The Eskimos are now leading the league in overall national TV ratings* this season with an average audience of 649,000 viewers, followed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders (average audience of 627,000 viewers), and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (average audience of 615,000 viewers).
To date, CFL on TSN ratings are up by 5% overall compared to last season, and up 11% in the key 18-49 demographic nationwide. Combined, seven of the nine CFL teams have seen average audience increases this year.
The biggest year-over-year increase in overall ratings have come from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, marking a 10.7% increase compared to 2015. The Toronto Argonauts follow close behind, with a 10.5% year-over-year increase, while the Eskimos sit in third so far this season, with their games drawing 8.7% more viewers in 2016 compared to Eskimo games in 2015.
In addition to an year-over-year increase in overall ratings, Argos home game broadcasts on TSN have seen an 18% increase in average audiences compared to home games in 2015. As well, in the specific Toronto Extended Market, there is a 52% increase in the key 18-49 demographic for Argos home games.
Despite the viewership gains in Canada’s largest city, the Toronto Argonauts still trail the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as the most-watched CFL team in Ontario, with the Ottawa REDBLACKS closely behind in third.
For more stats, trends and storylines heading into Week 18 of the CFL season, please click here.
Week 18 opens in the nation’s capital where the REDBLACKS tangle with the Tiger-Cats once again on Friday night. The two teams will complete the home-and-home series (Ottawa won last week’s bout in Hamilton 30-29) with East Division playoff implications on the line. Henry Burris looks to build on his impressive performance as Hamilton goes with Jeremiah Masoli.
At 9pm ET on Friday, Toronto travels West to take on Calgary and their current 15-game unbeaten streak. Toronto will look to keep their playoff hopes alive and become the first team to defeat the Stampeders at McMahon Stadium this year.
Saturday also features two games – the action gets started in Regina where the Roughriders will play the second-last home game at Mosaic Stadium. The Riders enter the game riding a four-game winning streak while Vernon Adams Jr. will make his first-career start for the Alouettes.
The final game in Week 18 is a crucial battle in the West Division when the Edmonton Eskimos travel to Vancouver to take on the BC Lions. With Winnipeg, BC and Edmonton all vying to host the Western Semi-Final, this weekend can go a long way to increase each teams’ chances of hosting a playoff game.