Blue Jays TV ratings down even more than the CFL

While the CFL’s TV ratings on TSN may be down this year, the struggling Toronto Blue Jays have seen their numbers take an even more significant dip.

According to the Canadian Press, the Jays averaged 706,300 viewers on Sportsnet compared to 895,400 over the same time period last season – a decline of over 21 per cent.

After making the playoffs the last two seasons, the team is currently 52-59 and in last place in the American League East Division.

Meanwhile, a strong performance by Toronto FC has led to a spike in the team’s ratings, with games on TSN/CTV averaging 93,000 viewers this year in terms of total audience, compared to 59,000 over the same time period last season – a jump of over 57 per cent.

Toronto FC (12-3-8) is currently leading the Eastern Conference and MLS standings.

Canada’s two other teams are also doing well: the Vancouver Whitecaps’ season average is 86,000, compared to 69,000 in 2016 while the Montreal Impact are averaging 80,000, compared to 73,000 last season. Montreal (7-8-6) stands ninth in the East while Vancouver (9-8-4) is seventh in the West.

Of course, football, soccer and baseball have a way to go to catch hockey when it comes to TV audience. Sportsnet says last season’s Hockey Night in Canada’s ratings were up 11 per cent from 2015-16 with an average audience of 1.8 million viewers for the 7 p.m. ET game, and up six per cent (821,000 viewers) for the late game.

For the season, the CFL is averaging 506,000 viewers on TSN, down 14.5 per cent. With the Jays struggling, it will be interesting to see if the CFL will be able to make up some ground in September and October.

Week 7:

Calgary at Toronto: 444,000

Winnipeg at Ottawa: 513,000

Hamilton at Edmonton: 658,000

Saskatchewan at B.C.: 533,000

– with files from CP

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 (1397 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.

43 Comments on Blue Jays TV ratings down even more than the CFL

  1. IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm //

    Of course Bluejays numbers are down. Their brief “dynasty” is over and the band wagon is empty. Welcome to the world of professional sports.

    As for CFL numbers looks like Torontonians couldn’t bare to watch one of the greatest mismatches in CFL history.

    There is certainly room for rent on the Saskatchewan bandwagon. As I say, welcome to pro sports,,,,,and sports greatest myth

  2. Adam Wozny // August 9, 2017 at 1:14 pm //


    How are Blue Jays not doing lower, if they only have been getting 550,000-650,000 for the last month? They weren’t getting more than 900,000 at all this season, so I apologize but I argue these accurate numbers.

    There is no way TFC is averaging 93,000 if in July they had less than 50,000 twice, unless their CTV game hot huge numbers, which I believe were around 100,000. Again, averages do not add up.

    And Hockey numbers are down, and will continue to be down on SportsNet/CBC because SportsNet is a horrible network, and hockey fans do not have general access to acquiring these channels no longer. Who wants to pay $8 or $15 monthly to watch Sid and Tim or Sportsnet Central? pure garbage.

  3. Strange. I don’t recall any smug, condescending comments/articles from Arash about Blue Jays ratings…

    • Because even though the Blue Jays ratings are down they are considerably HIGHER than any CFL game.

      • Leo Lewis // August 9, 2017 at 4:57 pm //

        Big deal. McDonalds sells more hamburgers than a “Mom and Pop” restaurant, Barack Obama won two terms, hundred of millions of people around the world love soccer, and General Motors cars are big sellers.

        The quality of a product and it’s popularity are often an inverse proportion.

      • That has historically not been the case, and if you wait a couple of months I’m sure it won’t be the case again. And in any event, there’s only one Canadian MLB team that people like you generally claim all Canadians watch, but Canada is divided up into 9 fan bases for the CFL, so the Jays ratings should be much higher, but they’re not. They have historically been lower than even a single CFL game.

