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.