CFL grabs eyeballs, but so do horses, bulls and calves
Now that we're officially into the summer television doldrums, what with the marquee special events off the calendar, the Canadian Football League has assumed its rightful spot at the top of the sports ratings.
That's not a surprise, but what is surprising is the company the CFL is keeping. While football games took the top two spots on the weekend, third place was held by something other than the usual suspect: rodeo.
Yes, the Calgary Stampede drew an average of 690,000 viewers to CBC on Sunday evening. That's more than baseball, the Toronto Indy and even the British Open. Even if you love the sight of calves being roped, you'd have to admit rodeo outdrawing the British Open isn't exactly everyday business. Pretty impressive numbers, that's for sure.
Also impressive were the Toronto Blue Jays, who despite falling out of the pennant race still managed to attract more than 500,000 viewers on Sunday -- against Baltimore, of all teams. Maybe baseball fans have a sadistic streak in them.
That might apply to rodeo, too, since there no doubt are those who tune in to watch the crashes.
Speaking of crashes, the Toronto Indy drew 186,000 to TSN2. In itself, that's not very good, but since the race was also on ABC, it would be safe to assume that at least an equal amount watched it on the more accessible American channel.
The same cannot be said for Toronto FC, which continues to draw flies despite a successful season. Saturday's game in Philadelphia managed only 132,000 on CBC.
Here are the top weekend sports ratings, according to BBM Canada overnight calculations:
1. CFL, Eskimos at Roughriders, Saturday, TSN: 992,000
2. CFL, Alouettes at Lions, Friday, TSN: 731,000
3. Rodeo, Calgary Stampede, Sunday evening, CBC: 690,000
4. CFL, Blue Bombers at Tiger-Cats, Friday, TSN: 612,000
5. MLB, Blue Jays at Orioles, Saturday, Sportsnet: 561,000
6. Golf, British Open third round, Saturday, TSN: 535,000
7. Golf, British Open final round, Sunday, TSN: 509,000
8. MLB, Blue Jays at Orioles, Sunday, Sportsnet: 436,000
9. Golf, British Open second round, Friday, TSN: 284,000
10. Rodeo, Calgary Stampede, Sunday afternoon, CBC: 304,000
11. MLB, Blue Jays at Orioles, Friday, Sportsnet: 284,000*
12. MLB, Mets at Giants, Sunday, Sportsnet: 220,000
13. Auto racing, Toronto Indy, Sunday, TSN2: 186,000**
14. Auto racing, NASCAR Nationwide, Saturday, TSN: 149,000
15. Soccer, Toronto FC at Philadelphia, Saturday, CBC: 132,000
* Three channels only
** Viewers on ABC not calculated