Do more Canadians care about the NFL or CFL? The answer is the NFL. Obviously. But do you know just how far down the CFL ranks when it comes to ratings in Canada? One report says the CFL ranks 10th on an average Sunday, behind non-traditional sports in Canada like Formula One and NASCAR, but why is the CFL so far behind?
Most people would say the talent level just isn’t as high as the NFL, which is undeniable. But how can an NFL game get nearly 300,000 more viewers on an average Sunday? It can’t just be the talent. The answer is that the NFL is just way easier to market. From the players, to the teams, to the atmosphere of the stadiums, the CFL just doesn’t stack up. The CFL doesn’t have players like Odell Beckham Jr. or Richard Sherman who can both talk the talk and walk the walk. They also don’t have teams that can play like the former legion of boom in Seattle, or the purple people eaters of the 70’s in Minnesota.
The NFL’s marketing strategy is aimed towards teenagers and people in their early 20’s The CFL needs to tap in that demographic because it seems like in every place other than Saskatchewan, teens in Canada don’t care about the CFL. There are talks about failed NFL stars like Johnny Manziel coming to the CFL, but even in that case it’s apparent that he doesn’t want to be here and would only be using the stage to get back into the NFL. This is an interesting strategy for the CFL, because if they can make a league of the NFL’s most marketable outcasts they could see a rise in viewership, at least in the short term.
It will be interesting to see what the CFL does in the future as their viewership drops, but for now they have no way of getting close to the amount of viewers in Canada.