TV Ratings: Riders win the day but Invictus rules the roost

With the Toronto Blue Jays wrapping up their dismal season and hockey not yet in full swing, the CFL was able to post a rare ratings win last Friday night.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders late comeback victory over the Ottawa Redblacks was the most-watched sports broadcast on Sept. 29 with an average audience of 466,000 on TSN. That narrowly beat out an NHL pre-season game (451,000) and trounced the Jays (180,000) who were no doubt impacted by the 1 p.m. EST start time on a work day.

Saturday’s Edmonton Eskimos game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was the most-watched CFL broadcast of the week with 657,000 viewers but the closing ceremonies of the Invictus Games won the day with 910,000. It was also the most-watched sporting event of the weekend.

The weeklong event, aimed at helping the war wounded with their recovery, was capped with a two-hour closing ceremony at Air Canada Centre.

Sunday’s early NFL game averaged 719,000 on CTV with the late game hauling in 450,000.

For the week, the CFL averaged 490,000 viewers on TSN, down from the season average of 510,000.

Week 16 English-language CFL ratings

Friday (early)
Saskatchewan at Ottawa: 466,000

Friday (late)
Montreal at Calgary: 363,000

Saturday (early)
Toronto at Hamilton: 474,000

Saturday (late)
Winnipeg at Edmonton: 657,000

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.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1097 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.

21 Comments on TV Ratings: Riders win the day but Invictus rules the roost

  1. That terrible Als team is really dragging down ratings this season

  2. Lancaster/Reed // October 6, 2017 at 5:10 pm //

    I know Rider articles get the most views generally, but putting the riders in the headlines is a little like bait and switch here. Bombers-Esks game had almost 200,000 more viewers. Give credit where credit is due . ( Assuming everyone sees the riders in the headline, and its not just a regional thing.)

  3. Lancaster/Reed // October 6, 2017 at 5:21 pm //

    Anyone know why RDS french language viewership doesnt get included in the numbers? Im sure it would bring the montreal games viewership numbers up by quite a bit.

    • You’d have to ask Edwards why he doesn’t include them. Perhaps he can’t get them? This is an off year for the Als, so it may be down a bit this year, but in general it’s a good number, iirc in the 350+ range. I believe that when the RedBlacks play the Als many of the French speaking RedBlacks fans also watch on RDS, so those games have especially strong RDS numbers.

  4. Have to agree with Lancaster. Bombers/Esks game won “the day”, no offence to Riders. Competing vs stronger competiton with Invictus closing rather than NHL exhibition as well. Most compelling game last week. I would venture a guess that this week the Rider/Argos game should have the most viewership as looks like the best contest. Headline a bit misleading.

    • Lancaster/Reed // October 6, 2017 at 6:22 pm //

      Lots of good matchups this week. Riders/argos should be the closest game, but we should see good battles with an excellent bomber team facing the ticats who are now much better than their record, and the Lions/Redblack should be very entertaining as well. Sorry Esk/Alouettes, ( worst game of the week) montreal under kavis is such a gong show, it should be a esks rout.

  5. Encouraging viewership for the most part. Starting immediately I think the CFL,teams and cities need to sit down and put some creative marketing ideas on the table to keep asses in seats to keep our game alive moving forward.

    • Lancaster/Reed // October 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm //

      Agreed yup. The CFL is a very entertaining game, and the league as a whole needs to find a way to get more asses in the seats, since the league is still very much driven by gate receipts ( despite decent money from TSN.) getting rid of most of the challenges has already made the game a lot more watchable, and if they can improve the reffing, it will also make games more watchable.

  6. Glad to see that TSN has avoided cutting games off a channel after 58 minutes. They did this when Saskatchewan was in Ottawa. This should have been noted by the “sport” writers. Of course it was not.

    • Lancaster/Reed // October 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm //

      Im lucky as i have TSN2 etc and was able to switch channels to watch the end. But it was still a WTF moment.

      • Still pis*ed about that. I have all channels but was behind in the game on TSN1. By the time I got to the point that where they switched the game was already over on the other channels.

    • Lancaster/Reed // October 6, 2017 at 6:58 pm //

      To be fair Hootoil, it wasnt quite on par with the HEIDI debacle, but for it to get zero national media attention is strange.

  7. Where’s horsey….poor showing by stamps audiences.

  8. This is a CFL dedicated site lol? Terrible website if they were any good theyd be in the usa covering nascar lol Good luck with your journalism degree if the league ever does fold . Im sure the nfl media has all the people they all ready need covering their league. not coming back

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