack its four basketball and hockey championships into the second week of March, with the hockey tournaments also adopting hoops' Final 8 format as previously reported by Eh Game.