Posts Tagged ‘Ratings’
Here are the ratings for games on CBC, as well as the Canucks on TSN and Canadiens on RDS for the first six days of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Montreal vs. Ottawa (CBC/RDS)
Game 1, 5/2: 1.9 million (CBC) + 1.2 million (RDS) = 3.1 million
Game 2, 5/3: 1.8 million (CBC) + 1.2 million (RDS) = 3 million
Game 3, 5/5: 2.3 million (CBC) + 1.3 million (RDS) = 3.6 million
Boston vs. Toronto (CBC)
Game 1, 5/1: 2.6 million
Game 2, 5/4: 3.2 million
Vancouver vs. San Jose (TSN)
Game 1, 5/1: 1.25 million
Game 2, 5/3: 1.3 million
Game 3, 5/5: 1.1 million
St. Louis vs. Los Angeles (CBC)
Game 1, 4/30: 1.3 million*
Game 2, 5/2: 822, 000
Game 3, 5/4: 1.1 million
Chicago vs. Minnesota (CBC)
Game 1, 4/30: 1.3 million*
Game 2, 5/3: 687, 000
Game 3, 5/5: 502, 000
*These games were a split-national broadcast; the ratings are for the two games combined.
All numbers are BBM Canada AMA 2+
Based on this, it looks like CBC made the right decision to take the Montreal-Ottawa series instead of the Canucks. Not only is it getting better ratings, but even CBC’s third choice (STL-LA) put up comparable numbers for game 3. Its never good when a series trends downward on the weekend, as happened with the Canucks last night. To compare, last year the Canucks had a million more viewers for game 3 (on a Wednesday night) on CBC. In fact the Canucks’ ratings for games 1-3 were quite comparable to Habs-Sens this year. I know there is a difference between TSN and CBC, but come on, it isn’t worth 50% reduction in audience levels. The first three games from Flyers-Penguins on TSN last spring all had better ratings than the first three from Sharks-Canucks this year.
For comparison, here are the ratings for the first few days of the playoffs last year.
Lots of ratings to post this week. Enjoy everyone. All are BBM 2+ AMA.
TOR-BOS, Mar 7, TSN: 1.1 million
MTL-CAR, Mar 7, RDS: 752, 000
PIT-TOR, Mar 9, CBC: 2.021 million
MTL-TB, Mar 9, RDS: 748, 000
CGY-LA, Mar 9, CBC: 601, 000
MTL-FLA, Mar 10, RDS: 726, 000
EDM-CHI, Mar 10, SNW: 225, 000
VAN-MIN, Mar 10, SNP: 364, 000
OTT-MTL, Mar 13, TSN: 870, 000
ON-MB, Mar 9, TSN: 832, 000
NL-NO, Mar 9, TSN: 728, 000
NO-ON, Mar 10, TSN: 754, 000
MB-NO, Mar 10, TSN: 918, 000
World Baseball Classic
CAN-MEX, Mar 9, SN: 333, 000
ITA-USA, Mar 9, SN: 111, 000
CAN-USA, Mar 10, SN: 526, 000
World Figure Skating
Men’s Short, Mar 13, CBC: 264, 000
CLE-TOR, Mar 10, SN1: 64, 000
The one thing to note is Sunday’s ratings. Lots of things on and competing for eyeballs. None of them really did anything spectacular. The Brier was down under a million for the first time in a while, and it only got about a quarter of its viewers from the lucrative 25-54 age group. Hockey on RDS was relatively consistent, finishing second. One of the biggest games in Canadian baseball history only drew 70, 000 more viewers than a Jays spring training game a few weeks ago.
March has began, and with it have came programming plans for many of the big events this month. Here is a quick roundup of what’s happened in sports media this week.
