Canadian Sports Ratings Update: January 31

Some more impressive NHL numbers. Here are the latest ratings. Thanks to Whitey Fisk for the hoops and NFL and curling numbers.

NHL
MTL-WSH, Jan 24, RDS: 766, 000
TOR-NYR, Jan 26, CBC: 1.87 million
EDM-CGY, Jan 26, CBC: 1.09 million
PIT-OTT, Jan 27, SNE: 441, 000
NJ-MTL, Jan 27, RDS: 896, 000
WPG-MTL, Jan 29, RDS: 808, 000

NBA
TOR-ORL, Jan 24, TSN: 134, 000
CLE-TOR, Jan 26, TSN: 212, 000
GS-TOR, Jan 28, TSN: 185, 000

NFL
Pro Bowl, Jan 27, TSN: 204, 000

Curling The National
Semi Final, Jan 26, SN: 313, 000

25 thoughts on “Canadian Sports Ratings Update: January 31

  1. I’m new to your site and am quite enjoying it.

    Can you explain something to me? I know there are “territorial” rights re NHL broadcasts. I don’t know exactly what they are, only that they exist. So, I live in the GTA. But I’m not a Leafs fan. I like the Sens. I cannot watch the Sens on TV even when the Leafs AREN’T playing? Why? I pay Rogers for their multitude of Sportsnet channels yet when one of them carries the Sens I can’t watch. I’ve never understood this. If you could explain, I’d be grateful.

    • The basics of it are that its not up to Sportsnet or Rogers. All 3 pro sports leagues sell territorial rights, but since there is only 1 Canadian team in NBA and MLB, we don’t notice theirs in Canada really. The NHL sells national rights to TSN and CBC. All other games are sold by each team for their territory only. Sens games aren’t on in the GTA to protect the Leafs region, regardless of whether the Leafs are playing or not. This is mutually beneficial since Leafs games don’t air in Ottawa either. This also protects the national rights that the NHL sells (since no team can sell their own “national” rights). The NHL, in turn, sells out of market games on Centre Ice which generates more revenue.

      So the answer is, the games are available to you, but you have to pay for Centre Ice (which is $50 for the season this year). It’s also worth noting that the Leafs and Sens share most of Southeastern Ontario, just not the GTA and Ottawa. There are some parts of Southeastern Ontario that get Senators, Leafs and Habs regional games. This is sort of the same reason why the Leafs don’t really want another NHL team in Markham or Hamilton.

    • Haven’t seen it this year, but in the past, Comcast will show games from its other channels. So in Chicago, if the Blackhawks or Bulls aren’t playing, you might, maybe, get a game from CSN San Jose or Philadelphia or Washington. It would be really cool if Rogers would do something like that, maybe on Sportsnet One.

      The frustration with Center Ice in the States is they try not to show Canadian feeds. Does Center Ice in Canada do a better job showing Canadian feeds?

      • One of the problems with that is Sportsnet One is a national channel, so it wouldn’t work. Not to mention that most people who get Sportsnet One also get all four regional channels, so it wouldn’t do much. Comcast can do it because they have national NHL rights, plus deals with the Sharks, Hawks, Caps, Flyers. These conditions simply don’t exist in Canada.

        Sportsnet feeds are always used for Centre Ice in Canada simply because every cable/satellite provider already carries them anyway. It’s just a matter of re-mapping the feed to the Centre Ice channel. I assume the same is true in the States where DirecTV, for example, already has the feeds for most regional sports channels, so they just use those. I doubt its an attempt to avoid showing Canadian feeds, they are just using the easier/more sensible choice.

        • Fair point about DirecTV. In the just finished preview, I saw one TSN national feed and one TSN-Jets feed and that was because they were all-Canadian matchups. When TSN carried Vancouver-Los Angeles and it was the only game on at the time, we only got the LA local feed.

    • The regions which the Leafs and Sens games are not shown was decided by the Leafs. The Senators offered to share all of Ontario with the Leafs when they came into existence in the early 90’s but the Leafs said no. This was a move made out of fear and all it did to a large extent was isolate the Leafs fan base in Ottawa in order to “protect” the Toronto market from the Senators presence. Let’s be honest even with ~6 Million people Toronto probably has less Sens fans than the 1.2 Million Ottawa-Gatineau area has Leafs fans.

      • True. And the shared areas were a lot smaller until a few years ago, as I recall.

        • The dividing line between the Leafs region and the Sens region up until 2008 (I think) was around Brighton or Trenton in the south up to Pembroke. I guess the Sens and Leafs came to an agreement since as the Sens games now go as far west as Peterborough and maybe some other areas further north while the Leafs games goes as far east as Kingston.
          Going back to when the Sens came into existence and offered to share all of Ontario with the Leafs which the Leafs turned down. In fairness that deal would’ve been worse for the Leafs since the potential audience for the Leafs in eastern Ontario would be far less than the Sens potential audience west of that dividing line I mentioned above.

