Angus Reid Poll: CFL strongly favoured over NFL

Angus Reid released a national sports survey conducted last week. Here are some of the pertinent results:

CFL versus NFL:

Canadians are patriotic about their pigskin preferences, with two in five b who watch both the US and Canadian leagues saying they prefer the CFL over the NFL (29%)[/b]. British Columbians prefer the Canadian league over its US counterpart two to one. That ratio climbs to four to one in Alberta and Manitoba, and to five to one in Saskatchewan. Central and Eastern Canadians are more tepid. Ontarians prefer the NFL slightly more than the CFL. Quebecers prefer the CFL slightly more than the NFL. And in Atlantic Canada, the tables turn altogether, with respondents on the east coast choosing the NFL two to one over the CFL.

Thinking about professional football, which of these two leagues do you prefer?

CFL…44% - 50% - 62% - 77% - 67% - 32% - 43% - 24%
NFL…29% - 25% - 16% - 13% - 15% - 35% - 32% - 42%
Both…27% - 25% - 21% - 10% - 18% - 32% - 25% - 34%

The CFL’s Popularity in context:

It is the action on the ice rink that captures the attention of people in this country two to one over the action on the gridiron. Forty per cent say they follow the NHL closely, compared to 21 per cent who choose the CFL. The CFL appears to be nearly three times as popular in this country as professional basketball (NBA: 8%) and soccer (MLS: 7%).

NHL…40% - 44% - 32% - 29% - 45% - 41% - 44% - 33%
CFL…21% - 21% - 27% - 65% - 44% - 16% - 18% - 13%
NFL…17% - 18% - 14% - 26% - 19% - 21% - 13% - 16%
MLB…18% - 13% - 13% - 18% - 16% - 26% — 8% - 26%
NBA…8% – 5% – 2% — 4% – 8% - 13% — 5% - 11%
MLS…7% - 13% – 3% — 4% – 3% – 9% — 7% – 1%

East/West or one big division?

Respondents were asked whether combining the East and West Divisions into one large division would add excitement. One quarter (26%) say such a move would spice things up, while (37%)say it would actually lessen the excitement factor.

Here is a link to the full survey: … p-2014.pdf

Here is the Canadian media's interpretation of the poll showing [b]8,400,000 Canadians[/b] who plan to watch the Grey Cup on Sunday:

G&M: Poll finds Grey Cup ‘defines Canadian culture and identity’ but few will watch

[url=] ... e21824584/[/url]

That is pretty consistent with the results of similar surveys released at this time last year which is good news for the CFL. Overall Canada wide the CFL slightly more popular than the NFL with the reverse true in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. I’m sure the Atlantic Canada numbers would change were there an expansion team eventually put there.

Also generally speaking - the CFL/Grey Cup is more popular west and older,And the NFL/Super Bowl having the edge east and younger.

You look at some numbers and you can see it identifies some areas a new commissioner should target. One of the goals clearly should be increasing the popularity of the league with younger Canadians and maybe try to make it more appealing to females if that makes sense.

Men outnumbered women among those planning on watching the Grey Cup (33 per cent to 16 per cent) and the disparity was also great based on age, [b]with only 19 per cent of the 18-34 group planning to tune in[/b] and 31 per cent of those 55 and older. The middle age group came in at 23 per cent.
Another excerpt which again identifies the CFL should be trying to target the 18-34 age group more aggressively.
Among those surveyed, the CFL is still more popular than the NFL, which came in fourth at just 17 per cent. But when it comes to marquee football games, the Super Bowl edges out the Grey Cup.

Asked to pick which game they’d watch if they could only watch one, 52 per cent nationally picked the Super Bowl and 48 per cent picked the Grey Cup. Again, in Western Canada the Grey Cup was an easy winner, maxing out in Saskatchewan and Manitoba at 77 per cent each.

And, once again, age told the tale with 61 per cent of those 55 and over picking the Grey Cup and 65 per cent of those aged 18-34 picking the Super Bowl.

And it's good to see that, though the NFL is favoured in Ontario, it's a lot closer than I thought it would be.

Overall that survey is good news for the CFL but it certainly does help identify the challenges.

It will continue to be a challenge for the CFL from a marketing / media perspective with that national marketing and media decision makers being concentrated in Ontario. In most of the rest of Canada the CFL is #2 (# 1 in Saskatchewan) - only behind the NHL in terms of numbers of people who follow the league closely. In fact during most of the CFL season (the NHL off season), the CFL is the most followed league that would be active at that time of year in much of Canada. So it would tend to get a lot of media coverage in those regions - often being the front page of the sports sections or lead stories on local sports newscasts.

And on the prairies # 3 is way below the CFL numbers - only one half the CFL numbers or lower. So with numbers like that it is very reasonable that CFL fans in those areas would have the impression the CFL should get top billing and lots of attention/support/coverage from national sports media and national marketing agreements.

But now look at the numbers in Ontario where those national companies are located.
NHL - 41% follow closely
MLB - 26%
NFL - 21%
CFL - 16%
NBA - 13%
MLS - 9%

So where the decisions are being made - the CFL is # 4 and at no time during the year are they # 1 because both MLB and NFL whose seasons overlap with the CFL season are more popular here. And the Raptors growing popularity may see them even threaten bumping the CFL to # 5 as the last couple of weeks with their great start the Raps have often been the lead story on Toronto sportscasts and front page of sports sections in the Sun and Star.