The World Baseball Classic begins later tonight in Taichung and Fukouka. Sportsnet will broadcast all 39 games, beginning with Australia vs. Taiwan tonight at 11:30pm ET. 25 games will air exclusively on Sportsnet ONE. Canada’s three games will air on all four regional channels. The other 10 games will air on a mix of the two, due to scheduling conflicts with regional hockey. I may be wrong on this, but as I understand there is only one broadcast feed for the World Baseball Classic. MLB Network will produce games in the United States. MLB International will everywhere else. That means we will get two Americans calling the Canada-US game. For the first round Rich Waltz and Buck Martinez will call Group A games in Fukouka, JB Long and Joe Magrane will call Group B games in Taichung, and Gary Thorne and Jose Mota (my favourite team) will call Group C in San Juan. Matt Yallof and Jeff Nelson, and Matt Vasgersian and Jim Kaat will split Group D games in Arizona. Bob Costas will come in to call the final. Sportsnet will show all games in their entirety, except for two that are joined in progress this weekend. That’s better than in 2009 when the start of almost every game was cut off by Connected.
The 2013 Tim Hortons Brier begins tomorrow afternoon in Edmonton. TSN has more than 65 hours of live coverage of the most prestigous curling event in the world. Favourites include defending champ Glenn Howard, Jeff Stoughton, Kevin Martin, Brad Gushue and Brad Jacobs. Also take this as a sign of things to come, graphics-wise.
Sportsnet will broadcast the CIS Men’s Hockey Championship for a sixth straight year. The regional channels will show the final two pool play games on March 16, with the final on Sportsnet ONE on March 17. Alberta and Saskatchewan from Canada West, as well as UNB and St. Mary’s from the AUS have already qualified. The OUA also has two spots.
Sportsnet has officially announced their 2013 IndyCar Series coverage, as they enter their first year as the Canadian broadcaster. Sportsnet will show every race live, which I don’t think TSN ever did in all of their years covering the series. Sportsnet will have six races, including the two races in Toronto and the Indianapolis 500; Sportsnet ONE has nine; and Citytv has the two races in Detroit. Sportsnet will even have a studio crew anchored by Rob Faulds with analysts Paul Tracy and Bill Adam for four of the races. Todd Lewis will work as a pit reporter for those four races.
For those wondering about the Jays games airing on FX, there is a reason for why those broadcasts are airing there. The decision to show them came well too late to make them Sportsnet productions. Plans are often made months in advance for any sports production. Rogers doesn’t want to show Jays games on Sportsnet that use the other teams’ feed, so they are marketing them as bonus games on FX. Of course it also can’t hurt as a promo tool for FX either.
Lastly, how about ratings this week? Sportsnet set a record for a Jays spring training game, while TSN had its highest NHL audience since the first game after the lockout in 2005.
For the second time in two games CTV cut off an NFL postgame show just as former CFLer, and inspiration to the Ravens, O.J. Brigance appeared on the broadcast. It’s bad enough that CTV cut out on a guy who has ALS and is clearly one of the great stories of the Ravens’ Super Bowl run, but to make it worse they also missed the Lomardi Trophy presentation. That’s right. The trophy presentation of the most watched sports event in Canada was not on Canadian television. Instead for the second time in as many weeks CTV cut away from a trophy presentation to show regular primetime programming. And it neither case it was simulcast programming. There was really no rush for CTV to get to Anger Management or Motive.
Some will blame the CRTC for this, and honestly I don’t really want to start another simsub debate because they never go anywhere. So let’s take simsubbing completely out of this for a second because it really had no effect on CTV’s decision. Sure it resulted in some people missing the postgame show on CBS as well, but that wouldn’t be a problem if CTV had just stuck with the postgame show until the next commercial break. What happened is unacceptable for an official NFL broadcaster who spent 12 hours showing football programming on Sunday. Surely another five minutes wouldn’t have killed Motive’s ratings. I know the blackout messed everyone up (and almost certainly resulted in lower ratings for Motive and Elementary), but it’s not an excuse.
Ratings… The ratings for the Super Bowl show a continuing downward trend for NFL playoff ratings this year. An average of 6.447 million Canadian tuned in on CTV. For what its worth CTV’s press release said 6.6 million, that’s the number not including the power outage. An average of 763, 000 watched on RDS (also not including the power outage, presumably). An average of 5.5 million watched the Grey Cup on TSN last November. That was the most watched Grey Cup ever on English-language TV. The Super Bowl was well off CTV’s ratings for last year (7.3 million), but still more or less on par with 2011 (6.54 million). And, of course, perspective is important. Other than the Super Bowl, the Oscars was the only broadcast to hit 6.5 million in 2012.
