Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

The Saskatchewan Roughriders always draw a TV audience.

No matter the day or time, when the Riders play green and white faithful tune in. Or maybe the enemies want to scout the opposition. Either way, the Riders are must-watch television.

Only one game through the entire season to date has yielded less than 500,000 English language viewers. That came in Week 9 on Friday, August 9 in Montreal. If the French RDS viewership is added — an average of more than 100,000 — the Riders have been over 500,000 total watchers for each game in 2019.

Week 1: Saskatchewan at Hamilton — 522,100
Week 2: Saskatchewan at Ottawa — 521,400
Week 3 Toronto at Saskatchewan — 502,600 (part one) and 764,800 (part two)
Week 4: Calgary at Saskatchewan — 722,000
Week 5: Bye
Week 6: B.C. at Saskatchewan — 692,400
Week 7: Saskatchewan at B.C. — 546,500
Week 8: Hamilton at Saskatchewan — 618,900
Week 9: Saskatchewan at Montreal — 458,900
Week 10: Bye
Week 11: Ottawa at Saskatchewan — 655,000
Week 12: Winnipeg at Saskatchewan — 854,400
Week 13: Saskatchewan at Winnipeg — 594,400
Week 14 Montreal at Saskatchewan — 794,700
Week 15: Bye
2019 average: 634,469

Even while Bianca Andreescu was capturing the U.S. Open title and the attention of many Canadians — 2,511,900 viewers — during the Banjo Bowl on Saturday, September 7, the Riders posted over 500,000. The Riders are bulletproof on TV, which is beneficial for the league and TSN.

Compare Saskatchewan’s strong numbers with the rest of the league. 12 other games have totaled more than 500,000 so far. The Montreal caveat should be included: if the Alouettes’ French TV draw was added there would be a few more games over 500,000 in viewership. However, we’re trying to make a comparison on the same terms.

Week 1: Winnipeg at B.C. — 685,800
Week 3: Edmonton at Winnipeg — 553,600
Week 4: Winnipeg at Ottawa — 545,200
Week 5: Calgary at Hamilton — 514,900
Week 9: Calgary at Winnipeg — 593,500
Week 9: Ottawa at Edmonton — 574,500
Week 10: B.C. at Winnipeg — 561,400
Week 11: Winnipeg at Edmonton — 673,000
Week 11: Hamilton at B.C. — 516,700
Week 12: Toronto at Hamilton — 510,200
Week 12: Edmonton at Calgary — 597,400
Week 13: Calgary at Edmonton — 547,600

The Blue Bombers have been part of six games which eclipsed the 500,000 viewer mark outside of the matchups against Saskatchewan, displaying The Peg’s interest in their pro three-down franchise. Winnipeg has been atop the West Division for most of the season and are legitimate Grey Cup contenders.

There have been a number of games rated in the 400,000 range. Although it has become clear that without the Riders playing, 500,000 is a difficult mark to reach during the regular season.

Week 15 TV ratings:

Friday
Calgary at Toronto — 321,600
Hamilton at Edmonton — 487,600

Saturday
Winnipeg at Montreal — 385,000
B.C. at Ottawa — 314,700

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Justin Dunk is one of the founders of the new 3DownNation.