Photo courtesy @ReginaPolice

Canada Day draws audiences for the CFL.

Every Canada Day should include Canadian football.

In 2018 there was no three-down game on the national holiday – Sunday, July 1 that year. But the ratings from 2017 and the most recent Canada Day prove there always needs to be one game at minimum on our country’s day of national celebration.

When Winnipeg and Saskatchewan threw down in a thrilling 43-40 overtime Bombers victory two years ago, 726,000 watched the game on television. The largest number from that week in 2017. That game was played on a Saturday night which has produced strong ratings in recent years for the CFL.

Even though the Riders were putting a wheat thrashing on the Argos, over 764,000 watched the contest on Monday. In fact that rating was the highest for any sports production on Canada Day from coast to coast in our home and native land. If there wasn’t a two-hour weather delay for lighting around Mosaic Stadium, it’s fair to assume the total TV audience could’ve been even larger. The 7 p.m. time slot on Monday night worked out well for the league and TSN.

Lesson learned: play Canadian football on Canada Day.

Week 3 TV ratings:

Thursday
Edmonton at Winnipeg: 553,600

Friday
Montreal at Hamilton: 370,300

Saturday
B.C. at Calgary: 457,900

Monday
Toronto at Saskatchewan part one: 502,600
Toronto at Saskatchewan part two: 764,800

Total Week 3 average: 529,840

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Justin Dunk is the pre-eminent CFL insider and unabashed supporter of Canadian quarterbacks. He is one of the founders of the new 3DownNation.