In the post-Super Bowl battle, Motive averaged 1.229 million on CTV and Elementary averaged 548, 000 on Global. The delay likely affected both. That’s about a million lower than Elementary usually gets on Thursdays. I know Global missed the simulcast on Shaw Direct. Did this happen on other providers too, maybe?
Power Outage… The Superdome going dark was perhaps one of the strangest things ever to happen in a Super Bowl. And if the halftime didn’t kill all the momentum of the game, having another thirty minute delay certainly did. Of course the 49ers did bring excitement back into the game by closing the gap when the lights came back on, but the thirty minutes of unprepared mindless talk from CBS’s analysts was hard to get through. On the field Steve Tasker, usually an analyst thrown into Super Bowl sideline duty for CBS, was excellent considering the position he was in. He was the first back on air to inform viewers about what happened. He had real information while the studio painfully tried to fill time as “15 more minutes” became “15 more minutes”. I blame Craig Ferguson for the blackout.
Nantz and Simms… It’s actually pretty rare for a play-by-play to outperform an analyst, but I think it happened last night. Jim Nantz was the first to suggest that the Ravens take a safety because it could almost entirely run out the clock (I’ll proudly say I thought of it before Nantz said it). Simms disagreed. Apparently the 49ers were as shocked as Phil because the Ravens ran 8 seconds off the clock by running around in the endzone. The 49ers didn’t have enough time to run another offensive play after the safety.
But I think I need to rewind, because that wasn’t Simms only error. All he could offer up after the Ravens fake field goal was, “I’m not going to second guess the call.” What a second? Isn’t that his job? The Ravens had am opportunity to go up three touchdowns and turned it down to let the kicker try to pick up nine yards; isn’t that a call that Simms should second guess? If the Ravens had lost by less than 3 points John Harbaugh probably would have second guessed it.
Later he offered up this gem, “Even if Kaepernick couldn’t run the football, he’d still be a top-five quarterback.” Now one could argue Kaepernick isn’t even a top-five quarterback when including his running ability (has Simms ever heard of Brady, the brothers Manning, Rodgers, Brees and y’know, that QB on the other sideline). I think its fair to say that based on his throwing ability alone, he probably isn’t even a top-ten QB in the NFL. Bill Cowher probably agrees. During the power outage he suggested putting Alex Smith in, which maybe was the only thing more confusing than Simms’ analysis.
But back to the final minutes. Maybe Simms was so terrible on the safety play because he was still reeling from the 49ers final offensive play minutes earlier. So was it holding or was it not, that was the question. And a really good one it was for Simms. At first he said it wasn’t, which is quite fine (I didn’t think it was either). But after seeing a few replays, he began to change his mind and offered, “The more angles I see, the more confused I get.” If anything the it is Simms job to clarify the viewers’ confusion? Simms should have offered a definitive opinion one way or the other. Or CBS should have had a rules expert to weigh in, as ESPN and FOX do.
My personal favourite Simms quote though, “I’ve heard it a thousand times this week, when the Ravens get inside the 20, they are going to try and score.” Well apparently it wasn’t true on the fake field goal (unless they preferred touchdowns). Three things I don’t particularly like. A commentator grossly overstating something for no reason. There’s no way he heard it a thousand times. And stating the obvious. And “try and score”. Unless they’re playing rugby and football, or something, that makes no sense. Maybe they were going to try to score.
I don’t mean to be overly harsh on Simms because he usually isn’t a terrible analyst. However, when I notice how bad someone was during the Super Bowl, when I’m so preoccupied with the game, the ads and the food, it means they were bad. I rarely bother writing about the broadcast because I rarely notice these things during the Super Bowl. I did this year. Partially because of the blackout and partly because of horrible Simms was.