  4. Horsie Your right ???
    Sat Jul 1st Wpg @Ssk=33,350
    Sat Jul 8th Ham @Ssk=33,350
    Sat Jul 29th [email protected]=33,350
    Yes you are so right there is room for rent !!!
    Thur June 29th [email protected]=24,613
    Sat Jul 22nd [email protected]=30,274
    Sat Jul 29th [email protected]= 24,492
    Yep nice to see that there is room for rent in Calgary
    How can you be so right.
    Have a Great Day From an Esk. Fan

    • IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm //

      Not sure how long term attendance numbers mean anything regarding jumping on or off the bandwagon so to speak.
      Calgary’s numbers are consistent. Suggesting no bandwagon jumping
      Interested you bring up the figure for Cal vs Sask from July 22. Go back and look at the trend in Cal vs Sask at McMahon the last 4-5 years. You will see a downward slope. Proving my point about the Sask bandwagon.
      Lastly you are giving the figures of the first 3 games in a new stadium. Lets see if that continues has the “new stadium smell fades”
      Last year the old Mosiac had 1 sellout

    • Eddiefelson // August 9, 2017 at 2:16 pm //

      Thats 3 weeks in a row that hamilton has highest ratings- dont het too cocky lol

      • But are they really Hamilton ratings? or are the ratings due to their opponents fans?
        There are NO breakdowns of where the ratings are coming from. But considering the attendance and the ads that are geared towards Westerners, you can guarantee that the majority of TV viewers are in the WEST

        • That would mean fans of every team love seeing the tigercats as the opponent…..that doesn’t make sense.
          I guarantee, you’re an idiot.

          • Eddiefelson // August 9, 2017 at 5:25 pm //

            Thats right tom. Everybody picks a different team each week.
            Last week it was edmonton, the week before it was calgary…this week everyone will love winnipeg.
            Get a life loser boy. I love internet heros

          • Eddiefelson // August 9, 2017 at 5:47 pm //

            Sorry tom- that sounded like a blast against you- it wasn’t.

            It was against the numbskull above

        • Eddiefelson // August 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm //

          So if the western teams are playing western teams thebratings should be crazy.

          But they arent

          Because folks are tuning in to see the cats

          Nice try though

    • White Horse // August 9, 2017 at 6:28 pm //

      ESK18…Good for you. Pick and pull whatever games you want. Games for rent….OK…I bet viewership in Calgary for CFL games is far greater than the riders games in the entire province of Saskatchewan. Starting with a hundred more sports bars to watch the games in Calgary. Actual attendance at games? Still greater than Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg. Alberta lost 140,000 jobs in the oil patch. That is the only beat-down Alberta will take believe me.

      • Eddiefelson // August 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm //

        Ummm white horse…big crack problem in calgary too? Or just you?

        Ticats sell out every game AND have higest ratings for the last 3 weeks.


      • White Horse!1 Good for you pull up viewership give me numbers. Let talk about average home attendance people who paid at gate Edm and Ssk average more attendance Cal.and all other teams and I went back to year 2016 back to year 2011 GO ESK Number one team.and for the record I am not a rider fan Just being fair we need all teams to do well.

        • Esk 18 – I’m a Rider fan living in Calgary and travel frequently to Edmonton forvwork. I agree your Eskimos certainly have a great fan base. Even watching Rider games at the Duke of Argyle Pub in my hotel was a blast. Fans know how to have fun without being annoying. And hey…..435k and change for a 50/50 pretty much speaks for itself. Good luck tonight.

          • YUP:Thanks I have being to Ssk game had a good time with the Ssk fans great fan great people was treated very well .Hope the Rider do well the rest of the season.
            Have a great night

          • Good win – hope the couple of injuries aren’t too serious. Next man up is certainly the Esk motto this year

  5. Funny, Drew states ” strong performance by Toronto FC at 93,000. This numbers is pathetic. Darts on TSN4 outdraws TFC, kid you not.

    • But they can outdraw the Argos in attendance with crowds 3 times as big.
      Also Toronto FC is not going to have an audience outside of Toronto. I would guess that most of the 93k are in Toronto.
      Without seeing a breakdown, I think that the MLS has HIGHER TV ratings than the Argos!!

      • Yes you are correct, the TV ratings in Toronto for TFC are much higher than the Argos.
        I have a friend that works for a major advertising agency and not only are the ratings higher for TFC but the millenials are watching big time.
        Very few millenials in Toronto watching the Argos and advertising dollars are going to the Jays, TFC in the summer and not the Argos

        • Slimjim posting complete BS as usual. The Argonauts last game was 444,000 Nationally. TFC is averaging 93,000 Nationally.

      • ” I think that the MLS has HIGHER TV ratings than the Argos”

        You are comparing an entire league’s TV numbers to a single team? Grasping at straws are we?

  6. Unfortunately, Baseball as a youth sports in Canada is also getting lower. The # of Canadians who have enough knowledge to watch & comprehend Baseball is getting lower as well.Many Canadian Communities do not even have a Senior or higher club. Watching a game on TV without a time limit is to “difficult” for many potential viewers. Baseball has strategy. The ratings will continue to decline.That is too bad.

