When news broke that TSN was bringing back live mic games, one of the justifications for their return was the 10 per cent ratings bump the games supposedly enjoyed. But the CFL and the broadcaster hasn’t seen anywhere close to that kind of return so far in 2018.
In fact, the first four live mic games have averaged 456,000 viewers on TSN, almost 11 per cent worse than the overall average of 511,000.
Now, it’s a small sample size and it’s likely skewed by the fact that the Saskatchewan Roughriders – easily the league’s top draw – have yet to wear the mics so far this season (each team will do so four times.) But it would appear that live mics are not providing a boost in viewership in and of themselves (at least so far.)
Based solely on the extremely unscientific whims of social media, reaction to the live mics is decidedly mixed. While some fans clearly enjoy it, others find the ambient sound and repetitive line calls to be more annoying than informative.
Overall, Week 6 ratings were down five per cent from 2017 with an average audience of 515,900. The numbers are still up two per cent overall on the season but after a strong start that saw TSN post gains in three of the first four weeks, rating are down in each of the last two.
Week 6 ratings
Saskatchewan at Hamilton: 689,300
B.C. at Ottawa: 500,200
Winnipeg at Toronto: 421,200
Montreal at Calgary: 452,900
Week 6, 2018 vs 2017: -4.9 per cent
Year-to-date vs 2017: +1.9 per cent