Grey Cup reach up 3% on broadcast, 35% on digital

The game's audience saw growth in the key male 18 to 34 demographic, along with six-figure traffic on Twitter and Snapchat.
Junior Turner, Travon Van

Nearly four million Canadians tuned in to watch the 104th Grey Cup (presented by Shaw) on TSN and RDS, representing a 3% growth in reach from the previous year, according to Numeris.

An average audience of 3.9 million viewers (3.6 million from TSN, 254,000 from RDS) and a total of 10 million unique viewers tuned in to watch the Ottawa Redblacks win their first Grey Cup (ending the 40-year championship drought for the country’s capital). The broadcast peaked at 5.7 million viewers late in the fourth quarter. The AMA is down from last year’s Grey Cup, which saw 3.8 million average viewers on TSN and 230,000 on RDS.

The game’s viewership grew from last year across some of its target demos including male viewers 18 to 34 (up 15%) and males 18 to 49 (4%). The broadcast also put TSN’s viewership in the top position for most-watched channel in Canada that night, ahead of all conventional network overnight audiences by 151%.

An audience of 3.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the halftime show (headlined by OneRepublic), sponsored by the newly rebranded Freedom Mobile. An additional 1.9 million viewers watched TSN’s post-game coverage.

It was also a big year for digital and social for the cup. The live-streaming audience on TSN digital increased 35% over last year’s game.The network’s first-ever Snapchat Story featuring behind-the-scenes content of the match saw 219,000 views, and its Twitter activity rose by 52% with a total of 155,000 Tweets tagging or mentioning the CFL and the Grey Cup. A total of 131,000 Tweets used the #GreyCup and #CoupeGrey emoji hashtag, which was created as the result of a partnership between Twitter Canada and the CFL.

While the Grey Cup represented a seasonal high for the now-concluded CFL season, TSN reported growth in its average audience for regular season games (up 3% overall, 7% in the 18 to 49 demographic). The Western and Eastern semi-finals also increased 14% compared to last year, attracting 1.1 million and 903,000 viewers to TSN, respectfully.