CFL: Canada's Most Popular Football Leaque!

So far in the playoffs the CFL ratings have trounced the NFL. In the 2nd round, the CFL ratings were 46% higher than the NFL's. In the 1st playoff round the CFL ratings were 33% higher than the NFL's first round.

The CFL regular season ratings were also substantially higher than the NFL's throughout the 2013 season.

Here are the CFL ratings which went head-to-head against NFL Sunday games (Nov.17/2013):

2nd Round CFL Playoffs:
NFL, 1 p.m. games, Sunday, CTV: 399,000 (Combined ratings of 1:00 pm NFL games)
NFL, 49ers at Saints, Sunday, Citytv: 271,000
NFL, 4 p.m. games, Sunday, Sportsnet: 162,000
CFL, West Division final, Sunday, TSN: 1,900,000
CFL, East Division final, Sunday, TSN: 1,700,000
CFL Average: 1,800,000

2nd Round NFL Playoffs:
NFL, Saints at Seahawks, Saturday, CTV: 1,600,000
NFL, 49ers at Panthers, Sunday, CTV: 1,346,000
NFL, Colts at Patriots, Saturday, CTV: 1,100,000
NFL, Chargers at Broncos, Sunday, TSN: 878,000
NFL Average: 1,231,000 (Note: CTV NFL ratings include those watching sim-subbed American cable stations)

The 2nd round CFL playoff ratings were 47% higher than the NFL's 2nd round, despite the CFL playoffs competing against NFL Sunday, PGA, Nascar and World Series (along with NHL, NBA, MLS, Curling, etc)...while the NFL had no CFL games to compete against last weekend.

Here are the comparative stats from the 1st playoff round:

1st Round CFL Playoffs:
CFL, Lions at Riders, Sunday, TSN: 1,621,000
CFL, Alouettes at Ticats, Sunday, TSN: 1,450,000
Average: 1,535,000

1st Round NFL Playoffs:
NFL, 49ers at Packers, Sunday, CTV: 1,588,000
NFL, Saints at Eagles, Saturday, CTV: 1,121,000
NFL, Chiefs at Colts, Saturday, CTV: 997,000
NFL, Chargers at Bengals, Sunday, CTV: 869,000
Average: 1,143,000 (Note: CTV NFL ratings include those watching sim-subbed American cable stations)

In the 1st round, the CFL playoff ratings were 33% higher than the NFL's 1st round. The CFL is truly Canada's most popular football league! :thup:

Time for some happy dances!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, it's time to rock the Jihad!

I only post these ratings to illustrate how popular the CFL is with Canadian sports fans, not to degrade the NFL. We hear so much about how great the NFL is, but according to the fans who watch the games, the CFL is even greater! :thup:

to be fair... you should compare the nfl's second round to the CFLs first round and the NFLs 3rd round to the cfls second round... that way the grey cup would match up with the super bowl

cue mikem for reBUTtal in 3...2...1...

Why respond to made up figures? xyvs NEVER posts his sources, so what's the point.
I'm not disputing the 1.8 million CFL TV ratings - it's great but what's the point in your postings?
Your NFL ratings are good too, considering that there is no home team that's good ratings, assuming they are correct but again you didn't post the RDS ratings, and RDS has a strong NFL following.

You don't seem to post RDS ratings either, so what's your point ?

I doubt that, but for the sake of argument, even if you are right. Do you truly think it compensates for the difference in the numbers?

Again I doubt that.


A couple of years ago when the Super Bowl ratings first beat the Grey Cup, CTV took out full page ads in major newspapers across Canada claiming the "NFL was Canada's Most Popular Football League!"...solely on the ratings from the one game. They didn't bother to mention the CFL ratings were much than the NFL during the regular season and playoffs.

NFL-lovers can sugar-coat their ratings all they want, but the fact is the CFL 2nd round playoff ratings averaged 47% higher than the NFL's 2nd round ratings this year . I'll bet CTV won't be advertising that! :wink:

The source for the ratings are from BBM overnights, as published by Chris Zelkovich at Yahoo Sports Canada:

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You really don't have to compare the playoffs or the GC vs SB, our regular season numbers dwarf the competition.
Also and very much the X factor, is the CFL TSN reach versus the much higher No Funners CTV network and some other non cable type channels that show same.

There's your source.


THE CFLS ratings are higher even though they go up DIRECTLY AGINST NFL GAMES on the day the CFL Playoff games air.

THE NFL has NO competition from the CFL when their playoff games air and they still can't even come close in the ratings.

Good point, vhb! The CFL playoffs also had to compete with the World Series, PGA Golf and Nascar (all of which drew over 200k viewers) plus NFL Sunday (although Sportsnet NFL games only drew 160,000 up against the WDF with 1,900,000 viewers.) Against the Super Bowl even the NHL and NBA don't schedule games, while the Grey Cup was up against several NHL games, including the Canucks last year and Leafs/Senators in 2011, plus NBA and MLS games...which are all on hiatus during the Super Bowl including the CFL (lucky for them). :wink:

Where do you get this stuff from? The World Series was over when the CFL playoffs started NASCAR was not shown at the same time.
So what you are trying to say is that "Given a choice" of watching these "other sports" that are on the same time, that Canadians would prefer to watch the "other sports" rather than the CFL?? that doesn't make any sense at all.
I would think that if there was a CFL game on and a NASCAR race or NBA game, that the ratings would be the same if these sports were not on - a football fans would make the "choice" to watch the CFL game. If they prefer to watch the other events then they aren't CFL fans.