BC-CGY, Oct 26, TSN: 701, 000
WPG-HAM, Oct 28, TSN: 672, 000
TOR-SSK, Oct 27, TSN: 1.026 million
EDM-MTL, Oct 28, TSN: 546, 000
HAM-TOR, Nov 1, TSN: 769, 000
DET-SF (g1), Oct 24, SN: 801, 000
DET-SF (g2), Oct 25, SN: 729, 000
SF-DET (g3), Oct 27, SN: 779, 000
SF-DET (g4), Oct 28, SN: 792, 000
NYG-DAL, Oct 28, Citytv: 508, 000
NO-DEN, Oct 28, TSN: 339, 000
SF-ARZ, Oct 29, TSN: 396, 000
Men’s Free, Oct 27, CTV: 679, 000
IND-TOR, Oct 31, TSN: 346, 000
Martinsville 500, Oct 28, TSN2: 336, 000
HNIC Your Pick, Oct 27, CBC: 181, 000
All numbers are BBM Canada 2+
A few notes…
- The World Series averaged 775, 000 viewers over four games on Sportsnet. That is slightly up from the 7 game series betwen Texan and St. Louis last season ;however, the first four games only averaged 567, 000 viewers. The hockey lockout obviously helps a bit, but it I think it is fair to say the popularity of baseball is slightly on the rise in Canada as well. This was the lowest rated World Series in history on FOX in America.
- The Pacers-Raptors game on Wednesday night was the highest rated Raptors game since the 2009-10 season. It was lower than most NBA Finals games from June, but higher than just about every other basketball game from last season. Yet again, a product of the NHL lockout. Usually TSN’s Wednesday Night Hockey is king on Wednesdays, while hoops is shuffled to TSN2. Basketball took centre-stage on Wednesday, and with no competition, brought in as many viewers as some nationally broadcast NHL games do. Now, can the Raps keep it up?
- Skate Canada Saturday night ratings were actually slightly down from a year ago, when CTV’s coverage when head-to-head with a Leafs-Penguins game that averaged over 2 million viewers.
- The three main NFL games (Sunday 4pm, Sunday 8pm, Monday) were down slightly from last week. The World Series (Sunday) and Hurricane Sandy (Monday) probably played a role in this.
- The CFL averaged 736, 000 viewers this week, buyoyed by over a million for the playoff bound Riders and Argonauts. I credited the lack of sucess of these two teams as a major factor in the drop in CFL ratings last year. Seems like their good seasons will help raise CFL ratings this year. As a whole, the ratings are slightly down over week 17 though.
Here are the latest ratings as the CFL and Baseball postseason continue to benefit from the lack of hockey. And hockey from 20 years ago benefits from no hockey this year. Thanks to Whitey Fisk and Bill Brioux for publicizing many of these.
WPG-TOR, Oct 19, TSN: 688, 000
EDM-BC, Oct 19, TSN: 729, 000
MTL-SSK, Oct 20, TSN: 720, 000
HAM-CGY, Oct 20, TSN: 929, 000
NYY-DET (g3), Oct 16, SN: 799, 000
SF-STL (g4), Oct 18, SN: 398, 000
SF-STL (g5), Oct 19, SN: 487, 000
STL-SF (g6), Oct 21, SN: 497, 000
STL-SF (g7), Oct 22, SN: 645, 000
NYJ-NE, Oct 21, Citytv: 487, 000
PIT-CIN, Oct 21, TSN: 448, 000
DET-CHI,Oct 22, TSN: 560, 000
CGY-VAN (’94), Oct 20, CBC: 217, 000
All numbers are BBM Canada AMA 2+
First off, anyone who says the NFL is way more popular than the CFL needs to look at these numbers. Yes, many watch the NFL on Sunday afternoon on American nets or Sunday Ticket, but the three big nationally televised games were all well below the CFL standard.
I’m not sure of the exact percentage change, but Sportsnet’s LCS ratings were up over last year. Games 1 and 3 of the Yankees series was far and away better than thar 528, 000 high mark from last season. Giants-Cardinals averaged 477, 000 viewers for the six games that weren’t affected by rain.
In a rare occurance, a baseball game beat CFL Friday Night Football this past weekend; however, the 110-yard game stormed back to take the highest sports rating of the weekend. Thanks to Whitey Fisk and Bill Brioux for publicizing many of these.
