Canadian Football League TV ratings did something they've done only once before in the past decade: decreased from the previous year.
CBC's 415,000 average was down 10 per cent from last season, while TSN's 356,000 average was 8 per cent below 2005.
However, last season marked the highest ratings in history.
"You never like to take a step back, but it's not really fair to compare ratings to the highest we've ever had," said TSN president Phil King.
Despite the decreases, TSN still recorded its second-highest CFL average in history, while the CBC's was the fourth-highest in the past decade.
There is a cause for concern in that Ontario accounted for most of the lost viewers. TSN's ratings were down 30 per cent in the most populated province.
It's not hard to see why," said King. We lost Ottawa, Hamilton had a horrible season and Toronto got off to a slow start."
King says many factors contributed to the ratings decrease, citing an overlap with the World Cup and the improved performance by the Blue Jays. The Jays outdrew the CFL on several Friday nights, something that has rarely happened since 2000.
There was some bad luck involved, too.
One of TSN's traditional big draws, an Edmonton-Calgary game, went head-to-head against Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final between Carolina and Edmonton. But the greatest factor was a high number of blowouts and decreased offence.
"We know people were interested because ratings were high at the start of games," King said. ``But you could see the audiences changing channels as the games went on."