CFL Inks Deal With FanDuel As TV Ratings Are On The Rise

Written By C.J. Pierre on July 31, 2023
CFL Toronto Argonauts Chad Kelly

The Canadian Football League has inked a deal with FanDuel to become the league’s first authorized gaming operator and an official sportsbook partner. The news comes as the 2023 CFL season is in full swing and rising in popularity.

The CFL has its arrow pointing up on TV as ratings increased in each of the first six weeks of the season. Now, with the league becoming fully entrenched in the Ontario sports betting game, the hope is that this positive momentum will continue.

Details on FanDuel deal

Through FanDuel Sportsbook, fans 19 years of age and over in Ontario can place bets on the CFL. People interested in Ontario sports betting will have a variety of betting markets. These include in-game player props, such as anytime touchdown scorer, passing, rushing and receiving yardage, and more. Customers can also create same-game parlays for CFL matchups. Fans can also wager on various futures bets, including which team will win the 110th Grey Cup championship.

Dale Hooper, general manager of FanDuel Canada, called the league a Canadian institution and says the operator is excited to bring this new experience to sports bettors.

“We are very proud to kick off our partnership with the CFL, a league with some of Canada’s most passionate fans,” said Hooper. “We look forward to working with the CFL and TSN to continue to drive interest in this great league and the next generation of stars by contributing insights that add another element to the great storytelling that is taking place.”

Tyler Mazereeuw, chief commercial officer of the CFL, said the league can’t wait to work with FanDuel to deliver an exciting and innovative betting experience.

“Responsible sports wagering is another way for our league to further its connection with our fans,” said Mazereeuw. “In addition to taking in our fun, fast and entertaining brand of football, some fans may wish to engage with the game on a more personal level.

The CFL recently implemented a match manipulation policy to help safeguard the league’s integrity and protect against threats of match or competition manipulation. The league worked with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) to launch an e-learning course to help educate CFL players and personnel on the policy and how match-fixers can target them. A single CFL game can generate over $6 million in wagers worldwide.

Both the CFL and FanDuel are committed to making sure that the sport’s integrity is upheld and are prioritizing responsible gaming practices to create a safe and secure betting ecosystem.

CFL popularity on the rise after six straight weeks of increased TV ratings

We are approaching the halfway point of the CFL season. The Toronto Argonauts are undefeated and are the team to beat. Meanwhile, the BC Lions are also off to a good start. Both teams are becoming good draws for the league as TV ratings are on the rise.

The CFL began the season with a run of six straight weeks of increased TV ratings. Week 6 saw an average of over 560,000 viewers. The rating climbs over 610,000 if you include the French audio audience.

The league has seen a 28% bump in TV ratings since the first week of the season. The Week 6 game between the Calgary Stampeders and the Saskatchewan Roughriders had over 721,000 average viewers. It was the most-watched CFL game of the season. In comparison, the Toronto Blue Jays average around 800,000 – 900,000 viewers per game on the season.

Meanwhile, nothing is drawing more viewers than Canada’s women’s Soccer team right now, as they are competing in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, having over half a million people watching multiple CFL games every week is s sign of the league’s growing popularity.

Adding FanDuel as a sports betting partner will also help keep the CFL in the public eye. This is all good news for the league moving forward. This is after the league struggled financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Total gross revenue in 2021-22 was $33.8 million compared to $10.3 million in 2020-21.

Photo by Jason Franson / AP Photo
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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at Play Canada. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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