    • Details Details // August 9, 2017 at 10:56 pm //

      Why is declining enrolment in baseball unfortunate?
      Baseball is an incredibly boring, tedious “sport”.
      The term “pastime” is more suitable. It is a way to pass time. Like watching grass grow.

  7. Thanks for posting these numbers. The reason I was interested in these numbers was to put in perspective the lower CFL ratings. Point being all sports are seeing their numbers drop, not just the CFL. Historically CFL numbers jump after Labor Day, which I am sure will be the case this year. I do not need to “preach” to most people on this page, we are all (mostly) CFL fans. Having said that , there can be no denying the fact that most of the games have bee very close and very exciting. Even the RedBlacks who have one win have been great fun to watch.

  8. In regards to Hockey Night in Canada; I could be wrong about this, but don’t they combine the ratings of all 3 games into one show?

    • The Numeris ratings for the Jays are an average of 7 Games Sunday to Saturday.
      Same with the NHL ratings, an average weekly ratings.
      The CFL ratings too are for the 4 games.
      It’s funny that everyone tries to justify lower ratings for the CFL and say that it’s not too bad because the Jays are down and the NHL are down too???
      The ratings are down by 50k from last year no matter how anyone tries to sugar coat it.

      • Jays only had high numbers because they were winning.

        And I don’t care how you sugar coat it MLS TV numbers are embarrassing.

  9. So Blue Jays ratings are down but are still 40% higher than the CFL? And if Blue Jays are off so much plus there is no major sports event like the Oylmpics this year, whats the clueless PR monkey’s reason the CFL is off so much.

    • Yes they are still 40% higher than the CFL ratings.
      And the answer is for people to start talking about the Jays and TFC?????
      LOL – that’s funny

  10. The Jays rating will continue to slip below 500,000. I’m surprised the Thurs. night games don’t get better ratings

    • I think the Jays natural number is around 350k or 400k. Every 20 years or so the Jays go on a bit of a run and people who forgot they existed rediscover the Jays and MLB and jump on the bandwagon … and then when the Jays come back down to earth the people remember just how freakin’ boring this sport is to watch and the fall off the bandwagon again. It’s just not the kind of sport Canadians like to watch, unless you’re an old man half asleep in an old folks home.

  11. Very few people under age ~30-35 have cable anymore. Thus, a HUGE amount of the Canadian population is not accounted for in these numbers…. which makes the numbers baselines, but not actual numbers…

  12. No, these are the actual numbers. I’m not sure what you’re suggesting. People get counted whether they watch on cable, or in a bar, or a torrent. There’s a signal embedded in the broadcast that gets detected no matter how you watch it.

  13. Garcia98 // August 9, 2017 at 6:52 pm //

    Its easy to get caught up in the MLS vs. CFL argument, or spar over ratings between teams. The big picture/bigger issue is that TV ratings on the major cable networks continue to drop for all pro sports (except for the insignificant MLS numbers). Pro sports is heavily dependent on big money contracts from the networks for revenue and this is in jeopardy as each year passes. If this trend continues a league such as the CFL will quickly have to find other sources of revenue aside from traditional television. I’m hoping this new commissioner can be pro-active and get ahead of the curve by working on this NOW. If we wait a couple years it may be too late.

  14. SCHLEPPER // August 9, 2017 at 6:55 pm //

    Just wait as the CFL gets into 2/3 of the season …..ratings will climb as teams jocky for playoff spots. Blue Jays will become an after thought… year will get even worse. As for the SN and the NHL they have saturated the market and I find I watch less and less hockey. SN will continue to loss money

  15. Jim Corrigall // August 9, 2017 at 9:38 pm //

    For what it’s worth, my workplace has several millenials and they play video games and watch shows like ‘Game of Thrones’. They don’t really watch sports at all. A limited sample size, but still…when I was their age everyone watched and talked about sports.

  16. Baltimore CFLer // August 9, 2017 at 10:05 pm //

    Jays ratings go according to their record

    • richinbanff (Rich Wilson) // August 10, 2017 at 8:50 pm //

      As do those for all Toronto teams not named Maple Leaves. TFC is at a high water mark, because their team is good. We’ll see if they sustain it. The Argos can recapture what they have lost by having some sustained success. Toronto sports fans are similar to L.A. fans; they’ll back a winner but if you’re not winning it’s crickets.

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