Top Rated 2012 Olympic Broadcasts

CTV released their final 2012 Olympic ratings this afternoon. I’m not going to bother debating their coverage anymore, simply because it’s over. I don’t care anymore. The next potential chance for CTV to show an Olympics isn’t until 2018. That’s a long way off. The numbers are fairly staggering. An average of 7.5 million Canadians (5.1 million watched it live on CTV alone) watched the closing ceremony last night. Not only does that make it the highest rated closing ceremony ever, but the highest rated Summer Olympic broadcast too. A combined audience of 2.419 watched the Beijing Closing Ceremony (live and encore) on CBC and CBC Newsworld in 2008.

Here is a comparison of 2004, 2008 and 2012 for Morning, Overnight (which was live in 2008) and Primetime coverage, as well as the Ceremonies. Note that CBC didn’t have Daytime coverage in 2008, so I’ve chosen not to include it.

Olympic Morning (CTV/CBC)
Athens 2004: 322, 000
Beijing 2008: 675, 000
London 2012: 922, 000*

Note: London 2012 only only days 1-9, which is all that’s available at the time.

Olympic Primetime (CTV/CBC)
Sydney 2000: 1.255 million
Athens 2004: 1.1 million
Beijing 2008: 1.294 million
London 2012: 1.967 million*

*Note: London 2012 only includes days 1-9, which is all that’s available at the time.

Olympic Primetime (TOTAL)
Beijing 2008: 1.434 million
London 2012: 2.8 million*

*Note: London 2012 only includes through day 13. The last two full days of competition are not available. 2008 includes CBC and TSN broadcasts (and not RDS or Radio-Canada), while 2012 includes all networks involved in the consortium.

Olympic Overnight (CTV/CBC)
Athens 2004: 212, 000
Beijing 2008: 544, 000
London 2012: 429, 000*

*Note: London 2012 only includes days 1-9, which is all that’s available at the time.

Opening Ceremony (live broadcast only)
Atlanta 1996: 4.3 million
Athens 2004: 1.4 million
Beijing 2008: 1.6 million
London 2012: 6.4 million

Closing Ceremony (live broadcast only)
Beijing 2008: 933, 000
London 2012: 5.1 million

(Credit to Chris Zelkovich for past CBC ratings)

Of course, it is worth remembering that sports ratings have trended higher since BBM Canada introduced portable-people-metres as their measurement system in 2010.

A couple more numbers to think about. The peak minute audience for CBC in 2008 was 2.574 million, for Simon Whitfield’s silver medal performance in triathlon. The 2012 opening ceremony peaked at 8.1 million viewers. CBC averaged around 300, 000 streams per day in 2008. CTVOlympics.ca cracked the million mark consistently, which shows the direction sports broadcasting is headed.

Here are the ten most watched 2012 Olympic events on CTV. Following the break, you can find many more ratings I’ve compiled over the past two weeks.

1. Athletics, men’s 100m final (CTV, V, RDS) – 6.2 million
2. Women’s Soccer, Canada v. USA (CTV, TSN, V) – 3.8 million
3. Athletics, men’s 1500m semifinal (CTV, V) – 3.1 million
4. Swimming, women’s 50m freestyle final (CTV, RDS) – 3.0 million
5. Athletics, women’s 400m hurdles, round 1 (CTV, V) – 3.0 million
6. Swimming, men’s 4x100m medley final (CTV, RDS) – 2.9 million
7. Swimming, men’s 1500m final (CTV, RDS) – 2.8 million
8. Athletics, men’s 200m final (CTV, V, RDS) – 2.7 million
9. Women’s beach volleyball, CZE-USA (CTV) – 2.6 million
10. Cycling, men’s omnium 15km (CTV, RDS) – 2.5 million

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London 2012: Medals for Commentators

Right then, the Games of the XXX Olympiad are now closed. Regardless of TV coverage and Canadian performances (or lack of), London put on a great show. It was a great Olympics for the United Kingdom. Now that the Olympics, and CTV’s reign as official Olympic broadcaster in Canada, are over, I thought I’d have a little fun. Rank the commentators who most deserve medals. I’ve included any commentators that I’ve heard on a regular basis over the past couple weeks. CTV and NBC. I know some (many?) will disagree, but I don’t really care because the Games are done now. Chances are Rod Black won’t call a gymnastics competition anytime soon. And Blythe Hartley and Joanne Malar won’t be on TV at all.

