Published on August 24, 2010 10:02 PM by dbo.
As August winds down the dog days of summer the CFL sits in between its two shortened weeks, with each division taking turns at bye breaks in weeks 8 and 9. Now in the fourth year of the collapsed bye weeks, the league seems committed to this scheduling method for the fairness and ease of logistics in an eight team league. Though great for the scheduler, this format takes away the league’s momentum heading into Labour Day. Or perhaps fans need a break too and will be raring to come back to a full slate of games in week 10.
Here at CFLdb there has been an obvious drop off of traffic to daily levels half or less of what the site received in July and the first half of August. While this was slightly observable last year, the increased traffic numbers in 2010 have made the pattern more apparent. Last year also featured cross-division match-ups during the bye weeks, keeping both sides of the country interested in both weeks, which would help minimize the slide in interest.
The numbers spill over to television as well. Last Friday’s Ti-Cat-Argo’s tilt drew 650,000, coming in second for the weekend. This led Chris Zelkovich to talk up Friday Blue Jays’ game outdrawing the CFL for the first time in a long time. Chris concedes the CFL game average may have been pulled down due to the quality of the game, but he misses the bigger picture in the numbers. Last weekend’s top 12 events drew 4,027,000 over 5,758,000 viewers of the top 12 events the weekend before (which was down from a top 12 total of 6,383,000 three weekends ago). Now some of the drop can be accredited to the absence of additional CFL games on the schedule, but perhaps this time of year is prime for vacations and less people watching sports.
Then again, Edmonton is looking to sell out their game this weekend with the help of a wave of green from the East. Perhaps there is enough interest to fill stadiums this time of year but not to visit websites.
So I ask you, how do you plan your vacation? Around your teams’ bye week or road schedule? Is late August the natural time to vacation before kids head back to school? Is a late August dip in CFL interest anything to worry about? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Postscript — I don’t think this alarmist article or the flawed subjective answer poll and results interpretation are worth commenting on, but I guess that is a comment in itself.