CFL division finals post strong overall TV ratings, dip in key 25-54 age demographic

Photo courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The CFL posted strong television ratings for Sunday’s playoff action, albeit with a dip in the critical 25-54 age demographic.

An average audience of 846,000 viewers watched the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeat the Toronto Argonauts in the East Final and an average audience of 1,346,000 viewers tuned in to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers beating the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the West Final.

This year’s average television audience of 1,096,000 for the division finals was down 15.4 percent from 2019, though it was also 11.1 percent higher than the same week in 2018.

Sunday’s first game generated an average audience of 197,000 in the key 25-54 age demographic with 513,000 viewers falling into the 55-plus age range. The later game had similar demographics with 343,000 viewers in the 25-54 age range and 781,000 viewers in the 55-plus age range.

Last year’s West Final drew an average audience of 562,600 in the 25-54 age demographic. This means that the 2021 game drew 21.2 percent fewer viewers overall and a 36 percent dip in the key “young adult” age bracket.

The 2019 Grey Cup posted an average audience of 3,682,600, which was a 15 percent increase from 2018. Will the television audience have the same hunger for another matchup between Winnipeg and Hamilton on Dec. 12? We’ll find out Sunday at Tim Hortons Field.

Division finals TV ratings 2021:

Hamilton at Toronto — 846,000
Saskatchewan at Winnipeg — 1,346,000

Average: 1,096,000

Division finals TV ratings 2019:

Edmonton at Hamilton — 898,400
Winnipeg at Saskatchewan — 1,631,900

Average: 1,265,150

Division finals TV ratings 2018:

Hamilton at Ottawa — 729,000
Winnipeg at Calgary — 1,222,030

Average: 974,650

Division finals TV ratings 2017:

Saskatchewan at Toronto — 1,406,000
Edmonton at Calgary — 1,337,000

Average: 1,371,500

Division finals TV ratings 2016:

Edmonton at Ottawa — 1,178,100
B.C. at Calgary– 1,049,000

Average: 1,113,550

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.