Throw in the Rogers factor - major media player that owns all or part of a team that plays in four of the other six leagues - whose properties they will naturally give a higher profile to in support of their own bottom line - annd there are some real challenges for the CFL.

So overall - the CFL is well positioned, but lots of work to be done to maintain or perhaps improve the situation.

You gotta love how the (wannabe American) media puts the negative spin against the CFL!!! Makes me want to puke. :thdn: :thdn:

I think the story in the Globe is fair - the headline is not.

And just to follow-up on my comment above about the Raptors gaining popularity and coverage - incredibly (and ridiculously IMO) - just this minute - watching CHCH News at Noon - the local Hamilton Independent TV station - and their brief sports report went in this order - Raptors (previewing tonight’s game) - then Cats Grey Cup/CFL awards and then Mac and the Vanier Cup followed by other stories.

How the heck a Hamilton station on the weekend of the Grey Cup and Vanier Cup with Hamilton teams in them have the Raptors as the lead is beyond me.

I may post this link also elsewhere given that it is principally about the wonderful tradition that is the Grey Cup.

As an American fan of both leagues with higher favour now for the rules of Canadian football after following it for 5 seasons, and with Canada with far more established tradition for pro football, a Canadian and I did our part today to post the following about Canadian football and the Grey Cup.

Our goal was to provide a rough introduction to Canadian football to principally an American audience on a site that otherwise covers more than sports:

[url=] ... up-preview[/url]

Some of your numbers don’t add up. You can’t have more than 100% on your Popularity in context chart.

Look everyone the super bowl in the younger eyes are going to always be the show were the grey cup is going to be bush league, nothing anyone can do about it.

I have noticed this too. I watch CHCH for local Hamilton news not more Toronto coverage that 20 other stations cover. It is for reasons like this that I am getting more and more of my news from non-traditional sources.

Unfortunately, most of Canada’s media are reprinting the Canadian Press story with the misleading headline about Grey Cup viewership:[b]

POLL FINDS FEW CANADIANS WILL WATCH THE GREY CUP[/b] Watching the 102nd Grey Cup is the last thing on the minds of a lot of Canadians, at least according to a new poll. [url=] ... e_Grey_Cup[/url]
According to the poll, 8,400,000 Canadians (24%) are "committed to watching the game" while another 12,600,000 Canadians (36%) are "still making up their minds" whether to watch.

Even if only a small portion of the uncommitted watch the Grey Cup, the headline should read:

More Canadians intend to watch the Grey Cup than any other program in Canadian history!

Isn’t that pathetic.
Here in Toronto, save and except the Toronto Sun, the rest are all falling over themselves to be American with the NFL crap and of course, hockey hockey and 24/7 hockey.

Well said. But you will NEVER see an article like this about the Superbore.

Wonder if PTS will put a negative spin on this.

It does not have to equal 100% it can total much more because that chart is the results of ‘Which league(s) do you follow closely’ and many - like me - would follow more than one league. It is not asking in that chart - which league do you prefer or which do you follow the most closely’ where you have to choose just one of the leagues.

So looking at that chart in the Canada - wide column what that is telling you is that of all Canadians surveyed 40% follow the NHL closely - meaning 60% do not. In the case of the CFL it means of all Canadians surveyed 21% follow the CFL closely - meaning 79% do not.

I'd say this poll is an indicator that we need to "re-assimilate" Atlantic Canada into the Canadian sports(football) landscape. They do well with their junior hockey, but I find it alarming that the CFL doesn't really register there. I do certainly think this presents quite an opportunity to grab a foothold and in making it a coast to coast league, the prominent national icon. It's relatively sobering, but I'm optimistic about it. Maybe the government may even step in and help out our national league.

Cohon said today that is a 10 year plan no matter who is the comish.

CFL average ratings spiked to over 800,000 in 2010, when the Atlantic viewership doubled for the first Touchdown Atlantic in Moncton. That is still an untapped market for the CFL to grow their business.

One idea is a shared Atlantic franchise with 5 games in Halifax and 5 games in Moncton, lessening the load on local fans and sponsors to come up with the $20 million a year to operate a CFL team. Another shared franchise location could be in London and Kitchener, which have 2 million viewers in their extended TV markets. These split franchises would need only 20,000-seat stadiums, which could be shared with the local university (like the Als, Bombers and Stamps do).

And speaking of the media’s reaction to the Angus Reid survey:


[b]CFL still loved by Canadians, older people more than others: survey[/b] [b]Canadians love the CFL and many are committed to watching this weekend's Grey Cup in Vancouver — but an aging fan base raises concerns, according to a new survey.[/b] [url=] ... -1.2853721[/url]
The CBC is now OK in my books...Hands Off the CBC, Harper - No More Budget Cuts! :wink:

Well, they say the common sense gene kicks in after the age of 25. :wink:

Sounds about right rcon, that was about my last NFL Bills game I went to around 25 when I got so plastered I couldn't make out my name the next morning and had a huge headache. :wink: