It’s been awhile. Here are a bunch of things you may or may not know about.
On July 29th, the Blue Jays got their highest ever ratings for a non-opener. Just over one million people tuned in to watch the Jays take on the Red Sox, a record that has been set and broken numerous times since the beginning of the season as the Jays slowly climbed into first place in the AL East. Since then, the ratings have gone down slightly as the team crashed out of first place and now sit a number of games out of the wild card spot. The All-Star game was the most-watched in Sportsnet history with an average audience of 653,000. Ratings for the Home Run Derby were up 11% from last year. Both no doubt due to some Jays being featured.
Rogers NHL Schedule
ICYMI, here is the press release with the full slate of over 200 games that Rogers will be showing on CBC, Sportsnet, FX Canada and City. There are still 150 games to be added to that schedule of national and regional games. Look for a more detailed post on the new NHL coverage in Canada closer to season start.
The NBA released the 2014-15 schedule last night. Not that it matters much to anyone here, but for the first time in a long time, the Raptors have a decent amount of games on national television in the US. Nine in total, with three on ESPN, one on TNT and the remaining on NBA TV. The annual Christmas Day marathon will see Wizards-Knicks, Thunder-Spurs, Cavs-Heat, Lakers-Bulls and Warriors-Clippers. TSN and Sportsnet will release their Raptors and NBA schedules closer to the season opener. It will be interesting to see how fewer NBA will be on Sportsnet and whether TSN picks up the difference.
Tennis has been in the news lately as a number of Canadians perform well in big matches, especially at Wimbledon in June where TSN recording its highest-ever ratings for the men’s and women’s final. Milos Raonic made it to the semi-final where an average of 766,000 viewers on TSN and RDS tuned in, and on the women’s side, rapid-riser Genie Bouchard lost in the final in straight sets but it still drew a combined English-French audience of 1.8 million with a peak of 2.1 million. The men’s final between Djokovic and Federer got 823,000 combined. Even the men’s doubles final with Canadian Vasek Pospisil got just over 300,000.
The Rogers Cup in Toronto and Montreal didn’t draw close to any of those numbers as the Canadians were all bundled out early. CBC got 178k for the finals on Sunday and 148k and 133k for the Saturday semi-finals. The US Open begins on TSN on Monday.
FIFA World Cup Ratings
The final between Germany and Argentina garnered a new ratings record for soccer in Canada. An average of 4.9 million viewers tuned in (nearly 40% more than the 2010 World Cup) with more than 11 million people at least watching part of the game. The third-place game drew 2.3 million, which wasn’t as high as other playoff games. This was the last World Cup for CBC as TSN takes over from 2018.
Deckchairs on the Titanic
Bruce Arthur from the National Post to the Toronto Star. Cathal Kelly from the Toronto Star to The Globe and Mail. Damien Cox to Sportsnet full time from the Toronto Star. All continue to be garbage clowns. Richard Westhead also leaves The Star and goes to TSN as a “senior correspondent” having covered sports business on and off over the past 20 years.
WWE Network in Canada
Rogers announced recently they signed a 10-year agreement with WWE for broadcast and online distribution. Rogers inherited WWE programming when it took over The Score and will continue to show Raw, Smackdown and it’s other weekly shows, as well as distribute WWE pay-per-view events. Fans will receive see more WWE than ever before with this new deal.
Also included are exclusive rights to the WWE Network. Launched in the US in February, American subscribers pay $10 a month for Netflix-type service that includes thousands of hours of archived programming as well as exclusive online-only shows. Here in Canada however, it is a pale comparison. First, you have to be a Rogers cable customer, and it is currently a video on-demand service through their system. So, instead of watching whatever you choose, you can only watch from a very small selection. How small? According to this Reddit post, 12 PPVs. That’s the list, and one horrible looking graphics package to present it on, all for $12 a month. Classic Rogers.
While Bell and Rogers customers can access TSN GO, TSN’s online streaming service, Sportsnet’s equivalent that launched back in June is still currently only available to Rogers customers. Sportsnet NOW allows you to stream all seven Sportsnet channels on any device anywhere in Canada, blackout-free. Somewhat unusual there isn’t a two-way street when it comes to Rogers and Bell customers being able to watch the live streams, but of course, being a customer of any other cable company in Canada is far worse in this situation.
beIN Sports Connect
Previously known as beIN Sports Play, the online service of beIN Sports will now be known as beIN Sports Connect and offer more matches and features than the previous incarnation. Users will be able to stream the English and Spanish network as well as matches that are available only online.
Available via beinsportsconnect.ca, it will set you back $20 a month with an option for a discounted yearly subscription. Streaming is available on desktops, tablets and smart phones. beIN Sports are exclusive holders in Canada of soccer leagues including La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Capital One Cup, League Championship, Russian Premier League, as well as the World Superbike Championship, World Rallycross Championship and more.
Pretty sure that should catch you up on everything that has happened over the past few months. Here’s hoping we can get some posts up here more consistently as the sports world begins to awaken from their summer slumber, including a post next week as TSN adds three more channels and expanding their coverage.