I’ve divided everything up into three categories. They are: Play-by-play, Analyst and Studio host. I’ve also created a top 3 list exclusively for commentators working in Toronto. Here it is.

Play-by-Play (on-site)
Gold: Terry Gannon (rowing/canoeing, NBC)
Silver: Rod Smith (swimming/diving, CTV)
Bronze: Paul Romanuk (weightlifting, CTV)
4th: Gord Miller (athletics, CTV)
5th: Mike Emrick (water polo, NBC)

Gannon is one of the more versatile play-by-play commentators in North America. A play-by-play announcer for Golf Channel, he is now part of NBC due to the Comcast takeover. While Rob Faulds is a good rowing commentator, Gannon’s calls were level-headed and rarely biased.

Smith has a prime role in Canadian sports broadcasting as the 6pm ET host of SportsCentre. Personally, I think his talents are better used in the broadcast booth. His booming voice was great for speed skating in Vancouver and swimming in London. I’d like to see him get a spot calling play-by-play for the CFL on TSN, personally.

Romanuk is one of the all-time great Canadian sportscasters. He’d probably be right there with Chris Cuthbert and Dan Shulman, had he not decided to move to London a few years back. He called basketball in Beijing for CBC, before moving into the obscure (in Canada at least) sport of weightlifting in 2012. Not only did he impress, especially on the call for Christine Girard’s bronze medal, but I often watched a sport I had never watched before.

I was also pleasantly surprised by Miller. For me, the trio of Miller, Moorcroft and Smith was the best during the Olympics. They put the biggest night of the Games, day #8 in athletics, into great context. His call of “an extraordinary Saturday night in London” paid homage to the great Don Wittman in a way. I’ll never forget watching that athletics session and Miller’s commentary goes hand-in-hand with it. I also loved that Miller let Jamaica have their moment of glory before mentioning that Canada had finished 3rd in the men’s 4x100m relay.

Emrick is best-known as the main play-by-play commentator for the NHL on NBC. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of water polo. However, Emrick’s voice during the middle of summer makes it worth tuning into.

Play-by-Play (Toronto studio)
Gold: Luke Wileman (soccer, CTV)
Silver: Eric Smith (boxing, CTV)
Bronze: Jim van Horne (tennis/badminton/boxing, CTV)
4th: RJ Broadhead (beach volleyball, CTV)
5th: Bryan Mudryk (various sports, CTV)

Luke Wileman was the voice (in Canada) of the greatest soccer game in Olympic history (as British commentator Dan O’Hagan put it). Not only was he the voice of that match, but also the redemption game for Canada against France for bronze. The team captured the hearts of the nation. Wileman called it from Toronto, and very well-so, I may add.

Eric Smith might not be a familiar name to many. He works on The Fan 590 as a Raptors analyst. For the Olympics, he was as boxing commentator. Even though he was in Toronto, he caught things that some at Excel might not even have noticed.

Jim van Horne and Bryan Mudryk get on the list for being versatile, if nothing else. Van Horne called Milos Raonic’s marathon match against Jo Wilfried Tsonga, the Bruce/Li doubles semifinal (badminton was never even originally scheduled to air in Canada in English) and the debut women’s boxing with Mary Spencer. While none of those athletes went on to win medals, they were some of the seminal moments in the Games. Van Horne is an Olympics veteran, and a valuable asset to the CBC come 2016.

Heese and Broadhead impressed me overall. I actually preferred them to NBC’s beach volleyball commentators, who seemingly repeated the same, tired cliches day after day. They did their research, attending the Canadian Olympic Trials in July. Broadhead new the athletes, the terms and the rules. He impressed on Nordic sports in Vancouver and again on beach volleyball in London.