BC-HAM, Oct 12, TSN: 571, 000
SSK-EDM, Oct 13, TSN: 888, 000
MTL-TOR, Oct 14, TSN/RDS: 842, 000
STL-WSH (g5), Oct 12, SN: 610, 000
DET-NYY (g1), Oct 13, SN: 730, 000
STL-SF (g1), Oct 14, SN: 389, 000
STL-SF (g2), Oct 15, SN: 448, 000
GB-HOU, Oct 14, TSN: 398, 000
DEN-SD, Oct 15, TSN: 563, 000
All numbers are BBM Canada AMA 2+
So, as you can see, baseball won head-to-head on Friday, but football (CFL and NFL) won head-to-head on Saturday and Sunday.
Not really any big surprises, but I did think STL-SF would slightly edge out GB-HOU on Sunday night. The difference was only a few percentage points and considering viewers could have watched FOX and NBC (respectively), the margin of error is probably close enough that neither truly won. Regardless, TSN’s football beat Sportsnet’s baseball two out of three nights.
The small percentage difference between the NLCS and Sunday Night Football is a completely different story than in America where the Packers-Texans game on NBC had almost triple the number of viewers as baseball on FOX.
Also of note, Felix Baumgartner’s thrilling jump to earth from over 125, 000 feet in the air attracted an averaged audience of 435, 000 on Sportsnet Sunday morning over 3 hours. That’s impressive considering the first two and a half hours were spent watching him slowly go up into the atmosphere. The audience peaked at 1.25 million as he was falling. Nearly 1.9 million viewers watched at least some of the broadcast, which shows there were a few who got bored with the long wait and gave never came back.
Here are some more Canadian sports ratings. Lots of Jays and CFL games to report on. I will likely post two more sports ratings updates, then it will be three weeks of special Olympic editions of this feature. Thanks to TVFeedsMyFamily for postings many of these.
TOR-KC, July 2, SN: 662, 000
TOR-KC, July 3, SN: 791, 000
TOR-KC, July 4, SN: 769, 000
TOR-KC, July 5, SN: 801, 000
TOR-CWS, July 6, SN: 727, 000
TOR-CWS, July 7, SN: 582, 000
TOR-CWS, July 8, SN: 573, 000
Home Run Derby, July 9, SN: 1.15 million
WPG-MTL, July 6, TSN: 591, 000
HAM-BC, July 6, TSN: 729, 000
CGY-TOR, July 7, TSN: 434, 000
EDM-SSK, July 8, TSN: 624, 000
Men’s Final, July 8, TSN: 538, 000
Coke Zero 400, July 7, TSN: 476, 000
Rangeland Derby/Rodeo, July 7, CBC: 270, 000
Toronto Indy, July 8, TSN2: 236, 000
I have five ratings from the past weekend on TSN to share with everyone this evening. First up is UEFA Euro 2012, where the England vs. Italy match, that was decided by penalties, attracted an average audience over 2 million viewers on Sunday afternoon. That makes it the highest rated Euro match in Canada history. It was also the top TV program for the week of June 18-24. The quarterfinals as a whole averaged 1.27 million viewers.
The highest rated quarterfinal at the 2010 World Cup on CBC was 1.95 million for Argentina vs. Germany. In the same event a Sunday round of 16 match between England and Germany brought in an average of 2.27 million viewers. This shows that big games for the European Championships can attract audiences similar to big games at the World Cup. Which is impressive considering it isn’t as big of an international event.
Here are the ratings for all four Euro 2012 quarterfinals.
Portugal vs. Czech Republic – 652, 000
Germany vs. Greece – 917, 000
Spain vs. France – 1.13 million
England vs. Italy – 2.058 million
Meanwhile on Friday an average of 1.37 million viewers tuned in to the NHL Draft on TSN. Needless to say I am never amazed at how many Canadians will watch something hockey related, even on a summer evening. Even with three Canadian teams picking in the top 5, the average audience shows that many
had nothing better to do stuck around for hours.
The 2012 NHL playoffs are more than a week old now. Three series have moved ahead of the pack as the three most viewed. Last night all three collided as they were the only games on TV. Here are the ratings for what Monday April 16 through Wednesday April 18. Note that the ratings for Monday’s Blues @ Sharks game are unavailable.
