CFL second most popular sport in Canada poll suggests

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=168223&hubname=

TORONTO (CP) - Hockey remains king in Canada but a national survey shows pro football is the No. 2 sport among Canadians and the CFL is favoured by more people than the NFL.

Reginald Bibby, a professor of sociology at the University of Lethbridge, conducted the survey that was completed in November 2005. It showed 30 per cent of Canadians follow the NHL - unchanged from 2000 but a drop from just under 40 per cent in the 1990s. Interest in professional football, however, was at 24 per cent, an increase of four per cent over the past five years.

Nineteen per cent of Canadians said they follow the CFL, compared to 13 per cent for the NFL. That's a surprising finding, considering the CFL has routinely found ways to shoot itself in the foot over the years while expanding television coverage has resulted in more NFL games being broadcast, thus making it easier for Canadian fans to tune in.

"I think we underestimate the extent which the CFL is imbedded in Canadian culture," Bibby said. "The thing that has really surprised me has been that one would simply expect the CFL to be overrun by the NFL.

"The fact that it has been able to hang in there I think goes back to having really underestimated the extent to which the CFL is much more than football. The interest was still there even when the league was floundering in the 1990s."

Increased interest in pro football has been due primarily a significant jump in the number of CFL fans in Quebec - from four per cent in 1990 when the city was minus a pro franchise - to 17 per cent presently. While the relocation of the Baltimore Stallions to Montreal in 1996 has helped boost football interest in Quebec, the province has also experienced a real boon at the grassroots level, meaning more youngsters are playing the sport and developing a love for it.

Bibby doesn't expect football will ever overtake hockey as the sport of preference among Canadians. But he said another reason for its popularity nationwide is accessibility. Fans have a much easier time getting tickets to CFL games than they do for NHL contests.<

"In cities like Calgary, the NHL games are sold out and it creates the sense that people are more interested than they ever were," Bibby said. "But the reality is unless you have a corporate ticket coming your way, you really can't afford to get to many games.

"The fact of the matter is hockey has become much more of an exclusive sport than we really thought, whereas the CFL is something people can readily access. Someone who has a couple of kids who wants to go to a Calgary or Edmonton (CFL) game out here has no problem doing that."<

Bibby's survey also found interest in major league baseball - at just under 30 per cent when the Toronto Blue Jays were winning World Series titles in the early 1990s - has dropped to just 13 per cent. Even figure skating, long a sport with a strong national following, has seen its fan base drop to 13 per cent from 20 per cent in 2000.

Canadian interest in the NBA is currently at seven per cent nationally and six per cent in B.C., down from 12 per cent in 1995 when the Vancouver Grizzlies were in operation. In Ontario, where the Toronto Raptors are based, 10 per cent say they follow the NBA, unchanged from 2000.

The survey was conducted by mail with 2,400 Canadians participating. The sample provided results that are accurate within approximately three percentage points of the population figures, 19 times in 20.<

Bibby, an Edmonton native, has been monitoring Canadian social trends since the mid-1970s. He has written 10 books with his most recent, titled The Boomer Factor: What Canada's Most Famous Generation is Leaving Behind, due to be released later this summer.

The decline in interest in the NHL has been most pronounced in Quebec and western Canada, with Bibby suggesting that's a reflection of the departure of both the Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets. However, interest remains very high in Calgary and Edmonton (around 40 per cent) as well as Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa (over 30 per cent each).

The survey provided a surprising revelation that the NHL's fan base in Montreal is the lowest of the six Canadian-based NHL cities at around 20 per cent.

The decrease of interest in major league baseball since 1990 has been pronounced in both Quebec (six per cent from 36 per cent) and Ontario (16 per cent from 36 per cent). The loss of the Expos and relative mediocrity of the Blue Jays would seem to be obvious contributing factors, according to the survey.

this is a good thing to show NFL fans..lol

Not only the No Fun League fans, but the Center of the Universe and especially Fan 590 in Toronto should be forced to justify all the air time and money devoted to the falling south sports like baseball and basketball.
It drives me crazy how so much is devoted for so little.

