Each TSN broadcast crests 500,000 viewer mark for first time in 2023 CFL season

Photo courtesy: Electric Umbrella/Liam Richards/Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Canadian Football League set a unique mark in Week 20: it was the first time in the last two seasons each individual broadcast went over 500,000 average viewers.

Week 7 this year came close: 574,600, 563,500, 517,200 and 499,100.

All three games on TSN crested the half-million mark during a slate that set the Grey Cup playoff field. The Stampeders stomped the Lions 41-16 at BC Place with a bunch of Roughriders fans likely watching on Friday. The Riders missed the postseason for a second straight year courtesy of a late Argonauts touchdown from Daniel Adeboboye on Saturday night, while the Blue Bombers completed an 8-1 home record by dominating Edmonton 45-25.

The Argos, Bombers and Elks playing before the respective NHL teams in their markets had to help CFL ratings. Hockey Night in Canada’s 7 p.m. ET window featured the Maple Leafs beating the Lightning 4-3 in overtime as 1,562,900 tuned in. The Jets 3-2 OT win against the Oilers drew 967,000 on a 10 p.m. ET puck drop.

The 25-54 age demographic numbers for the CFL were decent: EDM-WPG 175,600; CGY-B.C. 151,200 and TOR-SSK 128,900. The same category figures for the NHL and NFL: HNIC early 563,500; SNF 425,200; HNIC late 371,300; MNF 220,700; TNF 214,100.

Thursday Night Football had the Jaguars winning in New Orleans for the first time in franchise history with 591,200 Canadians watching. Sunday Night Football hyped up a Tua Tagovailoa vs. Jalen Hurts matchup that brought in 917,600. Monday Night Football between the 49ers and Vikings produced 451,700.

2023 Week 20 TV ratings:

Friday
Calgary at B.C. — 505,000

Saturday
Toronto at Saskatchewan — 520,300
Edmonton at Winnipeg — 516,200

Total Week 20 average: 513,833

*The CFL eclipsed 500,000 viewers for its complete slate of games averaged out in weeks 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 18 and 20 — eight times.

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