Monday April 16
7:30pm, NYR-OTT (g3), CBC: 2.25 million
Tuesday April 17
7:00pm, FLA-NJ (g3), TSN: 500, 000
7:30pm, NSH-DET (g3), CBC: 1 million
9:00pm, CHI-PHX (g3), TSN: 730, 000
Wednesday April 18
7:30pm, PIT-PHI (g3), TSN: 1.412 million
7:30pm, NYR-OTT (g4), CBC: 1.405 million
10:00pm, VAN-LA (g3), CBC: 2.34 million
All ratings are BBM 2+ AMA.
So far the Canucks are winning the ratings battle with an average of 2.15 million Canadians tuning into their first four games. The Senators are a close second with an average of 1.84 million viewing their first four games. The Flyers-Penguins series comes solidly in 3rd averaging 1.41 million.
Those were the first three picks, and rightly so, by CBC and TSN. They are the only three series averaging over a million viewers per game. Two series do come in at just under a million though. Predators-Red Wings is averaging just over 800, 000. Coyotes-Blackhawks is averaging just over 750, 000 on TSN.
As expected, the ratings over the past week have been dominated by the NHL playoffs; however, the Blue Jays have held their ground as well. Here are your sports ratings for April 9-15, 2012. As always, thanks to TV Feeds My Family for posting these.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
PHI-PIT (g1), Apr 11, TSN: 1.49 million
DET-NSH (g1), Apr 11, CBC: 993, 000
LA-VAN (g1), Apr 11, CBC: 2.041 million
OTT-NYR (g1), Apr 12, CBC: 1.565 million
SJ-STL (g1), Apr 12, TSN: 592, 000
CHI-PHX (g1), Apr 12, TSN: 674, 000
DET-NSH (g2), Apr 13, CBC: 692, 000
LA-VAN (g2), Apr 13, CBC: 2.048 million
PHI-PIT (g2), Apr 13, TSN: 1.442 million
WSH-BOS (g2), Apr 14, CBC: 1.038 million
OTT-NYR (g2), Apr 14, CBC: 2.146 million
SJ-STL (g2), Apr 14, TSN: 352, 000
CHI-PHX (g2), Apr 14, TSN: 928, 000
NSH-DET (g3), Apr 15, CBC: 990, 000
PIT-PHI (g3), Apr 15, TSN: 1.299 million
NJ-FLA (g2), Apr 15, TSN: 1.137 million
VAN-LA (g3), Apr 15, CBC: 2.199 million
BOS-TOR, Apr 9, SN: 1.325 million (923, 000 were on SNO)
BOS-TOR, Apr 10, SN: 959, 000
BOS-TOR, Apr 11, SN: 443, 000
BAL-TOR, Apr 13, SN: 665, 000
BAL-TOR, Apr 14, SN: 796, 000
BAL-TOR, Apr 15, SN: 611, 000
Note: All numbers are BBM 2+ overnight AMA.
I also have a few more numbers. Game 3 of the Rangers @ Senators series on Monday averaged 2.25 million viewers, the highest of the playoffs so far.
Last night, without competition from the Flyers vs. Penguins, Predators @ Red Wings cracked a 1 million average on CBC.
Despite a thrilling game, Panthers @ Devils didn’t do so well last night. Only just over 500, 000 tuned in on TSN. Overtime certainly didn’t hurt the Coyotes @ Blackhawks game, as about 730, 000 watched that one on TSN.
Amazing is about the only adjective to describe how many people watched Global’s almost six-hour broadcast of the final round of The Masters on Sunday. Here are your sports ratings for April 2-8, 2012.
As always, thanks to TV Feeds My Family for posting these.
