2022 CFL Week 1 TV ratings down over 15 percent compared to last two seasons

Photo: David Mahussier/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Canadian Football League kicked off its first full season in three years and the television ratings left something to be desired.

The CFL began a shortened schedule in August 2021 and an average of over half a million viewers tuned in to watch the opening week. This year’s earlier start did not do the league or its broadcast partner TSN any favours last weekend.

The Stampeders and Blue Bombers recorded wins in the final minute with Calgary’s victory being more entertaining. Saskatchewan pulled away from Hamilton late and B.C. shellacked Edmonton in the other two matchups, so neither score line helped attract a late audience. While the Roughriders home opener was the only game to crossover 500,000.

There is context to be added: people have continued to cut cable. TSN does offer a streaming service, however 3DownNation does not yet have access to those numbers. These ratings also do not include viewership from RDS, TSN’s French-language affiliate.

There was stiff competition against the CFL Friday and Saturday nights in Week 1.

The surging Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 10-1 in a game that had a rain delay and averaged 847,250 viewers. Golden State recorded a 107-97 win over Boston in Game 4 of the NBA Finals as 266,800 tuned in on TSN4 and people also viewed it on ABC. Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final saw Tampa Bay win 2-1 to advance to a third straight Stanley Cup Final as an average of 1,690,000 watched.

2022 Week 1 TV ratings:

Montreal at Calgary — 345,500

Ottawa at Winnipeg — 434,000

Hamilton at Saskatchewan — 557,000

Edmonton at B.C. — 430,000

Total Week 1 average: 441,625

2021 Week 1 TV ratings:

Hamilton at Winnipeg: 683,100

B.C. at Saskatchewan: 764,600

Toronto at Calgary: 318,400
Ottawa at Edmonton: 341,700

Total Week 1 average: 526,950

2019 Week 1 TV ratings:

Saskatchewan at Hamilton: 522,100

Montreal at Edmonton: 395,600
(French viewership on RDS: 140,000)

Ottawa at Calgary: 490,100
Winnipeg at B.C.: 685,800

Total Week 1 average: 523,400

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