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by David Carlson
July 3, 2019 - Canadian Football League (CFL)

CFL hits best ESPN2 numbers for the season, but viewership is down in Canada

The CFL received its best numbers so far this season on ESPN2 Thursday, pulling in 224,000 viewers and a .08 demo rating. The next night on Friday dipped back down to its usual spot, around a .03 or lower demo rating. Reporting in the offseason suggested that the CFL got more money this year from ESPN than in previous contracts, and that last year's viewership was up 19% and averaging 163,000 viewers per game. Based on what we know of this year's results, it seems likely around the same number of viewers are tuning in this season so far.

While in the U.S. the CFL is holding fairly steady, a string of blowouts is causing the ratings to dip in Canada. reports that the first 2 weeks of games averaged 462k viewers compared to 538k in 2018. While blowouts are never a good thing for sports ratings, they can't completely be the reason for a sharp decline in ratings.

Last Week's OSC Leagues Ratings Summary:

6/288pmNBCSNPLLNot in Top 150

The PLL has failed to get into the top 150 shows in the cable ratings on all NBCSN telecasts so far this year. The BIG3 pulled in an equivalent demo rating to last week's Sunday game with a 0.14, but lost a bit more in overall audience, falling from 659k to 588k. WNBA and MLS tied in the demo rating on ESPN, but the WNBA had around 50k more overall viewers than the MLS contest.

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