Ratings, Online Traffic, Social Engagement All Strong For Compelling Games

TORONTO — The metrics are in on the 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw and the Grey Cup Playoffs.

Here is a look at the numbers:


  • The 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw in Ottawa had an average audience of 4.3 million on TSN and RDS, a 10% increase over last year and the largest audience since the 101st Grey Cup.
  • Nearly 10 million Canadians watched at least some part of the game.
  • The key Southern Ontario market was up 58%.
  • The next generation of fans tuned in: viewers aged 2 to 17 were up 48%.
  • Ratings for the Divisional Finals were up 19% from a year ago.
    • Six million people tuned in to at least some part of the games.
    • There was growth across adult demographics: 18-34 was up 39%, 18-49 was up 27% and 25-54 was up 16%.
    • There was growth in Canada’s largest market -- Toronto/GTA was up 115% -- and in Calgary (+39%).
  • The Divisional Semi-Finals averaged more than one million viewers, up 7% from last year.
  • With 4.3 million Canadians watching at least some part of the games, they were the most watched Semi-Finals in three years.


ESF - Saskatchewan Roughriders 31 at Ottawa REDBLACKS 20

WSF - Edmonton Eskimos 39 at Winnipeg Blue Bombers 32

EF - Saskatchewan Roughriders 21 at Toronto Argonauts 25

WF - Edmonton Eskimos 28 at Calgary Stampeders 32

GC 105 - Calgary Stampeders 24 vs. Toronto Argonauts 27

  • Toronto captured the Grey Cup for a record seventeenth time.
  • The Argonauts are the only CFL club to win twice since 2010. 
  • Five different teams have won the Grey Cup in the past five years, and seven different clubs have won in the last eight years.
  • Ricky Ray became the first starting quarterback to record four wins as a Grey Cup starting  Quarterback.
  • Grey Cup MVP Devier Posey’s 100-yard TD reception was the longest pass completion in Grey Cup history, surpassing Pat Woodcock’s 99-yard catch and run in 2002.
  • His 175 receiving yards were the most by any player in a Grey Cup game in the last 63 years, ranking #2 all-time.
  • Bo Levi Mitchell’s 373 yards passing moved him up to eighth on the all-time Grey Cup passing list (1,178).
  • DaVaris Daniels made 11 receptions, enough for him to tie for third on the list for most catches in a Grey Cup game.  
  • Daniels is the fifth player in Grey Cup history to record 100-yard receiving games in each of his appearances (two games or more). Carl Bland, Eddie Brown and Ron Ingram did so while Jamel Richardson achieved the feat in his first three appearances in the Grey Cup.
  • Cassius Vaughn’s 109-yard fumble return touchdown became the longest return of any kind in Grey Cup history, surpassing Jackie Parker’s 90-yard return for a touchdown in 1954. 
  • The two 100-yard plays in a single game was a first for any post-season contest. 
  • In the four playoff contests, the average margin of victory was just 5.8 points. That’s the fourth-lowest in the last 60 CFL post-seasons (1958-2017) and the lowest since 2007.  
  • Four of the five 2017 post-season games were decided by a single possession. 
  • Scoring in the four playoff games averaged 57.0 points, up 7% over the 2017 regular season. That ranks among the top five totals in the last 25 years.
  • The playoff contests averaged just 9.2 penalties per game - the lowest since the CFL adopted a single-game playoff format in 1972. (Previously, the East Final was a two-game total-point affair and the West Final was a best of three.)
  • Calgary played in the West Division Final for the sixth year in a row, the longest streak by any club since 1996 (Calgary 1990-96).

The East Division Semi-Final featured several notable milestones:

  • Won by a crossover team from the West for the fourth time in CFL history. 
  • The fastest two touchdowns ever in a playoff game (4:07). 
  • First time that the first three possessions in the game resulted in TDs. 
  • Trevor Harris set an all-time playoff record with 60 pass attempts. 
  • Harris' 37 completions were the second-most ever and his 457 yards ranked sixth all-time. 
  • Marcus Thigpen’s 169 rushing yards were the most by any player in a playoff game since 2013 and the third-highest total in 20 years. 
  • In the Eastern Final, Brandon Bridge became the first Canadian QB to throw a TD pass in a playoff game since Russ Jackson did so in1968. He became the first Canadian to throw a TD pass in any kind of post-season game since Jackson threw a TD in the 1969 Grey Cup.


  • Through the playoffs, traffic on increased dramatically from a year ago:  
    • Page views +42%
    • Unique page views +43.5%
    • Video views +23%
    • Average time on site +6%
  • During Grey Cup week traffic continued to surge, compared to 2016:
    • Page views +19%
    • Unique page views +22%
    • Average time on site +2%
  • On Grey Cup Sunday itself, the numbers jumped again, despite the fact that last year’s game was an overtime thriller:
    • Pageviews +12%
    • Unique page views +16%


  • Twitter results for #GreyCup surpassed 265,000+ on Sunday.
  • The day after the game produced another 715,000+ Tweets from Canadians discussing the game’s thrilling finish and Shania Twain’s spectacular halftime performance.
  • The total number of CFL-related tweets during the playoffs and Grey Cup reached almost half a million.
  • Total engagement (including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) was up 17% compared to last year
  • Engagement rate (including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) was up41% compared to 2016
  • The most RT’d tweet from @CFL registered 1,500+ RTs and 4,400+ likes. Click to see.
  • The most liked Instagram post was the final score graphic, reaching 8,500+ likes. Click to see.
  • Social video (including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) views were up 58% and engagement was up 61%
  • The top-performing videos from Grey Cup Week:
    • Ricky Ray to Devier Posey TD - 400,000+ views on Facebook
    • Bo Levi Mitchell “Saturdays are for the Boys” - 220,000+ views on Twitter
    • Grey Cup interrupts Marcus Ball Speech - 130,000+ views on Facebook
  • Facebook streams throughout Grey Cup Week reached impressive numbers:
    • 200,000+ total minutes viewed across all Grey Cup streams
    • 1,000,000+ total people reached
    • 160,000+ total unique viewers


  • During the season, #CFLTHISWEEK accumulated 1,500,000+ total viewers.
  • During Grey Cup Week, #CFLTHISWEEK reached 525,000+ total viewers.


  • In September, the CFL launched ‘CFL Football Frenzy’, a fast-paced, shoot-out style arcade game aimed at very young audiences and available for download on mobile and tablet devices. CFL Football Frenzy amassed more than 208,000+ downloads and was ranked #1 in the Kids category in the Apple App Store and has been frequently featured in the Google Play store.

Lucas Barrett

Coordinator, Communications, Canadian Football League

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