Riders driving CFL TV ratings so far this season

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have been the straw that stirs the drink when it comes to the CFL’s TV ratings this season

The Riders second game in the new Mosaic Stadium last Saturday averaged 628,000 viewers on TSN – the best number of the week – despite the fact it started at 8 p.m. local time (10 p.m. EST.) The Riders were the top TV draw in the first two weeks of the season as well.

Saskatchewan is on a bye this week, meaning the numbers aren’t likely to get much of a bump from the season average of 502,000 viewers, down more than 15 per cent from last season’s 592,000.

Week 3 English language CFL ratings

B.C. at Montreal: 362,000

Calgary at Winnipeg: 478,000

Toronto at Ottawa: 453,000
Hamilton at Saskatchewan.: 628,000

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1418 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

62 Comments on Riders driving CFL TV ratings so far this season

  1. lochtess // July 13, 2017 at 1:09 pm //


  2. tick..tick..tick..crickets from cowtown

  3. Eddiefelson // July 13, 2017 at 1:20 pm //

    Of course it is entirely possible it was Hamilton driving the viewing audience.

  4. With more and more households moving away from cable tv, this will continue to decline. I barely know anybody in their 20s that has cable. Almost all only have Netflix and that’s it. (I am 29 and I do have cable)

  5. Scottsask // July 13, 2017 at 1:30 pm //

    Let’s not forget at the gate too. You’re welcome CFL. Gooooo Riders!

  6. grumblingaboutgreen // July 13, 2017 at 1:37 pm //

    watching the RIDERS appeals to the SAME PART of our psychology that leads us to RUBBERNECK at accidents on the highway. a lot of CURIOSITY as to HOW things could have got that badly MESSED UP as well as maybe a smidge of SCHADENFREUDE in the air in riderhole? YOU tell ME!

    • Yeah, the Riders sure have looked brutal so far this year eh? Especially considering their +13 point differential through 3 games…

    • grumbling… you don’t even make any sense. I have a very valid question. Are you a little slow? It would add everything up perfectly.

    • riderontheisland // July 13, 2017 at 4:53 pm //

      is that the smartest thing you can come up with?????? Why bother.

  7. Green with Jealous rage much you trolls? Finally a positive article from 3Down on the Riders. We are on bye this week and still get this much attention, its almost like everyone loves us. 😉

  8. Marty-Moose // July 13, 2017 at 1:45 pm //

    No doubt Rider-nation drives TV ratings on TSN. Also- the later time slot helps. Smart for TSN to have Riders scheduled for 8pm game, especially during summer months. Also- likely some casual fans tune in to see the new stadium. Will be interesting to see ratings Esks get for a Friday night, 8pm local start time this week.

  9. Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm //

    You know the saying:
    Everyone enjoys a train wreck. Maybe people are waiting to see the implosion (or expolsion). The chance to see Carter lose it or the riders get creamed or Jones
    commit another felon is just too tempting not to watch

    I’ve brough this up before and it cannot be discredited: The Saskatchewan pays for airtime during games. Culd tehre be some mutual “back scratching” going on

    • Orrrrr We have the best fan base in the CFL that actually tune in to the game to watch their team? Not our fault there isn’t more fans like ours out there.

      • Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 6:27 pm //

        TSN gives the riders prime time spot too. That helps. Another example of favoritism towards riders

        • Horsee, pretty simple mathematics too … greatest fans, greatest stadium, nicest uniforms, best receivers in the country, cutest cheerleaders and best head coach. Pretty well sums that up. Any other questions?

    • If I understand your theory correctly, based on the numbers, you’re suggesting that about 200,000 CFL fans every week tune in to Riders games hoping for a train wreck, and don’t bother to watch their own team’s games? Maybe don’t quit your day job…

    • Please…go feed your horse !!

    • You know all about imploding don’t ya horse feathers. November 27 comes to mind

  10. A positive article about Rider nation? Wow! I am impressed! I love this website and check it every hour, but it sucks when my team only has negative stories about them. Good job Drew! Keep it up!

    P.S: Horsie will have something negative to say so here is my response: We have the best fans in the CFL plain and simple. We are the CFL. Look at how the number of viewers will go down this week because we are not playing. Horsieland, go home to your stable, you are drunk.

    • CC Rider // July 14, 2017 at 9:27 am //

      “A positive article about Rider nation? Wow! I am impressed! I love this website and check it every hour, but it sucks when my team only has negative stories about them.”

      I used to feel that way about the Renegades back in the day but you have to accept that reporters report what there is to report. In the last couple of years, there has been precious little positivity to come out of that organization (not counting the stadium). Fines, players leaving under bad terms, poor on-field performance…You can’t shoot the messenger with this stuff.

      This was a positive and it was reported. As it should be.

    • CC Rider // July 14, 2017 at 9:30 am //

      “We are the CFL.”

      No, you’re not. You’re really, really not. You’re a big part of it, undeniably, but you are not the league.

      And if some of your colleagues showed a bit more humility on occasion, you might find that those negative stories you’re so tired of don’t get quite so blown up by people who love watching you all fall on your asses.

  11. Riders13 // July 13, 2017 at 2:05 pm //

    Well, I for one will be watching as much CFL as possible this weekend but won’t be able to watch all of the games, or at least the entirety of the games. Too many exciting games in the 1st 3 weeks to not expect more of the same.

