Well for those who may have been surprised despite the intensive media blitz and being on the major CTV network versus the smaller TSN, the combined Grey Cup numbers outdrew the SC 3.65M to 3.6M.
Here is the evidence.

Small audience tunes in to Grey Cup Game
2.439 million people who tuned in was the Cup's second-worst TV audience since 1989
Article Comments (30) WILLIAM HOUSTON

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

E-mail William Houston | Read Bio | Latest Columns
November 24, 2008 at 11:30 PM EST

TSN's first Grey Cup telecast drew one of the lowest television audiences in the history of the CFL championship game.

The 2.439 million people who watched the Calgary Stampeders' win over the Montreal Alouettes is the Cup's second-worst TV audience since 1989.

It was down 27 per cent from the CBC's 3.337 million a year ago for Winnipeg Blue Bombers-Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The only audience worse was the CBC's 1.628 million for a Blue Bomber rout of the Edmonton Eskimos in 1990.

TSN faced several challenges.

Calgary-Montreal was not a great matchup for English-language television.

The game was dull.

TSN's playoff audience results, leading up to the game, were poor.

Audiences for the division semi-finals and finals were down significantly, because the games aired on Saturday rather than Sunday, and the two southern Ontario teams were not involved.

And TSN, a cable channel, couldn't match the broadcast distribution of the CBC, which is available in 13 million households compared with TSN's nine million.

The audience, though poor by Grey Cup standards, was substantial for TSN. But it wasn't close to a record.

The network has drawn more than three million for several world junior hockey championship gold-medal games.

The good news for TSN was viewership on RDS, its French language companion channel.

The RDS telecast was watched by 1.215 million, a Grey Cup record for the network. Viewers tuned in because the Als were playing. There was also the factor of hometown pride. The game was played in Montreal.

Taken together, the TSN-RDS audience, the total Canadian viewership, was 3.615 million, slightly more than the combined CBC-RDS audience of 3.539 million in 2007.

Last year, RDS drew only 200,000 for Bombers-Roughriders.

TSN president Phil King attributed the weak audience in English Canada to the participation of the Alouettes, which have a strong following in Quebec, but less so in the rest of the country.

He said he was pleased with the overall result because English-French language viewership together surpassed last year's total.

"We're happy," he said. "The total audience is up. It doesn't really matter from TSN's point of view what the mix is."

Still, the TSN audience is not good news for the CFL, which chose TSN over the CBC in a five-year rights agreement that started this year.

The audience figure could affect TSN's advertising rates for the 2009 Grey Cup.

The CFL won't be touched in the short term. Its rights fees are guaranteed. However, if Grey Cup audiences stay at this level over the next four years, the league will have difficulty maintaining the present rights fee of about $16-million for regular season and playoff games plus the Grey Cup in the next negotiation.

Despite the low audience, sports TV executives yesterday praised the quality of the telecast.

"I thought they did a very good job of production," one said. "The director, Paul Hemming, did a great job."

One criticism was TSN ending the postgame coverage at 9:30 p.m. Last year, the CBC stayed past 10 p.m. and provided locker room interviews.

Super Bowl ratings down in Canada
Article Comments WILLIAM HOUSTON

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

E-mail William Houston | Read Bio | Latest Columns
February 2, 2009 at 9:29 PM EST

The Super Bowl on Sunday was hyped as an instant classic because of the record 100-yard interception return, a rally by the Arizona Cardinals and a victory in the final seconds by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But the drama didn't produce big audience numbers on Canadian television. The game was watched by 3.602 million on CTV, a decrease of 14 per cent from last year's 4.2 million.

In contrast, in the United States, NBC's average audience for the Super Bowl was 95.4 million. That ranks second overall for Super Bowls, behind only last year's 97.4 million. NBC's overnight rating (the percentage of potential U.S. households tuned in) was 42.1. Last year's overnight was 44.7.

The Canadian audience also fell short of TSN's 3.684 million for the gold-medal game (Canada-Sweden) of the junior hockey championship last month.