Mudryk only beats van Horne in that he called judo, taekwondo, equestrian. Who knew he was so versatile. I’d honestly never watched judo before, but Mudryk explained the rules perfectly, better than the analyst Frazier Will in fact. I’ll admit, I almost gave this spot to Vic Rauter simply for his counting-up of points during Martine Dugrenier’s repechage match.

Analyst
Gold: Michael Smith & David Moorcroft (athletics, CTV)
Silver: Emily Cordonier (volleyball, CTV)
Bronze: Mark Heese (beach volleyball, CTV)
4th: Rowdy Gains (swimming; NBC)
5th: Russ Anber (boxing, CTV)

Smith amd Moorcroft were exceptional on CBC in 2008, and again this time for CTV. Moorcroft put Britain’s super Saturday into a great British perspective, without coming across as biased. Canada had great results in the heptathlon and decathlon. Smith was a decathlete for Canada, so he was able to analyze the competitions better than both. Both Smith and Moorcroft acknowledged the rule broken by Canada in the men’s 4x100m relay. In fact, they were first to say it must be a lane violation because all of the handovers were legal. Again, not biased. By luck, and preparation, CTV’s athletics team was Olympics broadcasting at its finest.

Cordonier was very impressive in her broadcasting debut. She was another example of a Canadian commentator who was better than her American counterpart at NBC. Her and Kevin Quinn worked well together. She explained many of the technical rules of indoor volleyball (which are more detailed and confusing than the beach version). It didn’t hurt that her and commentator Kevin Quinn had a couple of spectacular comebacks in the men’s and women’s gold medal matches.

The same things I said about Broadhead and Cordonier apply to Heese.

With no Byron McDonald in London and the annoying Joanne Malar on CTV, Gains was the top analyst for swimming in 2012. Sure, he is a bit American biased at times, but he knows his stuff. I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping McDonald is back for Rio on CBC.

Those who like Russ Anber really like him. Those who don’t, well they really don’t. He is excitable. I miss the days of In This Corner on TSN, as well as the time when TSN would produce their own coverage of World Championship fights taking place in Canada. Having Anber back on TV was a bit of a flashback to that.

Studio Host
Gold: Brian Williams (Primetime, CTV)
Silver: Al Michaels & Dan Patrick (Daytime, NBC)
Bronze: James Duthie (Daytime, CTV)

Williams is Williams, regardless of what the haters say. He knows more about amateur sports than the rest of the country combined. It will be a sad day if Sochi rolls around and Williams isn’t on Canadian televisions.

Michaels and Patrick are two legends in American sports broadcasting. I actually really enjoyed their daytime show on NBC. Michaels will now go back to being the best NFL commentator with Sunday Night Football starting next week.

I was actually quite impressed with Duthie. Who knew he was so well-versed in amateur sports? Hopefully if TSN sub-licenses 2014/16 Olympic coverage from CBC, he will host their primetime show.

Coming up later this week, I’ll have some final thoughts on CTV’s brief era as Canada’s Olympic broadcaster and how they changed the way we watch the Games forever. I’ll also look ahead to CBC’s coverage of Sochi 2014, which is less than 18 months away. I’ll also have a complete ratings report for the 2012 Olympics, hopefully on Wednesday.

CTV’s Olympics Coverage the Worst Ever, Does it Even Matter?

In the social media era complaining is easy to do. Look at all those complaining about NBC’s tape delayed coverage of the Olympics. An American medallist will trend instantly, hours before their event reaches American homes. It is also easier to complain about live coverage here in Canada. But does it really matter?

Just in comments on this blog alone I’ve heard everything from [name of announcer] sucks, CTV’s coverage is the worst ever (hard to say that unless you can remember CBC’s coverage of 17 hours in Rome 1960, but I digress), CTV’s announcers are amateurs (hey, like the athletes were supposed to be), Joanne Malar sounds like a sheep (I actually get this one), and I can’t find [name of sport] anywhere on TV. Those are all real complaints. Some quite valid, some not so much. Is CTV’s Olympic coverage the worst ever? Doubtful. I’d take 18 hours a day over 1 hour a day (ala CBC in Rome) anytime. Is it worse than CBC? In some aspects surely. Is it worse than NBC? Hardly. Could they do better? Probably.

