CFL ratings report: Johnny moves the needle (a little)

While Johnny Manziel’s emergence as a starting quarterback hasn’t produced the massive bump in English-language TV ratings most people – myself included – were expecting, there seems little doubt that he’s having at least some impact.

Manziel’s second start for the Montreal Alouettes last Saturday against the Ottawa Redblacks was the lowest-rated game of the week on TSN, drawing 502,700 viewers. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that’s still the biggest number a game between these two teams has produced in the last two seasons and a substantial improvement over 2017.

The Redblacks, as we’ve chronicled before, have some of the lowest TV ratings in the CFL over the last two years. A week 13 match up in Montreal drew just 190,000 on TSN and was the lowest-rated game of the 2017 CFL season. The two other contests between these two clubs last year drew just 326,000 and 298,000.

These two teams also played a Week 5 matchup earlier this season that posted 393,000 – well below the season average. So cracking the 500,000 mark – something Ottawa had done just twice so far this season – is a significant achievement.

So while Manziel may not be moving the needle to the degree that was anticipated, there’s seems little doubt that folks are tuning in to see him play (for this week anyway.)

Week 9 ratings

Thursday
Edmonton and B.C.: 503,700

Friday
Hamilton at Winnipeg: 550,100

Saturday
Montreal at Ottawa: 502,700

Weekly average vs. 2017 (four games): +10.6 per cent.

Overall average vs 2017 year-to-date: +3.2 per cent

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