Vanier Cup ratings drop for Montreal Carabins’ victory over UBC Thunderbirds

Courtesy: Universite de Montreal/James Hajjar

The Montréal Carabins and UBC Thunderbirds drew an average audience of 126,200 on CBC during the 58th Vanier Cup, per sources.

This was a 20.1 percent decrease from last year’s game between the Laval Rouge et Or and Saskatchewan Huskies, both of whom traditionally draw larger audiences. None of the figures presented here include online streaming, nor do they include French-language numbers from TVA, which reportedly averaged 201,000 viewers.

This year’s Vanier Cup was the lowest-rated since 2017, the first year for which 3DownNation has records. The game drew an average rating of 158,000 in 2022, 150,600 in 2021, 174,400 in 2019, 138,300 in 2018, and 168,000 in 2017.

The Carabins defeated UBC by a score of 16-9 at Richardson Memorial Stadium on campus at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. on Saturday, Nov. 25 to win their second U Sports championship in program history.

Hec Crighton award winner Jonathan Sénécal threw for 170 yards and rushed for 53 yards and one touchdown in the win to be named the game’s Most Valuable Player. The team’s defence was dominant yet again as they finished the postseason allowing only 21 total points over four games while forcing 22 turnovers.

Montréal’s victory made them the first city to win the Grey Cup and Vanier Cup in the same year since Edmonton did so in 1980.

The Vanier Cup will return to Kingston, Ont. in 2024, after which it will be played in Regina in 2025 and Quebec City in 2026.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.