The Blue Jays late-season push for an American League Wild Card spot captivated Canadians and delivered crushing blows to CFL television ratings in Week 9.
Canada’s Major League Baseball team went head-to-head against two three-down league games and obliterated the competition. Edmonton matched up with Ottawa at the same time as the Yankees were visiting the Rogers Centre. A regular season CFL game versus a critical playoff-like showdown on the diamond was always going to tilt the television ratings.
Rookie Redblacks quarterback Caleb Evans threw three touchdown passes in his first ever CFL game and start, leading Ottawa to a 34-24 win. Despite 1-0 and 2-1 leads for the Blue Birds, the Yanks came back to win 7-2. Regardless of the setback, Sportsnet drew 1,280,000 average viewers on TV — over four times more than the number that TSN recorded.
Saturday afternoon the Alouettes flew into Tim Hortons Field and left for their home perch with a 23-20 overtime victory. It was an unpredictable finish in The Hammer but many more eyeballs around the country were focused on the Blue Jays bashing Baltimore 10-1. 1,206,500 watched Vladimir Guerrero Jr., George Springer, Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez and Danny Jansen hit home runs, over triple the amount tuned in to the Ticats collapse.
With the MLB regular season finished and potential post-season excitement gone for the Blue Jays, the CFL could win back some ratings shares, but the NHL is just about to drop the puck.
Week 9 TV ratings:
Edmonton at Ottawa: 283,900
Winnipeg at B.C.: 592,200
Montreal at Hamilton: 346,900
Saskatchewan at Calgary: 656,700
Total Week 9 average: 469,925
For numbers nerds: the Jays final regular season game on Sunday had 1,643,300 while Tom Brady’s return to New England checked in at 966,700.