Despite largest single-game TV audience during 2022 CFL season, Labour Day Weekend ratings drop 16 percent year-over-year

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Labour Day Classic between the Blue Bombers and Roughriders produced the largest single-game television audience of the 2022 CFL season, but the long weekend saw ratings take a hit on TSN compared to last year.

Winnipeg’s comeback win in Saskatchewan was the first three-down broadcast to go over 700,000 average viewers this season. However, the 2021 edition drew nearly one million sets of eyeballs — year-over-year it works out to a nearly 19 percent decrease. The Riders continue to be the CFL ratings champions, although a drop in TV audience of nearly 200,000 is concerning.

The traditional holiday Monday doubleheader games featuring the Argos and Ticats plus the Elks and Stampeders each lost over 100,000 onlookers compared to the previous year. Toronto blew out their QEW rivals 28-8 at Tim Hortons Field as the Tiger-Cats lost for the first time on Labour Day Weekend in 10 years. Calgary was expected to beat Edmonton, which could have been part of the reason for lacking viewership. Bo Levi Mitchell, the league’s most recognizable face, standing on the sideline could be another.

The Blue Jays played a doubleheader that same day against the Orioles in Baltimore and both games brought in over one million people. Canada’s Major League Baseball team remains in contention for an American League Wild Card spot as that intrigue impacts CFL TV numbers.

One game had a ratings increase, the Redblacks’ 38-24 victory in La Belle Province improved by over 50,000 viewers. Ottawa has put together its first winning streak since 2019 and people in the nation’s capital are sensing the excitement for the final part of the season.

2022 Week 13 TV ratings:

Ottawa at Montreal — 310,400

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan — 796,000

Toronto at Hamilton — 332,300

Edmonton at Calgary — 433,300

Total Week 13 average: 468,000

(These numbers do not include viewership from RDS, TSN’s French-language affiliate, which has averaged approximately 200,000 viewers for Alouettes games in 2022.)

2021 Labour Day Weekend ratings:

Montreal at Ottawa: 255,800

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan: 979,700

Toronto at Hamilton: 435,900
Edmonton at Calgary: 580,500

Total average: 562,975

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