NHL Returns to Big Ratings

It’s hardly surprising that the first Saturday of the delayed NHL regular season attracted higher than usual ratings for the CBC. Regardless of how many fans say they are pissed off at the NHL and will never watch again, there are ten others who will watch every bit as much as before. What is a bit surprising though, is just how big the ratings were. The matinee, Ottawa @ Winnipeg, had an average audience of 1.493 million viewers. Not only is that a record for an afternoon regular season game, but it is the first non-Hockey Day in Canada matinee to hit a million viewers.

CBC also set a record in primetime, with an average of 3.317 million Canadians tuning into the Maple Leafs @ Canadiens game. An additional 1.3 million watched on RDS, bringing the total average audience above 4 million viewers. The “Prime West” game on CBC, which surely struggled to keep the interest of Canucks fans, 1.471 million viewers. That is the highest rated late game since Hockey Day in Canada last season.

17 thoughts on “NHL Returns to Big Ratings

  1. 1.49 million in a population over 33million+ ?…..that’s big?…..4% of the population…..hockey mad…only according to the media!

    • Considering that most sports events (outside of NHL, NFL and CFL and a few other big events) struggles to get 500, 000; yeah, its a huge number. And it was in the middle of the afternoon.

      The 3.3 million number is the primetime one. BBM ratings for this past week (January 14-20) aren’t out yet, but only two broadcasts (Big Bang Theory and the Golden Globes) were over 3 million viewers last week (January 7-13). Even 1.5 would put the afternoon game in the top 20 (well ahead of all other daytime programming save for CTV News @ 6).

    • if you just listened to sports media and some general media, you would think hockey rules eveything in Canada, & everyone in the world knows what a Super Bowl is and is paying rapt attention in the middle of night in Europe but big picture wise, other than special events like Canada in gold medal Olympics, a run of the mill top 25 tv show easily beats a run of the mill sporting event on tv.

      • Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but last I checked the Super Bowl is the 2nd most watched annual sports event (behind the Champions League final). Largely because of America, yes, but nonetheless. Of course non-annual events like the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup, Cricket World Cup and Summer Olympics generate bigger audiences as well.

        And hockey does rule everything in Canada. Did you not read what I just wrote. All 3 HNIC broadcasts will make the top 30 (maybe even top 20) in the January 14-20 ratings, once they are released. The only sports broadcasts that will make it are probably the NFL conference championships and maybe TSN’s Wednesday Night game (Toronto v Pittsburgh).

    • 1.4 For a reg season game is very good.

      • I don’t know if you are talking about the afternoon game, the Canucks game, or both. Either way, the fact that both of those games got close to 1.5 million viewers, that is awesome and it shows how much we as Canadians love hockey. Hopefully the battle of Alberta this Saturday night between the Oilers and Flames in Calgary will come close to or even top these numbers from last Saturday.

        • Awesome of the NHL, sure. High ratings are a bit of a double edged sword for CBC. Sure they equal more profit, but they may also drive up the prices for the next NHL TV contract.

          • The Cbc might not be all that happy but you can bet the league is very happy.

            • I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say they’re not happy with it. It’s just an interesting cause and effect for them.

              • Well all leagues want to make as much money as possible so if these ratings keep up that will inccrease the value of the broadcast right.

                • I never said that they didn’t… I was talking about CBC

                  • Hopefully the CBC can retain the rights to Hockey Night In Canada. CTV (& maybe City if they have a nationwide presence) will definitely make an aggressive run for OTA rights. Speaking of which, do these rights go up for bid after the 2013-2014 season or the 2014-2015 season? I am not entirely clear on this. If you Josh or someone else has the answer, much appreciated and thanks in advance.

                    • The current deal runs through the end of 2013-14. So new deal begins in 2014-15. League will probably have exclusive negotiating window with CBC and TSN first, then if they don’t get a deal done it will go to the open market. Timeframe could be anytime in the next year really.

                    • I would like Cbc to win the right but it could be hard if Rogers-Bell team up money won’t be a issue but Cbc can only spend so much.

                  • No question for the Cbc its great to have good ratings but the down side is it makes the value of the rights go up.

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