Canadian QB Nathan Rourke rolling over Riders leads to largest TV audience of 2022 CFL season

Photo courtesy: B.C. Lions

Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke playing in a hostile environment at Mosaic Stadium was appointment CFL viewing in Week 8.

Rourke going on the road against Saskatchewan’s beloved Roughriders drew the largest average television audience of the 2022 CFL season with over 700,000 viewers tuning in on TSN. After Cody Fajardo threw a touchdown pass to Tevin Jones and plunged in for another major to give the green and white a 17-4 lead, Rourke reeled off 28 unanswered points as his B.C. Lions went home with a 32-17 win.

The Stampeders’ showdown with the undefeated Blue Bombers was a highly entertaining game and the first three-down contest to draw more than 600,000 on TV not involving the Riders. The top four ratings of the season have come with Saskatchewan on the field with Winnipeg and Calgary’s latest tilt rounding out the top five.

Overall, the CFL went back-to-back with consecutive weeks of high average viewing audiences. In Week 7, the average per-game audience went over 500,000 for the first time and that number was approved upon this past week. The league and its TV partner are hoping the momentum continues to trend upward as the schedule goes along.

The Blue Jays were on Apple TV on Friday night, which could have helped boost the Lions-Riders game that kicked off just after 9 p.m. eastern time. The Jays remain Canadian sports ratings leaders in the summertime, averaging above 1,000,000 viewers for ball games played last Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Collectively, CFL matchups outrated Formula One’s Hungarian Grand Prix aired live by TSN on Sunday morning. An average audience of 472,900 watched Max Verstappen win the race and add to his F1 points lead.

2022 Week 8 TV ratings:

Montreal at Hamilton — 353,900

B.C. at Saskatchewan — 700,500

Winnipeg at Calgary — 607,700

Ottawa at Toronto — 428,900

Total Week 8 average: 522,750

(These numbers do not include viewership from RDS, TSN’s French-language affiliate.)

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