    • justforkicks // July 13, 2017 at 2:23 pm //

      Ditto my friend, I love the CFL and unless my riders are playing I typically cheer for Edmonton or whoever the current underdog is.
      (I’m sure horsie will jump all over that comment too.)
      Maybe we should get 3d to make the spambot question a two digit answer, sure to stop the troll(er).

    • If you can’t watch all the games you can record them.
      The recorded games get rated too

  12. Looks like Dyakowski was right, Hamilton does have the best fans. Why is the report giving credit to the regina dummies? Does this help their massive inferiority complex?

    • Pretty simple, get the stats from the previous two weeks and compare Ham to Sask. See who draws more fans. Or ask for the stats regionally. That should settle it.

    • The Ticat game in Week 1 was the lowest rated game so far this season

    • Lol Norm, are you smoking something funky?

  13. Phil Miller // July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm //

    I wonder if the 592000 average from last year was from the first 3 weeks or for the whole season. If the CFL is really down 16% through the first three weeks, this is very concerning and a much bigger story than the Riders driving viewership.

    • I believe it’s the season average. The excuses last year for low ratings in August was the Olympics, low ratings in Sept due to World Cup of Hockey,
      low ratings in October due to the Jays.
      November it was the TFC playoff run and MLS Championship game
      NO excuses this year

  14. Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 6:31 pm //

    There’s all types of law professionals watching because Chris Jones cases have all come across their desks

    • Hmm Horse – Is Campbell selling you stuff too….or just his clients in the States

      • Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 9:31 pm //

        The Campbell story is old new. Why do rider fans keep going to the well with that? I guess it’s all they have over Calgary!

  15. Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 6:49 pm //

    I’ve noticed my cable box does funny things during CFL games this year, is it skewing the numbers?
    OK seriously;
    Sask is very rural and not a lot of opinions on a Saturday night. Calgary,Tor,van,edmon,mtl all have things going on… Have people in sask heard of a thing called the Calgary Stampede???

    I think Rider fans need to take pause sometimes and consider these factors. I’m as big a CFL fan as you will find and it pains me to say this but; the sophistication of the larger cities provide for options beyond CFL. The fact MORE people follow it in Sask isn’t necessarily always a good thing. Rather it just shows and validates it’s small time status

    • The stats don’t say where the viewership is. I’d venture to guess its pretty balanced. The Stampede is halfway through, so I’m not sure what that comment was related to. Does the Stampede even get air time anymore…Lets see how many Stamps fans watch the Al’s game tomorrow.

      • Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 8:03 pm //

        The point I’m making is Calgarians spent last weeks game and this weeks at stampede instead of sitting at home watching football. Stampede is huge, more than 100,000 attend everyday

        • Uhhh…..so you are saying if they weren’t out “whooping it up” even more people would have tuned in ????? Oh horse your logic is something else

    • You need to stop. In Calgary they have the Stampede Show Band and the Stampeder bandwagon.

    • RIDERS RULE // July 13, 2017 at 8:57 pm //

      This is about Rider fans all over the nation you idiot!

  16. I’m from the States and I don’t miss a game. If not in tv I watch on Espn3. I’m very puzzled why the ratings are so down?? Love this game. Very entertaining too? Just don’t get it?

    • Harrison // July 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm //

      Not sure why they don’t include other viewers – I am a Ti-Cats fan and watched on BT Sport in the UK where almost all CFL games are on live.

  17. Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 9:01 pm //

    I read out in the ether one time an article by some guy that said numerically Saskatchewan has the most TV sales than any other province.
    Here in Alberta I only have 5 myself but thinking of adding 1 for each of my 3 washrooms and another for my hallway

  18. Lol ppl who live in Saskatchewan just to seem to get it, no one really cares about the cfl. The ratings decline tell the story

  19. Hey horsie…its not just TV viewership…Ive been to Rider home gams at McMann Stadium… More green in the stands than red.

    • Hors E Power // July 13, 2017 at 11:57 pm //

      Categorically false!

      • CC Rider // July 14, 2017 at 9:35 am //

        False in every location. More baseless back-patting. This undying need to be recognized and the tendency to overstate their success/loyalty seems irrationally insecure.

  20. It is good to see the Viewership is up on TV but we need to see those butts in the Seats, Bombers and Argos are playing decent ball and drawing in crowds, and yes people want to watch the CFL’s Version of Peyton Place as who is going to get Fined, What is Jones up to now, or someone got butthurt on Twitter… The Draw Next week will be the STAMPS and RIDERS….so if yer around McMahon, get a ticket…and watch it LIVE……

    • Hors E Power // July 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm //

      most tickets already sold ..to stamps fan,
      The riders create an illusion of more people by standing on seats and waving banners and flags. It’s all an illusion. I’ve been to many many many stamp, rider games, occasionally they sell out but only when the riders are on a winning streak. I suspend next week will sell out based on the big winning streak they at currently experiencing.

  21. You ever notice when you prove horsie wrong, he just vanishes and never says anything again regarding the topic. I asked him a very valid question not once, but twice and he just refuses to respond to it.
    Yeah that “historic” or “relic” of a statium will actually be sold out the first time this year thanks to us. You guys could be winning and you still can’t fill the seats. Our past couple of losing seasons, we still sold more tickets then you guys when you had a win streak going… Pretty sad if you ask me.

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