Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ win over Chad Kelly-less Argos tops CFL television ratings in Week 17

Courtesy: CFL/Jason Halstead

The hype for the 109th Grey Cup rematch led to the highest television rating in the CFL for TSN in Week 17.

Despite the Argonauts resting star quarterback Chad Kelly, over half a million people tuned in to watch Toronto visit Winnipeg. The Argos led going into the fourth quarter but the Blue Bombers dominated the final frame to win 31-21.

It’s worth noting left tackle Isiah Cage, stud linebacker Wynton McManis and top cornerback Jamal Peters did not suit up for the double blue. Starting running back A.J. Ouellette had just two touches and DaVaris Daniels had just one reception. Lots of backups played but Toronto was still competitive.

The highly-anticipated tilt went head-to-head with the Blue Jays, who drew 1,242,000 average viewers on Friday night. Canada’s only Major League Baseball team had a 3:07 p.m. EDT start on Saturday in a game that could’ve clinched an American League post-season spot — 1,269,200 watched as the Jays lost 7-5 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Blue Jays pulled 25-54 age demographic viewers away from the CFL as 369,000 were watching their television sets on Friday and 348,300 on Saturday. Meanwhile, the showdown at IG Field topped the CFL in the key demographic: TOR-WPG 173,400; SSK-B.C. 135,100; CGY-HAM 97,300 and MTL-OTT English 48,000.

Sunday Night Football produced a seven-figure number for TSN. The Kansas City Chiefs’ 23-20 win over a scrappy New York Jets squad pulled in 1,024,300 with 425,200 in the 25-54 category. Whether it was Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers on crutches or Taylor Swift and her entourage, which included noted B.C. Lions fan Ryan Reynolds, Canadians were intrigued enough to put that game on.

2023 Week 17 TV ratings:

Toronto at Winnipeg — 553,200
Saskatchewan at B.C. — 495,100

Montreal at Ottawa — TSN 200,900
Calgary at Hamilton — 419,500

Total Week 17 average: 417,175

*The RDS broadcast ratings were not available this week

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