          • While I agree that the potential audience may be larger in the Greater Toronto Area than the Ottawa area I still think the Sens actually benefit more from the deal. When you watch a game between the Sens and Leafs in Ottawa look at the jerseys in the crowd, almost half are blue and white. To me this is an indication of a large Leafs fan base in the area. The same simply cannot be said for games between the two teams in Toronto where the crowd is definitely pro-Leafs. In my opinion this is not due to protectionist regional broadcast rules it is due to the Leafs having a much longer history and the dominance of the “National”/Toronto sports media in this country. I also think that when the Sens came into the league many hockey fans in Ottawa faced a dilemma, support the local team or support your traditional favourite team either the Leafs or the Canadiens. Some stuck with their teams while some made the switch. I can’t imagine this being a huge dilemma for Leafs fans in Toronto as there would be less incentive for them to switch allegiances as the Leafs were their “home town” team.

            • One could argue that if every Sens game was broadcast in Toronto then there would now be plenty of potential Sens fans there who are under 30 years old. Someone could be just as likely to grow up with the Sens as the Leafs. I do agree that it has more to do with the traditional domination of the Leafs and Habs in eastern Ontario though.

              • Your point makes some sense but let’s not forget that Toronto is 4 hours away from Ottawa so it’s not like we are talking about a cross town rivalry. The odds a kid from Guelph randomly starts cheering for the Sens despite his parents and most other people around him being Leafs fans is pretty darn slim. On the other hand there are plenty of Leafs fans in Eastern Ontario so a kid isn’t going to feel isolated cheering for the Leafs in that area.

                • Most Leaf/Habs fans live in Ottawa i know some will say look at all the fans that make the trip the fact is most don’t.

                  • I agree, it will be take a long time for Ottawa to dominate it’s market. Over time people new to Canada and people without an allegiance to any team will slowly increase the Senators fan percentage in the area. Unlike the Western Canadian teams Ottawa deals with being in a limbo zone where Toronto isn’t exactly a “home team” but they also aren’t WAAAY on the other side of the country like Toronto is from Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. This definitely make the Ottawa situation unique, as does it’s sizeable french speaking minority population.

  2. Josh can you explain to me (an i’m sure you already have tried) why exactly here in Canada on Centre Ice I can’t watch any games in HD that are from Philadelphia, New York (both teams), Buffalo and New Jersey? I know that it has something to do with Comcast but not sure why I can watch them on gamecenter online fine but not on my TV.

  3. While we’re on the topic of the broadcasts, why did we Habs fans in the Canadiens region basically get a Winnipeg Jets broadcast on Tuesday night on the TSN-Habs feed? The graphics said “Jets on TSN”, ads were geared more to Manitoba viewers (I remember Pizza Hotline from my days living just south of WPG), and the play-by-play man was the Jets homer announcer who couldn’t have been less enthused when Montreal scored. Where was Dave Randorf? Sportsnet has separate crews on hand when they’re showing a game involving two Canadian teams in two different regional markets so why couldn’t TSN?

    • Actually Sportsnet doesn’t always use a second crew. When the Oilers and Flames play on Sportsnet west they use the crew for the home team. They do use two crews when Vancouver plays one of the Alberta teams. It doesn’t come up too often because so many all Canadian matchups broadcast nationally on TSN and CBC.
      The TSN Hab/Jets issue comes up twice more this year. Let us know what TSN does.

      • But as you say the Oilers/Flames games are only airing on one regional feed since those teams share the same TV territory. Sportsnet always has both regional crews when it’s teams in two different regions on two separate feeds The only reasoning I can come up with here is TSN being cheap as they usual will when possible and decided not to care about the viewers on the Habs regional feed even with the game being played in Montreal.

    • Yeah I thought it was a pretty cheap move by TSN. One thing to share the video, but they should have had Randorf and one of their hundred analysts doing the game for the Habs region.

      I don’t complain too much because I doubt the game on TSN-Habs get very good ratings to begin with.

      • Well, I’m sure TSN probably saved a grand or two by not having to pay for the likes of Randorf and Dave Reid to fly or train to Montreal from Toronto and their stay in a hotel there. And true the ratings on TSN-Habs likely aren’t very good with the low availability of the channel and mainly Francophone population in Quebec that will watch on RDS regardless.

  4. While we are on the topic of the Leafs not wanting a team in the Markham or Hamilton areas, I wanted to ask this question: since the Senators & Canadiens share the Ottawa / Eastern Ontario, Quebec & Atlantic regions, could it have the potential to derail Quebec City’s chances of getting their Nordiques back? I’m not too sure so if you Josh or KGNKH1 have any answers, they would be very much appreciated and thanks to both of you in advance.

    • The Sens probably wouldn’t. Since Quebec had a team before, they’d probably argue there is precedent for a team there without affecting Habs profits (or at least not affecting them after paying the Habs an entrance fee).

    • I don’t think the return of a team to Quebec City would really impact the TV region situation regarding the Sens and Habs. The anglophone population in Quebec City is very small so aside from any national appearances on TSN/CBC I doubt there would be any English regional coverage. So I think it would be status-quo as far as English regional coverage goes in Eastern Canada. The impact on the French language coverage of the NHL in general would be a whole other issue.

  5. Any chance you have ratings for the HNIC pregame show Scotiabank Hockey Tonight for Sat Jan 26?

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