Canadian Sports Ratings Update: October 27

Here are the latest ratings as the CFL and Baseball postseason continue to benefit from the lack of hockey. And hockey from 20 years ago benefits from no hockey this year. Thanks to Whitey Fisk and Bill Brioux for publicizing many of these.

WPG-TOR, Oct 19, TSN: 688, 000
EDM-BC, Oct 19, TSN: 729, 000
MTL-SSK, Oct 20, TSN: 720, 000
HAM-CGY, Oct 20, TSN: 929, 000

NYY-DET (g3), Oct 16, SN: 799, 000
SF-STL (g4), Oct 18, SN: 398, 000
SF-STL (g5), Oct 19, SN: 487, 000
STL-SF (g6), Oct 21, SN: 497, 000
STL-SF (g7), Oct 22, SN: 645, 000

NYJ-NE, Oct 21, Citytv: 487, 000
PIT-CIN, Oct 21, TSN: 448, 000
DET-CHI,Oct 22, TSN: 560, 000

CGY-VAN (’94), Oct 20, CBC: 217, 000

All numbers are BBM Canada AMA 2+

First off, anyone who says the NFL is way more popular than the CFL needs to look at these numbers. Yes, many watch the NFL on Sunday afternoon on American nets or Sunday Ticket, but the three big nationally televised games were all well below the CFL standard.

I’m not sure of the exact percentage change, but Sportsnet’s LCS ratings were up over last year. Games 1 and 3 of the Yankees series was far and away better than thar 528, 000 high mark from last season. Giants-Cardinals averaged 477, 000 viewers for the six games that weren’t affected by rain.

25 thoughts on “Canadian Sports Ratings Update: October 27

  1. CFL ratings always amaze me. I honestly do not know anyone in the GTA (friends, relatives/co-workers/casual acquaintances) aged 18-45 that watches the CFL. Can these ratings be broken down by area?
    Anyone here agree? Is the CFL an “old timers” league or is it just my circle that doesn’t watch?

    • Yeah they can be broken down, I don’t have access to that information though. Seperate ratings are kept for Quebec (French only), Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The league is very popular in Quebec and from Manitoba-west, which probably accounts for the majority of its ratings.

    • Where I’m from out in eastern Ontario, I never hear anybody discussing football (CFL/NFL) or basketball. It’s either hockey or baseball. Even when I commute into head office of the firm I work for which is in Markham, it’s either hockey or baseball (Blue Jays) talk “around the water cooler” there. I’ve never heard one discussion of Argos/CFL, Raptors, NFL in the office there either. People were discussing the Tour de France this past summer strangely enough though!

    • Yes it is in your circle of the GTA in which the CFL ratings are the lowest. there were practically 0 football ratings in Quebec before the TSN began televising all of the Montreal Als games on the French Network RDS. As for Western Canada people watch both but especially the 4 prairies teamd WIN, SASK, CAL, and EDM the CFL is the top show.
      Although the NFL was expecting much better ratings in soutern Ontario GTA region with the Bills scheduled to play yearly games at Rogers center. This may indeed ultimatley lead to the Bills to move to LA do to its smaller market, not as much suport from the GTA as they had hoped for, and the unlikley ability fot Buffalo to build an Ubdated NFL facitiy.

  2. Will be interesting to see the Canadian ratings for the World Series considering how terrible they have been in the US.

    • I sense they’ll be about on par with the ALCS, but maybe not. Football on Thursday probably hurt more in the US than it did here. And the lack of hockey will certainly help. There’s no direct CFL competition either.

  3. I wouldn’t say the NFL is way more popular than the CFL, but I also don’t think its behind it. The Sunday Ticket and American broadcasts are a pretty big technicality that makes regular season comparison pretty tough. I mean, if around half of the reported audience was watching the one of the Sunday games through other means not captured by BBM (either the 4pm one on Sportsnet or the primetime matchup on NBC) then the real audience is right where 3 of the CFL games are.

    Another thing is the playoff audience numbers get reversed where there isn’t the audience splintering. I don’t just mean the Super Bowl and the Grey Cup; the NFL conference and wild card games are ahead of the comparable CFL rounds.

    Finally, any rumours about a new TV deal for the CFL yet? I imagine Grey Cup week would be a good time to announce it.

    • The playoff games are actually fairly similar. The Grey Cup used to be very close to the Super Bowl, but the Super Bowl ratings have taken off like crazy the past 3 or so years.

      I haven’t heard anything about the new CFL deal. Personally, I hope CBC gets in on it just because I don’t like one network having every game, really. If TSN retains exclusive rights, then yeah, Grey Cup week would probably make sense. Last time around it was announced in December, I believe.

      • The ratings on your own site show last years AFC/NFC Championships averaged 2.2 million. The CFL East/West Finals averaged a little over 1.5 million so there is a bit of a gap.

        I still don’t see the CBC getting in on a deal with the way things are going there, didn’t they just announce more cost reductions last week? They’ve already committed a lot to the Olympics and need to keep a lot of dry powder for the NHL negotiations. Maybe if the order of the deals were reversed and they knew the NHL was going to Bell I could see them stepping up with some of the money in order to keep some semblance of CBC sports alive between Sochi and Rio.

        • A bit of a gap, yes. But I think it is important to remember other factors. NFL games are played later in the day (1 is in primetime in the east). And the NFL has virtually no competition that day. The CFL playoffs go against a bunch of other NFL games.

          The question for CBC is can they make money on CFL? If they can, then there’s no doubt they will bid until the price gets to a point they can’t. TSN does have an exclusive bidding period (it may have already passed), so CBC might not even have a chance at rights.

