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4.6-million viewers watch 99th Grey Cup

B.C Lions running back Andrew Harris attempts to run the ball past linebacker Clint Kent.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Early ratings indicate the Grey Cup game between the B.C. Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers drew a lower audience than last year's title game.

An average audience of 4.6-million viewers tuned in to TSN and RDS to watch the Lions beat the Blue Bombers 34-23 on Sunday night, according to overnight data from BBM Canada.

That was down from the 6.04-million viewers who watched Montreal defeat Saskatchewan in the 2010 championship game. The Alouettes helped push the RDS numbers higher last year, when 1.1 million viewers watched the game on the French network.

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The Grey Cup record of 6.1 million viewers was set in 2009, another Montreal victory. That game was played shortly after the introduction of a new ratings measurement system that has seen sports TV ratings skyrocket.

The audience for Sunday's game peaked at 5.8-million viewers in the fourth quarter as the Lions wrapped up the victory.

The Vanier Cup ratings were also released Monday. An average audience of 660,000 viewers tuned in to TSN and RDS to watch McMaster defeat Laval 41-38 in double overtime.

TSN's average audience was 372,000 for the CIS championship game — a 16 per cent jump from last year. The Vanier Cup wasn't shown on RDS in 2010.

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