Toronto Blue Jays, NFL overwhelm CFL television ratings in Week 18

Courtesy: Toronto Blue Jays

The Canadian Football League ran into some stout competition on television in Week 18 in the form of the Toronto Blue Jays and the big, bad NFL.

Canada’s Major League Baseball team was swept out of the playoffs in the American League Wild Card round, but the Bluebirds drew massive audiences of 1,910,500 on Friday and 2,811,500 on Saturday. Those mega TV numbers are almost as stunning as how quickly the Jays were ushered out of the postseason on home turf.

The Argonauts went head-to-head with the Blue Jays on Saturday and actually did decently well. Pundits expected the TV audience and in-stadium crowd to be low, however, over 300,000 tuned in and 11,089 were in the stands, which is around the team’s season average at BMO Field.

Week 5 in the NFL was a hit on TV in our home and native land.

Thursday Night Football between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos brought in 514,100 viewers on TSN and 179,200 on CTV2 for a combined rating of 693,300.

Sunday morning kick-off across the pond in London at 9:30 a.m. ET featured the New York Giants taking on the Green Bay Packers with 565,000 total watching on TSN and CTV. The 1 p.m. ET slate of NFL games across CTV checked in at 731,300, while the 4 p.m. contests averaged 753,200.

Sunday Night Football pitted the Cincinnati Bengals against the Baltimore Ravens with the home side winning a low-scoring affair. 552,800 tuned in on TSN and CTV2 to watch that game, while 759,100 watched Monday Night Football on TSN as the Las Vegas Raiders coughed up a big lead against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The most interesting NFL TV number was the nearly 200,000 CTV2 split rating from Indy’s 12-9 overtime win on Thursday. Many have called for Bell Media to regularly put CFL games on CTV to gather more eyeballs and fans, but until a chance is taken by the Canadian media conglomerate, there won’t be any sample size to determine whether or not it’s worth doing.

2022 Week 18 TV ratings:

Saskatchewan at Hamilton — 500,500

B.C. at Toronto — 301,100
Edmonton at Winnipeg — 459,600

Ottawa at Montreal — 241,600

Total Week 18 average: 375,700

(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.