However, I don’t think it really matters. Just as fast as records are broken in the pool and at the velodrome, CTV is setting record audiences for a Summer Olympics. An average of 6.4 million Canadians tuned in for the Opening Ceremony, about 50% more than the CBC’s previous high (4.3 million for Atlanta 1996). Of course the London Opening Ceremony was earlier in the evening than Atlanta. Even with the new way of measuring TV audiences (from 2010 onwards), it is easily the most watched Summer Opening Ceremony in Canadian history.

CTV’s Primetime coverage is averaging around 2 million viewers for the first week. That’s also close to 50% higher than CBC’s coverage in Beijng. And remember in Beijing CBC was live from 9pm ET/6pm PT onwards with swimming and gymnastics finals in 2008. There is no live primetime coverage in London.

As long as people tune-in in record numbers, advertisers are going to pay. This is good news not only for CTV, but more importantly CBC, who will broadcast the next two Olympic Games in Canada. It is also good for Canadian summer athletes, who may be able to secure more corporate funding with increased attention.

CTV cares about making money, or at least coming close to breaking even in this case. To make money (or avoid losing it) they need to draw viewers. Many viewers are at least satisfied enough with their coverage to watch in record numbers (there is an alternative in NBC). So, it doesn’t really matter if CTV is showing too many ads. Too much studio talk, not enough live action (I’ve never had a problem with either, a benefit of 3 channels) or if their coverage is in fact the worst ever. The ratings are the highest ever. And at the end of the Games, they are the one number that matters to Bell and Rogers.

How Do CTV’s Commentators Stack Up to CBC’s?

It is really hard to judge how good, or bad, CTV’s Olympic coverage is in 2012. It all depends on the viewer. Some would say it is better than CBC’s, some would not. Some would say that it is a lot better than CTV’s 2010 coverage, but again, some wouldn’t. It mostly comes down to quantity vs. quality. There is no question that CTV had more coverage than CBC and TSN ever combined to show in the past. CTV alone is broadcasting 18 hours of coverage day, with 15 additional hours on both TSN and Sportsnet. In 2008 CBC and TSN combined for about 18 hours of coverage daily. Rarely were both broadcasting at the same time, giving viewers a choice of what they wanted to see. What does come into question about CTV’s broadcasts, though, is the quality.

It does seem that the “Canadian-ness” of CTV’s broadcasts is toned down in 2012. Maybe they listened to viewers. Maybe they realized that the US Men’s Basketball team, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt are as popular in Canada as most of our own athletes. The opening montage, which featured only Canadian athletes in 2010, has been replaced by one with a sea of colours representing athletes from all over the world. Featured prominently are Bolt, Lebron James, Kerri Walsh and Misty May, Roger Federer, and Michael Phelps, alongside Canadian stars Jessica Zelinka, Dylan Armstrong, Christine Sinclair, Alexandre Despatie and Adam van Koeverdan.

In that sense, CTV’s coverage of the London Olympics is immeasurably better than their coverage of Vancouver. As a viewer, I feel like I’m watching the world coming together, instead of prominent Canadian athletes being cheered on against others.

One thing that hasn’t changed from CTV’s coverage in 2010 is the song in that opening montage (and every other montage). Believe is back and as annoying as ever. I actually like the instrumental version, but hearing the full version every time a Canadian wins a medal and at the close of every Primetime broadcast is grating. And the new version by The Tenors isn’t any better. I still cheer on the Canadian athletes, but I’ve learned to quickly change the channel after the event is done. Of course this will return in 2014 (more on that later).

The hosts of CTV’s broadcasts are great. Brian Williams is still the best Olympic host in Canada, maybe in all of the English-speaking world. He is not afraid to speak his mind, which, in my opinion, is important for a well-respected journalist. With CBC gaining Olympic rights back from 2014, this is likely Williams’ last Olympic Games. A few have complained about him (my favourite is that he reads from a script. Every host does). I’ve tuned in every night during the Olympics so far to watch CTV’s Primetime show.

