CBC has announced they will show this Saturday’s Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators game on most of its stations. Viewers in Ottawa, the Atlantic provinces, Alberta, British Columbia and the Territories will receive this game on their local CBC station, making it the primary 7pm ET game. Viewers in most of Ontario will receive the New York Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs game. Quebec will see the Canadiens play the Flyers, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan will see the Jets play the Predators.
Dean Brown and Greg Millen will call the game in Ottawa, marking the first time either has worked a primary 7pm ET Hockey Night game in several years. Brown and Millen, of course, were once the regional commentary pair for Senators games on Sportsnet East about ten years ago.
Recently Canadian NHL executives, including Senators General Manager Bryan Murray, have called for the CBC to give smaller markets like Ottawa and Winnipeg more national attention on Saturday nights. The Leafs have had their game shown to the widest possible audience on all but three Saturday nights prior to this week. Two of those were nights the Leafs didn’t play and the other featured a Jets @ Coyotes as the co-main game along with the Flames @ Maple Leafs game.
The Senators will have five games go to a wide audience in the final few weeks of the season. They have matinee Hockey Night games on March 31 and April 7. They were also featured this past Friday and Saturday night.
Ratings… An average of 851, 000 tuned into the Canadiens @ Senators game on CBC Friday night. That is up from the 664, 000 who watched the first half of the home-and-home Wednesday night on TSN. The Maple Leafs @ Senators game on Saturday had an average audience of 2.1 million, while the late game featuring the Blue Jackets and Canucks attracted an average audience of 1.1 million.