          The more and more I think of it, I think the NHL will sell 3 broadcasting packages. 1 for CBC Saturday nights (with a reduction in the # of games), 1 for TSN and 1 for Sportsnet. The demand for content is there to do an NFL-like deal where everybody gets something.

  4. It blows my mind the rating the CFL get. I literally don’t know anyone that watches it. It’ve always suspected it very popular in cities that actually have a team. And that no-one outside those cities care about it. I love NFL football and enjoy watch NCAA football as well, but i couldnt sit through 10 mins of a CFL game

    • The people living in a bubble are people like John & justa watcher. They’re just not in touch with the rest of Canada. With a thing called the internet, it is fairly easy to get to know what stokes your fellow Canadians beyond hockey.

      Just watch the documentary TSN had – now posted on their site – about the Sask fans. It rivals any NFL or US college fandom given that just over 1 million people only live there.

      • Justin my friend, if you read the post I actually asked questions. Notice the question marks? Live in a bubble? That’s just a dumb statement.
        I said I don’t know anyone that watches. I didn’t say nobody watches. I’m not surprised Saskatchewan fans love the CFL. That’s the only “major” sports team they have. That’s not a knock. If I lived there I’d probably be a diehard too.
        I didn’t put down the CFL. Just because Sask fans are crazy for the riders, doesn’t mean we all know CFL fans.
        Sorry you misunderstood, and sorry I hurt your feelings. No bubble here!

      • I’m by no means “living in a bubble”, I never said i dispute the amount of people watching the CFL. I’m just surprised with how popular the league actually is. It’s probably because I live in Atlantic Canada where I can honestly say I never hear anyone mentioning it, but know lots off people that follow the NFL full out. The fact that there are no CFL teams out east here most likely plays the main factor, its just until I begain following this website and saw the ratings I never would of though more people n Canada tune into a CFL game than say The World Series or your average NFL game on sunday.

        I meant no disrespect to teh CFL fans in this country, I can just honestly say I didn’t think there was THAT many of them.

        • I’m from the maritimes too, and I don’t really know that many who watch it, at least regularly. I was surprised at how many wore Tiger Cats or Stampeders gear to the game in Moncton last year.

        • if you call yourselves football fans, live in Canada and are taken aback about why the CFL gets good tv ratings, then if you’re not in a bubble, you must be living under a rock in terms of understanding the football landscape in Canada.

          But at least unlike many, you’re on this site and learning.

  5. How many people on here watch the CFL? I know I do and I know lots of my friends all between the ages of 30-40 that watch it.

  6. It always amazes me that people are “startled” by facts: A reflection more of what they want to believe than a willingness to do so. In this case, it reflects a longstanding media bias against the CFL and a perception created by comments such as the Rouge’s own– instead of stating “anyone who says the NFL is way more popular than the CFL needs to look at these numbers.” Actually, the statement should be “As usual, the CFL’s ratings beat the NFL’s, and the CFL remains the second most watched sport in Canada after hockey.” The NFL’s regular season ratings in Canada have never, aside from a few outlier events, beaten the CFL, even head-to-head. The NFL’s ratings in Canada are bumped up by not facing any competition when the CFL season ends, being on the broadcast network (3 million + more homes) and by being shilled by media outlets shamelessly (all the jock media, who only follow ESPN, think the NFL is cool– how can the CFL outdraw it?). Last year, the BBM ratings showed that the “most viewed” day in Canadian television was the day of the Grey Cup– in part because the Grey Cup faced a full slate of NFL games, a Ottawa Senators game, and CTV’s primetime broadcast sked. The SB, on the other hand, faces virtually no competition.

    • My comment was not meant to be biased against CFL. I know quite well that the CFL tends to beat the NFL during the regular season week in-week out.

    • “The SB, on the other hand, faces virtually no competition.”

      There’s a very good reason for that. No one puts a valued product out in front of a speeding frieght train.
      The broadcast network difference might account for some of the difference but the penetration spread is not 3 million homes and PPMs have reduced this effect. Plus, it pales in comparison to the pro-CFL bias that gets introduced with BBM’s methodology limitations (something that rarely gets mentioned when people boast about these “facts”).
      TSN shills the hell out of both leagues and other outlets produce a lot of positive coverage for both. Or are you one of these people who think someone like Stephen Brunt hates the CFL because he can acknowledge the league isn’t perfect?

  7. The fact is, the CFL faces all kinds of competition, including for the Grey Cup, that the SB does not. How much does this account for in viewership? I am not sure what you mean by the “pro-CFL bias that gets introduced with BBM’s methodology limitations”– please explain further.

    While TSN does shill the heck out of both leagues, one can’t say the same for Rogers, or The Score. This has a real impact on perception. Brunt, who recently published a book, “100 Grey Cups:This is Our Game”, obviously is a fan of the league, but check out Dowbiggin’s piece on CFL ratings from a few weeks ago: The ratings are up this year from last, but that’s a slump. Of course, if you take a historic high from 2010 and make this your only benchmark, ratings are always going to be down…

  8. The BBM limitations he is referring to is not being able to Cdn track viewers watching CBS, NBC, ABC or Fox. But in looking at NFL matches only available on TSN or simulcast on CTV/Citytv, it isn’t as if the ratings are markedly different vs matches shown on both TSN & NBC.

    Plus, some have also mentioned about viewers who watch other games through sports packages but again I don’t there is enough here to move the needle.

    As you mentioned, being startled by facts shows the limited universe they live in i.e. too much of their sports info coming from down south.

  9. Thanks for the review. It will be very useful for those who don’t want to manually configure things.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s