The only CTV host who is close to as good as Williams is James Duthie. I was a bit concerned about his knowledge of summer sports. Turns out I was wrong. Right from the opening broadcast it was clear to me that he had prepared for London. He is witty, and actually funny, unlike, for example, Ron MacLean. His co-host Jennifer Hedger is mostly good as well. Maybe she isn’t the most exuberant of TSN’s SportsCentre hosts, but she is one of the most professional. Morning hosts Dave Randorf and Catriona Le May Doan are the worst of the bunch at CTV. Randorf is very knowledgeable. He is an Olympic veteran as a former Daytime and Primetime host for TSN. Le May Doan, on the other hand, is too close to the Canadian Olympic team. She feels like a Canadian cheerleader, not an Olympic co-host. Maybe CTV should have found another role for her in London.

None of TSN’s hosts have stood out to me. Kate Beirness constantly makes mistakes, although she does correct them. She is a young, talented broadcaster; however, maybe too inexperienced for such a large role. Michael Landsberg is a great interviewer, but not a great host. His joke about Mark Heese appearing on Off the Record didn’t come across as a joke at all. Made it look like he just wanted to promote that he hosts a sports talk show. Darren Dutchyshen at least hasn’t made an embarrassing error like he did in Vancouver. He is probably the best of TSN’s hosts, but isn’t as good as his primetime counterparts at CTV, Sportsnet and NBC.

Speaking of Sportsnet’s primetime host, Brad Fay is the stand out host of Olympic coverage for me. He is very knowledgeable on Olympic sports and could become the star host that Sportsnet has never had (ala Maclean at CBC and Duthie at TSN).

As for their commentators, most are unforgettable. Some in a bad way. Rod Smith (aquatics), Rob Faulds (rowing), Gord Miller (athletics) and RJ Broadhead (beach volleyball) are among the standouts. Smith’s cadence and booming voice are perfect for swimming’s biggest events. Faulds is an Olympic veteran, he was part of CTV’s 1992 coverage in Barcelona. And who knew Broadhead was so knowledgeable about beach volleyball?

Thank goodness I don’t watch much gymnastics, apparently. I haven’t read many good things about Rod Black. And his call of Rosie MacLennan’s first gold medal for Canada in London was one of the worst Olympic calls I have ever heard. After the scores for the Chinese gymnast came up, Black excitedly yelled “Jump for joy Canada!” Sure I was happy for MacLennan, but jump for joy? Everyone talks about Jamie Campbell’s medal calls seeming scripted, I wonder how long Black had worked on this one?

Maybe we just don’t have good amateur sports analysts in Canada. Or maybe too many of them are too close to our current athletes. Joanne Malar was unbearable on swimming, constantly shouting over Smith. She said Michael Phelps was swimming for Canada in the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay. Another shouter was rowing analyst Barney Williams. He surely jolted me out of bed while watching rowing at 6am. Again though, many times he seemed to cheer Canada to the finish line. Kyle Shewfelt, while excellent with his analysis, also seemed to get overly excited for Canadian medals. So did judo analyst Frazer Will, who repeated himself countless times during week 1.

The most surprising analyst for me is Mark Heese. He knows everything about beach volleyball and is able to make it easy to understand for casual viewers. Usually Canadian coverage messes up volleyball on the beach, but CTV’s coverage with Broadhead and Heese is just as good as their American counterparts at NBC. Heese also wasn’t a Canadian cheerleader.

Some viewers don’t like Blythe Hartley. I think she is actually able to explain diving a lot better than 2008 CBC analyst Anne Montminy. Again, like Heese, she stands out to me because she doesn’t overtly cheer for Canadian athletes on air. This even though her and Emelie Heymans were teammates for many years. It is rare that a recently retired athlete is able to put personal connections aside on television.