2nd round, Apr 6, TSN: 951, 000
3rd round, Apr 7, Global: 915, 000
4th round, Apr 8, Global: 1.802 million
World Men’s Curling Championship
Final: CAN-SCO, Apr 8, TSN: 885, 000
WSH-TB, Apr 2, TSN2: 299, 000
TOR-BUF, Apr 3, SNO: 629, 000
ANA-VAN, Apr 3, TSN: 799, 000
TB-MTL, Apr 4, TSN: 398, 000
VAN-CGY, Apr 5, SNP: 517, 000
OTT-NJ, Apr 6, CBC: 449, 000
TOR-MTL, Apr 6, CBC: 1.716 million#
EDM-VAN, Apr 6, CBC: 1.455 million
TOR-CLE, Apr 5, SN: 646, 000
TOR-CLE, Apr 7, SN: 843, 000
TOR-CLE, Apr 8, SN: 706, 000
BOS-TOR, Apr 9, SN: 1.33 million
BOS-TOR, Apr 10, SN: 959, 000
Kentucky-Kansas, Apr 2, TSN: 205, 000*
TOR-PHI, Apr 4, SN: 106, 000^
*CBS viewers are not included
^This game didn’t air on Sportsnet West
#Also includes TB-WPG in Manitoba/Saskatchewan
It was a busy weekend and there are lots of numbers to breakdown. Here are my thoughts.
- The Masters ratings are absolutely fantastic, especially considering Tiger wasn’t in contention (and barely got mentioned on the broadcast). A holiday on Friday propelled TSN to a higher 2nd round rating than Global got for the 3rd round. The final round, at 1.8 million, is up almost 800, 000 from two years ago (when Tiger had just returned). I can’t find comparable ratings from 2011.
- The Blue Jays opening weekend ratings are a bit down from last year, but there is an explanation. Last year the home opener was the first game. It was on Friday night and drew just over a million. Considering the opener this year was a Thursday afternoon game on the road that stretched over four hours, 646, 000 is a very good number. Not to mention opening weekend went head-to-head with the last weekend of the NHL season and The Masters this year. It didn’t last year. The home opener was the largest in history at 1.33 million. That’s as good as nationally broadcast Leafs games on TSN do.
- I can’t believe 1.7 million watched meaningless hockey on Saturday night. I really expected this was the week where the Canucks game would be higher rated.
- 885, 000 was good for morning curling. It bested the World Women’s final, which was on in primetime (Canada wasn’t playing in that one though).
- 205, 000. Yes I know lots probably watched on CBS. But that’s why March Madness receives minimal coverage in Canada. Like I’ve said, those who complain about it are a vocal minority of sports fans. Then again, it bested the Raps.
- The NHL Draft Lottery, aided by bottom 5 seasons for the Leafs, Canadiens and Oilers, had an average 30 minute audience of 602, 000 on TSN and 339, 000 on RDS. The NHL and TSN have truly made an event out of something that was off the radar just a few seasons ago.
The 99th Grey Cup game between the Blue Bombers and Lions averaged 4.6 million viewers on TSN Sunday evening, down from 4.94 million in 2010. RDS saw its rating drop by 900, 000 without the French-market Alouettes. CFL ratings have trended downwards all season. Of course TSN trumpeted out its press release on Tuesday morning spinning that everything was great. Even by comparing this year’s press release to last year’s, one can tell that things may not be so well. Here is one quote from the TSN press release that creates a bit of an allusion if not read carefully.
“It was the… most-watched sports program of the broadcast year.” – This is true, but if you leave out one word when reading it, broadcast, it can become confusing. While the calendar year is 11 months old, the broadcast year began in September. The Super Bowl and all 7 games of the Stanley Cup Final brought in more viewers than the Grey Cup in 2011. As did the final of the World Junior Hockey Championship.
One consideration in comparing the past two Grey Cups is the market size of the teams involved. The Alouettes and Roughriders are probably the two most popular CFL teams nationally. The Lions aren’t far behind; however, the Blue Bombers are in a small market. This year is the first Grey Cup contested between any teams other than Saskatchewan and Montreal since BBM introduced portable-people-meters in 2009. So, it is even hard to compare to the past. The 2008 Grey Cup on TSN only averaged 2.44 million viewers. Roughriders vs. Blue Bombers in 2007 did 3.3 million on CBC.
