Bombers overtime win in B.C. powers 2023 Thanksgiving weekend CFL ratings

Courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

The CFL served up a tasty main course on Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.

Winnipeg’s showdown against the B.C. Lions for West Division supremacy lived up to the hype and featured extra football. Two-time reigning Most Outstanding Player, Zach Collaros cemented his status as the favourite for the league’s top individual award this season by completing 75.6 percent of his passes for 389 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 34-26 win.

Despite the 10 p.m. eastern time kickoff at BC Place, the Blue Bombers and Leos tilt recorded the largest television rating on TSN during Week 18 with nearly 700,000 people checking it out. There have been seven games with over 700,000 average viewers in 2023 and a handful of others that have come close. That means the Bombers-Lions number is notable.

1) Week 13, Winnipeg at Saskatchewan — 975,000
2) Week 11, B.C. at Saskatchewan — TSN 756,700
3) Week 4, Winnipeg at Montreal — TSN+RDS 735,000 total
4) Week 6, Calgary at Saskatchewan — TSN 721,600
5) Week 12, Montreal at Winnipeg — TSN+RDS 708,700 total
6) Week 10, Saskatchewan at Montreal — TSN+RDS 705,300 total
7) Week 5, Montreal at B.C. — TSN+RDS 704,500 total

Fans in the key 25-54 age demographic wanted to see the battle for top spot in the West as it led the way in that category: WPG-B.C. 244,800, HAM-SSK 202,400, EDM-TOR 178,700 and OTT-MT 119,400. Primetime NFL games in Week 5 had more average viewers in the 25-54 age demographic than the CFL: SNF 486,800, TNF 341,900 and MNF 268,800.

Thursday Night Football drew 770,700 average viewers to watch the Chicago Bears beat the Washington Commanders 40-20 on TSN. Sunday Night Football had 1,094,300 tune in to witness the San Francisco 49ers blowing out the Dallas Cowboys 42-10. Monday Night Football produced 616,800 who watched the Las Vegas Raiders edge the Green Bay Packers 17-13.

2023 Week 18 TV ratings:

Edmonton at Toronto — 473,200
Winnipeg at B.C. — 687,300

Hamilton at Saskatchewan — 601,700

Ottawa at Montreal — TSN 274,500 RDS 181,900 for 456,400 total

Total Week 18 average: 509,175 (French included: 554,650)

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