CFL ratings report: Riders-Ticats game posts massive number

So last week, I discussed how the ratings for TSN’s Thursday night broadcasts had underperformed when compared to the other days of the week. Well, there seems to be a quick and easy solution: let the Saskatchewan Roughriders play every Thursday.

The Riders game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last Thursday posted a whopping 741,100 average audience on TSN, far and away the highest-rated game of the 2018 season. There were just four regular-season games that posted numbers in excess of 700K in all of 2017. The Riders played in three of them.

Indeed, Saskatchewan posted the highest average television audience in the league last season by a considerable margin: their 612,000 number was a full 8.3 per cent higher than the next nearest club, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Here are the average audiences for each team in 2017.

Team Average
1. Saskatchewan 612,000
2. Winnipeg 565,000
3. Edmonton 553,000
4. Calgary 522,000
5. Hamilton 508,000
6. B.C. 482,000
7. Toronto 456,000
8. Ottawa 434,000
9. Montreal 396,000

The Alouettes’ number doesn’t include French-language RDS, which would likely boost them higher up the table.

The other thing that stands out: the performance of the Argos who, despite having dismal attendance numbers, still seem to draw relatively well for TSN. The Ottawa number is interesting too: is it possible that Redblacks fans like to go to games but don’t necessarily tune in on TV?

We’re only four weeks into the regular season so it’s far too early to draw conclusions in part because the teams that have played Saskatchewan – including Hamilton and Toronto – have skewed numbers.

Team Average +/-
1. Saskatchewan 652,000 +6.5
2. Hamilton 587,000 +15.5
3. Toronto 548,000 +20.2
4. Calgary 527,000 +1.0
5. B.C. 499,000 +3.5
6. Montreal 495,000 +25
7. Edmonton 485,000 -12.3
8. Ottawa 461,000 +6.2
9. Winnipeg 452,000 -20.0

Across the board, the ratings picture continues to be promising. Week four ratings were up nearly seven per cent while year-to-date TSN has seen their number climb by over five per cent.

Week 4 ratings

Hamilton at Saskatchewan: 741,400

Ottawa at Montreal: 393,900

Saturday (early)
Edmonton at Toronto: 477,900

Saturday (late)
B.C. at Winnipeg: 466,800

Drew Edwards is the founder of 3DownNation but has since wandered off. Beard in the photo not exactly as shown.