The Viewership Numbers For Johnny Manziel’s First Game Are In. The Ratings Are HUGE!

David Hookstead | Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief

Johnny Manziel’s CFL debut last Friday with the Montreal Alouettes against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats put up monstrous numbers for ESPN.

Pro Football Talk reported Wednesday afternoon:

Our friend and colleague Peter King thinks no one should think all that much about Johnny Manziel. The numbers prove otherwise.

Via Sports Business Daily, Manziel’s Friday night CFL debut generated an average audience of 406,000 viewers on ESPN2. That was an all-time record for any CFL game on any ESPN network.

In contrast, only 263,000 watched The Basketball Tournament finale on ESPN, and a mere 159,000 tuned in to FS1 for a Big3 basketball game. MLB Network had 468,000 for Yankees-Red Sox.

A post shared by Johany Jutras (@johanyjutras) on

I guess maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised. Fans have been waiting for years to see Manziel tear it up again. Of course, that’s not exactly how it played out in reality, but you can’t blame people for tuning in. (RELATED: HERE’S HOW MANY NFL TEAMS ARE APPARENTLY STILL INTERESTED IN JOHNNY MANZIEL)

Manziel is one of the most electric names in the history of modern sports, and his saga has drawn millions of eyes over the years. Hopefully, he puts up a better performance going forward than the four interception outing he had against Hamilton last week.

These numbers also prove that Manziel is going to be strong for ESPN going forward. Don’t be surprised if you see the vast majority of his CFL games get broadcasted on ESPN and ESPN2 instead of that garbage app ESPN+.

It’s #ComebackSZN, and Johnny is already putting up huge numbers, even if he’s not doing it on the field.

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David Hookstead

Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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