Toronto – The Grey Cup continues to be one of Canada's biggest celebrations. Overnight data from BBM Canada confirms that an average audience of 6.04 million viewers watched last night's CFL championship game, making it the second most-watched Grey Cup game ever –slightly behind last year's record setting game (6.1 million).
The audience for the 98th Grey Cup peaked at 7.6 million viewers on TSN and RDS late in the fourth quarter as Montreal's Billy Parker intercepted Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant's errant throw in the final minute allowing the Alouettes to hold on for a 21-18 victory.
Overall, close to 14 million Canadians, or nearly 42% of the country's population tuned in to watch some or all of last night's broadcast on TSN and RDS.
TSN's 98th Grey Cup average audience of 4.94 million viewers ranks as the third highest audience ever recorded for the network (2010 IIHF World Junior Gold Medal Game– 5.4 million viewers and 2009 Grey Cup – 5.073 million viewers).* The Grey Cup caps off another extremely successful year for CFL ON TSN, that saw the network set numerous audience records throughout the regular season and playoffs.
RDS' French-language broadcast attracted an average audience of 1.1 million viewers making it the network's second most-watched Grey Cup ever.
"The Grey Cup is truly a national celebration and last night's impressive audience is a testament to that," said Stewart Johnston, President of TSN. "Our CFL team delivered another outstanding broadcast capturing all of the drama that makes the CFL so special. We can't wait to kick off another outstanding season next year." "These ratings underline once again how the Grey Cup brings Canadians together, and how the CFL and TSN have worked together to make this national experience extra special for our fans," said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the CFL. "It makes us all even more excited as we look forward to the 2011 CFL season, the 99th Grey Cup next year in Vancouver, and 100th Grey Cup in 2012."
TSN's support programming also had impressive audiences with Grey Cup: Countdown to Kick-Off attracting 2.7 million viewers and the Grey Cup Post Game Show averaging an audience of 1.6 million viewers.
Online, TSN.ca had more than 5.5 million page views with 689,000 unique visitors on Grey Cup Sunday – almost doubling last year's totals.** The site's live Grey Cup blog demonstrated the CFL's world-wide appeal, attracting 43,000 users*** from all over the world.
TSN.ca and RDS.ca's live online coverage of the 98th Grey Cup recorded an impressive 89,000 live streams (71,000 on TSN.ca and 18,000 on RDS.ca).**
The 98th Grey Cup is available on-demand at TSN.ca and will soon be available in the iTunes store for fans who want to purchase a copy.
Final audience numbers for the 98th Grey Cup will be available in the coming weeks.
* Audiences prior to August 31, 2009 are based on BBM Nielsen Media Research Mark II meters