How Popular is The NFL in Canada

The interest in major pro sports in Canada has always been significant, and hockey, football, baseball, and soccer are the sports that are most heavily into the focus of attention.


The NFL has significantly surged in popularity, and back in 2020, a double-digit increase in the viewership was scored in spite of the home loyalties in Canada. Yet, this was not the case in the previous few years when the viewership rates were significantly reduced.


The choice football fans from North America have is by no means limited, and the CFL and the NFL draw a lot of attention, not only in terms of viewership but when betting is concerned as well. Online sportsbooks open a seemingly endless number of online NFL betting options in Canada. If you want to know more about the different bet types you can place, such as Money Lines and Point spread, you can have a look at our complete guide to NFL betting in Canada.


Considering that football is thriving in Canada, many people are asking themselves whether the CFL can take the lead in terms of popularity, or the NFL will continue to be such an attention-grabber.



The Viewership of the CFL and The NFL


It is hardly a surprise that American football is the most closely followed sport not only in the USA, but in Canada as well, with the Super Bowl being the event, which makes huge crowds of people flock to the playing fields and in front of their TVs. Still, the debate, which is unlikely to stop any time soon, is whether the CFL challenge the popularity the NFL enjoys on Canadian soil, or American football will remain a firm leader.


While the NFL gets a great deal of attention, figures indicate that the CFL goes closely behind it. While the CFL gets unfaltering support in most regions across Canada, Ontario lists among the regions, where the popularity of the NFL has risen sharply. Other provinces where the NFL is more preferred than the CFL include Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia.


As happens, the Prairie Provinces lead the way when it comes to following the NFL and CFL. Half of the people from Prairie Provinces are taken with watching these two competitions, and, for the means of comparison, just one-third of the people from Ontario are interested in these events.


While speaking of Ontario, we cannot help but mention that the NFL enjoys significantly greater popularity than the CFL, as one-half of all football fans are enthusiastic about American football. CFL fans, on the other hand, make up one-fifth of all people who are keen on football in Ontario.


As for the Prairie Provinces, approximately one-half of all football fans stick exclusively to the CFL, and the dominance of the sport can be easily justified with the rather limited range of options.


It also turns out that an ever-growing number of young Canadians take to the NFL, and surveys show that the share of the audience, which prefers watching American football is heavily on the rise. Figures show that the CFL attracts greater attention among consumers who are over the age of 45, while the NFL intrigues the attention of 25% of the consumers aged 18-44.


It is interesting to point out that, in terms of attendance worldwide, back in 2019, the NFL held the lead. According to the available data, the NFL came on top as the attendance exceeded 16 million per season. Some of the competitions that come next include Bundesliga, EPL, AFL, MLB, and La Liga, among others. Back in 2019, CFL took 11th place, and the attendance it enjoyed was around 22.92 thousand people. This goes to show that there is no point in comparing the global reach of the two competitions.



Will Canadian Football Take Off More Than American Football


There are several contributors to the significantly greater popularity the NFL enjoys, and first and foremost, the date of establishment of the two competitions should be taken into consideration. While the latter saw the light of the day back in 1920, while the CFL was founded in 1958. Still, the CFL started to gain more momentum, thanks to the foreign coverage TV deals. The competition started to grow in new markets, and its popularity was carried over to Mexico and Brazil. With this in mind, the CFL is yet to gain as much popularity as the NFL, as it does not turn that many heads outside Canada.


Another reason why the NFL makes a splash is that it has grown to become one of the most valuable leagues worldwide, as the competition is celebrated for its marketable players. Needless to say, the number of players that have chosen to make a switch, and move from the NFL to the CFL is significantly lower than the number of players who have made the switch in the opposite direction.


In fact, the significant difference in the salaries is the key reason why many players move to the NFL, which is anything but surprising considering that their average annual salary will be approximately $2-3 million. Just for comparison, the CFL players are normally offered around $200,000 per year.

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