Dr. Bibby has been doing these studies and results have been consistent.

More people pay attn to CFL than is thought.

Hockey Nation is less than a third of all Canadians.

MLB and NBA barely make a dent.

But there is a difference between what is seen or perceived in Hogtown and the rest of the country.

MLB has become a joke in recent years, and you dont see too many NBA fan around in this country. Basketball is horrid to watch, the game clips along nicely until you get to the end of each half, where it seems it takes forver to play. Baseball is dull to watch peroid. CFL is really a national summer game, cause you have pro teams in places that otherwise would not have one(Regina,Winnipeg and Hamilton), and it includes all Canadian sports fans, not just those in one particular city.

Not suprising im my experience more people actually watch and like the CFL than want to admit it. Why they don't I'll never know

Its probably the guys who buy a hit record to say they have it as opposed to actually liking it. "Oh! The NFL is big! I want be a part of that!"

CFL ON THE RISE

[i]By CP

TORONTO -- [/i]Hockey remains king in Canada but a national survey shows pro football is the No. 2 sport among Canadians and the CFL is favoured by more people than the NFL.

Reginald Bibby, a professor of sociology at the University of Lethbridge, conducted the survey that was completed in November 2005. It showed 30% of Canadians follow the NHL - unchanged from 2000 but a drop from just under 40% in the 1990s. Interest in professional football, however, was at 24%, an increase of 4% over the past five years.

Nineteen per cent of Canadians said they follow the CFL, compared to 13% for the NFL. That's a surprising finding, considering the CFL has routinely found ways to shoot itself in the foot over the years while expanding television coverage has resulted in more NFL games being broadcast, thus making it easier for Canadian fans to tune in.

"I think we underestimate the extent which the CFL is embedded in Canadian culture," Bibby said. "The thing that has really surprised me has been that one would simply expect the CFL to be overrun by the NFL.

"The fact that it has been able to hang in there I think goes back to having really underestimated the extent to which the CFL is much more than football. The interest was still there even when the league was floundering in the 1990s."

Bibby doesn't expect football will ever overtake hockey as the sport of preference among Canadians. But he said another reason for its popularity nationwide is accessibility. Fans have a much easier time getting tickets to CFL games than they do for NHL contests.

this was posted yesterday by roughy fan

http://www.crtime.com/images/eveready/beanbunn.jpg

lets fire TOM WRIGHT. :lol:

ROFLMAO ! Hellothere, this was your most brilliant post ever. You hit it right in the teeth !

thank you. I am glad that you understand sarcasim. :wink:

This article hopefully will answer those Torontonians who want an NFL franchise because they're so damn desperate to pretend they're an American city. How about supporting Canadian football instead?

The ARGOS had over 30,000 on hand for an ex-game this year. That is a record.

Funny , I thought that I was supporting CFL football in TORONTO. :thup:

Some one should send this article to the TORONTO SUN'S sport editor. Maybe then they will get it?

That's awesome! My first thought though was it was due in large part to Ricky Williams. What's your take on that?

Cheers

the numbers i dont understand....it says 24% of canadians follow pro-football...19 CFL and 13 NFL...those numbers add up to 32%.

and if that 13%, which watch NFL, start watching CFL this year, theres gonna be some big TV ratings this season.

Some Canadians follow both leagues and that's where the 24% number comes from.

It's funny or sad though, how the "power brokers" being the Ad agencies and various radio and TV stations dictate and decide "for us" what we have to watch including the over exposure of NHL and other sports which are not even on the map.
All at the expense of our popular CFL.
Now, can you imagine if the broadcasters spent the same amount of time and $ in the CFL as they do with the othe sports, where our numbers would be? Even more popular then hockey.

argotom wrote:

It's funny or sad though, how the "power brokers" being the Ad agencies and various radio and TV stations dictate and decide "for us" what we have to watch including the over exposure of NHL and other sports which are not even on the map. All at the expense of our popular CFL. Now, can you imagine if the broadcasters spent the same amount of time and $ in the CFL as they do with the othe sports, where our numbers would be? Even more popular then hockey.
Excellent post there argotom!