CFL TV ratings continue upward trend in Week 5 with largest average audience of 2023 season

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/B.C. Lions

The Canadian Football League has its arrow pointing up on television.

The league’s TV ratings have increased incrementally for five straight weeks to start the 2023 season. In Week 5, the Montreal Alouettes versus B.C. Lions game led the way as the CFL produced its best week on television so far this year. Ratings are up 28.1 percent from Week 1 as each week of games has seen an increase in average viewers.

The matchup between the Edmonton Elks and Saskatchewan Roughriders on Thursday night went directly against game two of the Toronto Blue Jays doubleheader as Canada’s only Major League Baseball team pulled in an average audience of 899,000 for their second win over the Chicago White Sox on the day.

Starting pitcher Alek Manoah’s return to the big leagues overlapped with Friday’s game between the Calgary Stampeders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers at IG Field. The Jays averaged an audience of 926,300 that night while trouncing the Detroit Tigers 12-2, outpacing the CFL by a sizeable margin of 46.3 percent.

Saturday and Sunday nights the three-down league did not have to compete head-to-head versus the Blue Jays. Jeremiah Masoli’s first CFL game in 365 days drew a disappointing rating, the worst of the week, however, the Als and Lions had the highest single-game TV number.

2023 Week 5 TV ratings:

Edmonton at Saskatchewan — 494,000

Calgary at Winnipeg — 633,300

Ottawa at Hamilton — 379,300

Montreal at B.C. — TSN 489,000 and RDS 215,500 (704,500 total)

Total Week 5 average: 498,900 (French included: 552,775)

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