More Proof Why Canadian Networks Ignore the NBA

The ratings for the first 3 games of the NBA Finals have been released through the Remote Control Blog on Toronto.com. If anyone needed further proof why basketball gets stuck behind hockey and baseball on nightly highlight shows, here it is.

Game 1: 291, 000
Game 2: 435, 000
Game 3: 414, 000

Now, none of these games went head-to-head with the Stanley Cup Final. Game 1 did go head-to-head with the Blue Jays and got beat. The Jays game vs. Cleveland drew 561, 000 on Sportsnet.

Of course these games were also available on ABC, but even if you assume that half of the viewers watched on ABC (which seems like a high guess to me), none of the games would have cracked 1 million viewers.

9 thoughts on “More Proof Why Canadian Networks Ignore the NBA

  1. 400k are actually pretty decent numbers.

    • Compared to what? 400, 000 is about as good as a below-average Blue Jays game does on Sportsnet or the worst NHL games of the year do on TSN. It puts the NBA Finals way behind the Stanley Cup Final, Super Bowl, Grey Cup and World Series in ratings. It puts it on par with the UEFA Champions League Final, which aired on a Saturday afternoon (not a great timeslot). I honestly think this is a sign that soccer is close to passing basketball as far as popularity in Canada, if it hasn’t already.

  2. NBA is certainly a “B” property. 400k in Canada is like 4M in the USA, a number the NHL would die for on NBC or VS. NBA features two non-market teams. How well does the myriad of non-market MLB games do on SNET? What sport on the SCORE gets 400k? There are regular reason NHL games on TSN featuring a Canadian team that are in this range (without an option to watch on an American station). What about non-market NHL games on TSN2? Are they getting 400K? I would hope the Jays and every CFL game this year tops 400K, but they won’t and they feature Canadian market(s) and no option to watch on an American station.

    I am just saying 400k in and of itself is a good number. How many channels including OTA stations would kill for 400k viewers? You are right it is behind those other championships which often are all non-market teams.

    • As I said, the best comparison is the World Series. It is also available on a Canadian and American channel and features two non-Canadian teams. Game 1 of the World Series (on a Wednesday, directly against a Habs game on TSN/RDS) got 702, 000 on Sportsnet. It beat the Habs game on TSN (although the RDS numbers would put the Habs game above the World Series).

      The NBA is doing fine numbers for what it is, a ‘B’ sport. My point was more directed at the people who complain the NBA doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Based on the numbers, I think it does. The NBA does good as a “B” sport that IMO is already behind NASCAR and is falling behind soccer.

      • “My point was more directed at the people who complain the NBA doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Based on the numbers, I think it does.”

        I agree 100%.

  3. I have never understood why basketball is covered so much in the mainstream media while soccer is avoided. I am guessing the EPL gets better ratings than non-raptors NBA games.

    It would be interesting to compare TV numbers of sports involving foreign teams, after the NFL and NHL I’m sure there would be a big drop off.

    • I’d agree with you on that. I’d guess MLB would be next (a few hundred thousand or more behind the average regular season NFL or all-US NHL game). Then probably the EPL, then NBA. I think the Champions League would be higher if the games were played on weekends.

      • When you refer to the EPL… well, I’m ignorant when it comes to soccer, so I’m wondering – aren’t a lot of those matches on at 8 the morning? Or 10 in the morning? Something like that? When they’re on that early, are they beating NBA games that are on at 7/8/9pm? If so, I’m kind of amazed.

        Would be interesting to see what the EPL could do if it was on, live, in North America’s prime time, but obviously that’ll never happen!

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