The Super Bowl easily outdrew the 2008 Grey Cup (Calgary Stampeders-Montreal Alouettes) on TSN. That game was watched by only 2.439 million viewers, one of the smallest audiences ever for the CFL championship game. But it didn't surpass by much the CBC's 2007 Grey Cup (Winnipeg Blue Bombers-Saskatchewan Roughriders) audience of 3.337 million.

Interesting, good work argotom!

My apology for the typo, it should be SB in the heading.

You're forgiven, this time only though! :wink:

Did you mean 3.615M vs 3.602M?

Also, the article didn't mention the RDS numbers for the Super Bowl. If it wasn't included with the CTV total, then that would put the Super Bowl over the top.

Bingo. Not that TSN is completely unbiased in this matter (or at least their owners), but TSN reports the combined CTV + RDS number as just under 4.3 million ... I wasn't one of them.

Super Bowl ratings dropped by 14% this season, plus the GC drew almost twice as many francophone viewers as the SB.

I was surprised there was no promotion of the GC game during the SB? TSN ran ads promoting the SB on CTV during their GC broadcast??

was the SB carried on a diff network from CTV in quebec?

No it was on CTV in Quebec and I assume RDS as well

Looking at the bigger picture though, which the media probably won't touch upon, the numbers for football, say the GC and SB combined, show a very healthy viewership for this sport, and that is encouraging! :thup: Baseball would love this along with the other sports to have all the attention given during some championship games like this, especially in Canada. And while World Cup numbers blow away SB and GC combined worldwide, I doubt in North America they are as good as football, just guessing. ,you had it right argotom....SC....Slow Contest........seriously though....they did put on a pretty good show this year...But i am a little surprised at our numbers vs. theirs.... :thup:

One other thing if we're comparing GC and SB numbers. Remember, the SB is being played in the dead of winter when so many Canadians tend to coup up more in their house compared with the 3rd week in November when the weather is usually much nice in Canada, therefore more outdoor stuff like raking leaves, getting ready for the upcoming winter, etc. whatever. So the SB has an advantage for viewership at this time of the year no question. Especially this winter when it's been very bad, lots of snow and colder than usual. Need to break up the winter blues sort of thing.

Who really cares if the grey cup didnt have good numbers?and who really care if the super bowl drew more fans

Good point Earl.
The SB is played in the dead of winter of course and because of its size in the US and unfortunately here in Canada, it has a captured audience. All other sporting events do not book their games in the evening and also for TV entertaintment as well.
It’s like you are almost forced to watch this crap(my evaluation).
Plus the game is promoted like crazy, I know Bell for about two months prior was doing this promo on radio and newspapers steady for expressview, to get yout dish for the big game and there werre many more commercials.
It was pathetic here in Toronto with the radio spots for different watering holes and of course in the papers there were stack oif TV ads to make you sick.
Again, the wannabe US factor is sickening.
So despite it all, it still drew a crap TV audience, unlike our GC which competes with everything on TV and otherwise.
So I am calling the GC the victor.

God I hate Houston. He continually posts the English language numbers ONLY for the Grey Cup, then posts the Canada-wide numbers for the Superbowl (which still doesn't beat the Grey Cup as the most-watched football game in Canada) to make it seem like the Superbowl look like it gets better numbers.

Every year he does this and every year I e-mail him. He is anti-CFL and embodies everything that is horrible about the anti-CFL media. What a jerk.

Yuk, I agree with you 100% as I see the same thing.
Did you know and it's a good thing he is retiring soon from the Globe?

Oh, that is by far one of the lamest posts I've ever read... Come on.

When are we going to stop this CFL vs. NFL garbage? It's juvenile and it reflects poorly on CFL fans... :roll:

I disagree. It's more like talking up our league, taking no prisoners when necessary.
Unlike the vast majority here in Toronto who see it the opposite with NFL first and there is no other mentality.

You know, it is possible to talk up the CFL without putting down the NFL...

Not for some people, Chief.