CFL ratings report: Is Trump taking a bite out of NFL numbers?

Like the CFL, the NFL is also facing some challenges when it comes to TV ratings.

Through three weeks, viewership for national telecasts of NFL games in the United States is down 11 per cent this season compared to 2016, the Nielsen company said this week.

The NFL averaged 17.63 million viewers for the first three weeks of last season, and have dipped to 15.65 million this year.

The NFL ratings are in focus because of U.S. president Donald Trump’s suggestion that viewers are turned off by a protest against police brutality that began with quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem. The protests spread rapidly this past weekend following the president’s criticism of people involved.

Back in Canada, the Saskatchewan Roughriders loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday afternoon was the top-rated game of the week with an average audience of 548,000 on TSN. That game started at 4 p.m. EST and went head-to-head with the late NFL contest, which posted 607,000 on CTV.

For the season, average audiences of CFL games on TSN are down more than 13 per cent from last year’s 592,000 average.

Week 14 English language CFL ratings

Friday (early)
Ottawa at Winnipeg: 521,000

Friday (late)
Hamilton at B.C.: 455,000

Montreal at Toronto: 413,000

Calgary at Saskatchewan: 548,000

– with files from CP

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