You can't make conclusions that because the Super Bowl is on Sunday in February that there is no competition, because even if there was, sports fans would choose the Super Bowl. If you don't like football you aren't going to watch it you are not forced to watch it - my wife will be watching Downton Abbey!!! she has a choice

Besides your title "CFL Canada's Most Popular Football League" is wrong!!
The latest ratings for English Canada NFL for the quarter finals was - 2.6 Million, the CFL averaged 1.8 million for the quarters. Official French language is not out yet but estimated 500,000 Quebecers love their NFL

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Sorry, it's not really possible to compare accurately the NFL with the CFL ratings with the time of the year when these are played and what they having airing at the same time at the different times as well as the TSN vs CTV issue. As well, with the amount of hype/advertising the NFL receives on American stations for watching, that also contributes to more viewers I'm sure. Almost like apples and oranges. Per the amount of marketing hype we receive from both and American hype/marketing is more influential than Canadian hype/marketing, per capita in this equation no question the CFL comes out on top IMHO regardless if the actual numbers are much lower. There has to be a qualitative aspect to any quantitative analysis or else it's all basically meaningless. It's like golf, a handicap system, any Canadian program is automatically handicapped in Canada if not for the simple reason that the program receives no American marketing push. The Blue Jays though are receiving this push as when you watch a Tigers/Red Sox game for example on an American station, they could show the standings and mention the Blue Jays as part of the game ie. "next week the Tigers will face the Toronto Blue Jays..." so the announcer says.

Where do you come up with all these numbers ??
No, Seriously I'd love to know. 500,000 what's your source ?

Sports fans would only choose the Super Bowl, where's your source on that as well ?

CTV draws average audience of 2.2M Cdns for AFC final between @Broncos & @Patriots. Aggregate average audiences for conference finals: 4.9M.

Tom Mayenknecht ?@TheSportMarket Jan 20

NFC final between @Seahawks & @49ers peaked at 3.7M Canadians in last minute on CTV. @SeahawksCanada

Tom Mayenknecht ?@TheSportMarket Jan 20

TV numbers for NFC final @Seahawks vs @49ers (average 2.7M on CTV) make it most-watched NFL game in Canadian history outside of Super Bowl.

These numbers come from the Twitter account of a local Sports Marketing expert and radio host. This city has gone mad for the Seahawks so it's likely the Super Bowl numbers will be very high, especially in this market. I see LOTS of people (especially those in their 20s and 30s) in Seahawk hats, jerseys, etc.

Edmonton, Calgary, Regina - be thankful you don't have to compete (at least geographically) with the NFL marketing machine.

If the CFL had more teams with a 3 rounds of playoffs, we'd see similar numbers to the conference finals. The NFL has a clean slate in January with no football competition. When the CFL and NFL play head-to-head, the CFL dominates massively. Like 1,900,000 viewers for the WDF while Sportsnet only drew 160,000 for the NFL in that time-slot. The NFL's "Game of the Century" later that day drew only 500,000 viewers, despite having the huge 1,900,000 CFL audience as the lead-in.

The NFL might draw more viewers for 3 games a year but for the other 82 games the CFL is way out in front. By any measure the CFL is Canada's most popular football league!

And again no NHL games were on TV during that day, at least no Canucks. And I guarantee there's no NHL/NBA on Super Bowl Sunday either.

They basically get all the viewers because of two things

  1. its Sunday and there's nothing else on

  2. No competition during this time of year and nobody will air against them due to their popularity in the US and most of the NHL being based down there.

Again we had big games for the Seahawks during the same time as the Grey Cup and Lions playoff games and the Lions and CFL came out way ahead when they air directly against each other.

Unfortunately , its always going to be a draw due to most people wanting to see the halftime show and the events around it and how every network and show talks about it non-stop due to NFLs endless money to pay reporters to make all the hype.

Exactly, what most of us in the know have been saying for years.
All the other winter leagues clear their slate of games for the Super Bore.
Here is another hypothetical, if the CFL was playing games on Super Bowl Sunday you can bet for sure it would outdraw the NFL.
Just like during the regular season when we smoke the competition and yes there is a lot of competition.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a football guy but Grey Cup vs Super Bowl on at the same time? Unless the GC was a blowout the SB wouldn't see the light of day. MLS championship up agains't the World Cup? Hmmm. ok, not a true comparison, I get that. Mind you, and I respect the non-contact version, er non collision to be more precise, version of football immensely, the Vanier Cup would hold my attention vs. any World Cup matchup actually.

It's so weird when I hear some people say who are soccer fans, forget the CFL, only NFL but they love MLS or European leagues. Uh, excuse me, what do you like better, collision football or footsie football better? If you like collision football better, than the CFL trumps the World Cup and any of the top European soccer leagues. They look stumped when I say that but it's not really a difficult rocket science question. :o