Bombers-Riders boost CFL TV ratings in rebound from worst average week of 2022 season

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

Prairie rivals Winnipeg and Saskatchewan came together to record the second-largest single-game television audience on TSN of the 2022 season so far this past week.

Reigning Most Outstanding Player Zach Collaros threw four touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter to lead his Blue Bombers to a 31-13 win over the Roughriders at IG Field.

It was just the third matchup to eclipse the 700,000 mark this year on English-language TV, all of which have included the Riders. The top mark remains the Labour Day Classic, which featured 796,000 average viewers, while the other was a Week 8 tilt against the B.C. Lions when Nathan Rourke led a comeback victory.

Toronto’s awful loss in Calgary drew a surprisingly low audience with less than 300,000. The Argos usually have a solid if unspectacular following on TV and the Stampeders can bring in viewers but without Bo Levi Mitchell starting at quarterback — one of the league’s most recognizable and polarizing players — the team’s numbers have dropped.

Strong competition from the Toronto Blue Jays and the NFL has negatively impacted the CFL’s viewership.

Canada’s MLB team clinched a playoff spot last weekend and averaged more than one million sets of eyeballs Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Those ratings are sure to improve the longer the Jays’ playoff run goes and it all starts on Friday with Toronto hosting the Seattle Mariners in a three-game, first-round series. Game two will go head-to-head with this week’s contest between the Lions and Argos.

Week 4 NFL primetime games held steady as Thursday Night Football featuring the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals on TSN and CTV2 averaged 803,100 viewers. Sunday Night Football with Patrick Mahomes and his Kansas City Chiefs against Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers averaged 677,000 viewers on TSN and CTV2. Monday Night Football between the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams versus the San Francisco 49ers on TSN checked in at 549,100.

These three standalone games averaged audiences of 676,400.

2022 Week 17 TV ratings:

Saskatchewan at Winnipeg — 701,800
Ottawa at BC — 425,200

Montreal at Edmonton — 233,400
Toronto at Calgary — 298,400

Total Week 17 average: 414,700

(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.)

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