CFL a turnoff ... at least on TV

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

After record-breaking numbers last year, the CFL's TV ratings have definitely dropped this season.

Through the first half of the season (Aug. 20), TSN's ratings have slipped by 37,000 viewers per game to an average of 329,000 people, with CBC down 51,000 sets of eyeballs compared to the same period last year.

But while those numbers might be alarming, they shouldn't be.

Given the obstacles facing the networks, the ratings are still very strong.

"Viewership in Ontario - the biggest province - is down, due to the loss of Ottawa and the poor performances by the Argonauts and Tiger-Cats," said TSN's Andrea Goldstein.

"Usually one of our highest-rated games, the matchup featuring Edmonton-Calgary (Battle of Alberta) on June 17 attracted 176,000 viewers, as it went head-to-head against Game 6 of the Stanley Cup featuring the Edmonton Oilers."

And there is also the matter of blowouts.

"The games are more lopsided this year. Fans are tuning out early and not watching the entire game," continued Goldstein.

TERRIBLE TABBIES: This segment is brought to you by the No. 10 because that is how many points the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have scored at home in the last three games - combined. If you are keeping score at home, the Tabbies have been outscored 100-10 in three straight defeats at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

BIZARRE BUT TRUE: In the last two games for Hamilton, running backs Corey Holmes and Josh Ranek have combined to rush for 25 yards. Why did Hamilton acquire both players in the off-season if they're being used so sparingly, if not foolishly?

WINNIPEG WOES: Granted Winnipeg is playing without starting QB Kevin Glenn and SB Milt Stegall, but that doesn't change the fact the Bombers have dropped four straight games at home since blowing out Edmonton 46-10 on Canada Day. And understandably, four straight losses aren't sitting well in the Bomber clubhouse.

Before choking a 15-0 second-half lead on Friday to Toronto, Bomber offensive lineman Mike Abou-Mechrek offered this gem to the Winnipeg media: "This losing at home ... it's like inviting somebody over for a backyard barbecue and then letting him get on the grill. You DO NOT touch another man's grill. And you don't touch another man's wife and you don't come into someone's house and win. It's inexcusable."

FINISH LINES: Back to the topic of TV, TSN claims that advertising revenue for CFL games has increased by more than 300% in the last five years.


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