One can attribute a number of reasons to the decrease in CFL viewership this year. The struggles of the Roughriders, who carry a large amount of bandwagon fans from across the country, is a popular – and most likely correct – reason. Some have also pointed to a poor season for the Argonauts, but that’s nothing new. Besides, many in Ontario don’t even notice the CFL. The general consensus from that area of the country is that there are no CFL fans. A lack of interesting storylines may have also contributed. Sure there was Anthony Cavillo breaking the all-time pro football passing record, but what else – I’m sorry, “Swaggerville” is not a storyline. Everyone outside of Manitoba was sick of it by the end of July.
While the ratings prove that many CFL fans have found their way to TSN, I think the CFL needs an over-the-air presence. I suggest they sell two packages in the off-season (the next contract will kick in for 2013), one over-the-air and one cable. It will probably be a given that TSN will get CFL rights back in some form or another, while CBC will have limited funds to spend to compete for the entire package. If there is any interest from the CBC, which I believe there is, selling two packages may get the CFL top dollar.
In the end, I think the CFL will be fine. Gate revenue is as high as ever, ratings are still better than they were ten years ago and the CFL is still the second most watched league in Canada, behind the NHL (some would dispute that the NFL gets more viewers than the CFL). Except for 2009 and 2010, CFL ratings have remained fairly consistent over the past ten years.
Vanier Cup… TSN’s move to put the Vanier Cup in primetime this season paid off. The overtime thriller attracted an average of 372, 000 on TSN and 288, 000 on RDS. CIS football is more popular in Quebec than the rest of Canada, so the RDS rating isn’t surprising at all. In fact, more people watched the Vanier Cup on RDS than the Grey Cup. TSN’s numbers aren’t overly impressive – the 2010 Rose Bowl averaged 613, 000 viewers on TSN – but they are up 17% from last season.
EURO 2012… I really enjoyed TSN’s coverage of the EURO 2012 draw on Friday afternoon. Noel Butler has greatly improved as a TV analyst since making his TV debut last fall. Luke Wileman and Jason deVos are both great as well. TSN would be wise to use all three as part of the EURO 2012 studio crew. I’d also add in former Toronto FC player Rohan Ricketts. One other EURO 2012 suggestion for TSN, use ESPN’s commentary. Ian Darke is better than John Helm.
Sportsnet World… is on free preview from now until January 2nd. Great news for Canadians who want to watch all the Premier League action over Christmas and the Old Firm match on December 28.
Canada Cup… Curling returns on TSN this afternoon with the Canada Cup. Vic Rauter, Linda Moore and Russ Howard return as the main commentary team. TSN will show women’s and men’s semifinals today (3pm and 8pm ET) and finals tomorrow (11am and 3:30pm).
Blacked Out… Tomorrow’s Buffalo Bills game against Tennessee is now blacked out in Buffalo’s primary and secondary markets because tickets for the game are not sold out. Viewers in southern Ontario will also be shutout as CTV isn’t allowed to show the game on its Toronto and Kitchener stations because Toronto is a secondary market. Both stations will show Jets @ Redskins.
Unprecedented move… Fox will finally get to show Tim Tebow when the Broncos visit the Vikings tomorrow afternoon. This is an unprecedented move because inter-conference games are usually broadcast on the network that is affiliated with the conference of the road team (in this case CBS/Broncos). The game was moved to Fox a couple of weeks ago when the NFL flexed Lions @ Saints (a Fox game) to Sunday Night Football in exchange for Colts @ Patriots (a CBS game). This left CBS with eight games, while Fox only had six. The NFL awarded Fox a CBS game to even things out. The last time it happened was in the early 70s.
More than a game… Many Canadians would agree that hockey is more than a game in this country, it is a cultural institution. PBS, led by affiliate WNED in Buffalo, has produced a new documentary titled “Hockey: More than a Game”. Some have seen it all before, but it looks interesting regardless. The trailer even includes Canadian sports media writer Bruce Dowbiggin; check it out. Hockey: More than a Game will air at various times on local PBS stations, so check your TV listings.
Cross-platform promotion… Sportsnet won Playback Magazine’s award for 2011 cross-platform media brand of the year. If there was an award for over-the-top, almost annoying, cross-platform media brand of the year, I’d give that to Sportsnet too.