NFL sees TV ratings increase in Canada

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As the NFL continues to struggle with declining television ratings in the United States, there’s better news north of the border.

NFL games on Canadian television have seen an average audience increase of 8 percent over last season, according to John Kryk of the National Post.

Sunday afternoon NFL games are typically the second-most watched sporting events in Canada every weekend, behind only the early Hockey Night in Canada NHL game on Saturdays. Last weekend the Cowboys-Steelers game drew a bigger audience than the CFL Eastern semifinal playoff game.

Of course, Canada’s population is about one-tenth the size of the United States, and football is less popular in Canada than in the United States, so the NFL’s audience in Canada is tiny compared to its audience in the U.S. The big Cowboys-Steelers game got 981,000 viewers in Canada. The same game got 28.9 million viewers in the United States.

So an 8 percent increase in Canada is nowhere near enough to offset the double-digit decrease the the NFL has seen in the United States. But it’s a piece of good ratings news that the NFL will take.