Maybe CBC deserves the credit, but Michael Smith and David Moorcroft are a fantastic pairing on athletics. There were CBC’s track analysts in Beijing. Moorcroft was able to provide an excellent British opinion this evening as the British team had an historic night, winning 3 gold medals at the Olympic Stadium. Smith, a former decathlete, gave insight into the heptathlon that many could not. Hearing Moorcroft made me realize that CTV could use a larger British presence on their coverage. They just happened to choose a Brit for the right event as day 8 athletics will go down as the signature moment of London 2012.

The two commentators that deserve the most attention are freelancers. One is in London, the other in Toronto. Both were TSN regulars some 20 years ago. Both get to call minor sports, sometimes on short notice. Paul Romanuk is CTV’s commentator for triathlon and weightlifting. He put Paula Findlay’s performance in the women’s triathlon in perfect context this morning. He is probably the most professional, unbiased commentator in Canada. Everyone else should look up to him. Jim van Horne got the call for Milos Raonic’s marathon match. He also called a women’s doubles badminton semifinal feature Canada. His knowledge of badminton was particularly surprising.

Both Romauk and van Horne had to work without analysts. Maybe it was too their benefit considering some of CTV’s other analysts detract from the broadcast. Romanuk on weightlifting and van Horne on badminton were the two standout commentators during the first week of CTV’s coverage, in my opinion.

There is one other thing that CTV got right. Using NBC coverage for tennis and basketball and BBC commentary for soccer. Using NBC for tennis gave CTV the ability to show whatever matches they want, without having commentators on-duty in a Toronto studio to call them in a moments’ notice. Basketball and soccer as best covered by the Americans and the Brits respectively.

CTV Boasts that London 2012 Ratings Up 74% Over 2008

Canadian medal performances over the first few days have helped push CTV’s Olympic Prime ratings up 45% higher than CBC’s Olympic Prime (which included live swimming) in 2008. Obviously the new ratings system that was introduced after the 2008 Olympics, which has resulted in higher sports ratings across the board, is a factor too.

Here is CTV’s press release.

After the first three days of events (July 28 – 30), audiences for Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium’s coverage of London 2012 are averaging 2.1 million viewers overall throughout its 22 hours of daily coverage, and 2.8 million in prime time alone. The daily average is up a massive 74%* compared to the same period for Beijing 2008. On CTV alone, the Consortium’s tape-delayed prime time coverage of London 2012 (1.9 million) is tracking 45% higher than CBC’s live/taped prime time coverage of Beijing 2008 (1.3 million) for the same time period. From the start of the 2012 Games to date, an incredible 28 million Canadians – or 83.4% of the population – has watched some coverage on Consortium channels.

 

The popularity of London 2012 is crossing all age and gender lines. Females make up 52% of the A18+ audience, Games-to-date, while the broadcast has reached 85% of all Men 18+, 84% of all Women 18+, and 78% of all younger viewers aged 2-17.

 

Audiences for swimming events have dominated Consortium coverage so far, comprising the Top 5 most-watched events, including the most-watched event yet in Canada, swimming: men and women semifinals and finals on July 29 which averaged 2.2 million viewers. Overall, swimming events have reached a total of more than 13 million viewers over the past three days on Consortium networks. Additionally, on July 29 nearly 4.5 million Canadians watched some part of the synchronized diving final as Canada claimed its first medal – a bronze for Émilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel.

 

“We are very pleased with the results of our coverage thus far,” said Adam Ashton, President, Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. “With all Consortium platforms showing growth over the first few days of the Games, we are confident that, with many marquee events and top medal contenders still to come, we will continue to achieve new standards for a Summer Games. Congratulations to all of our Canadian athletes as they continue to perform on the world stage – we couldn’t be more proud to deliver their stories and achievements to audiences at home.”

 

Average audiences on Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium for Days 1 – 3 of London 2012 include:

  July 28-30
OLYMPIC MORNING /

LONDRES 2012 À RDS

(4 a.m. – 12 noon ET)

1.23 million
OLYMPIC DAYTIME /

LONDRES 2012 À RDS

(12 – 6 p.m. ET)

2.74 million
OLYMPIC PRIME TIME /

AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR RDS

(7 – 11 p.m. ET)

2.8 million

 

CTV NATIONAL NEWS is also averaging 1.5 million viewers from the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games to date, more than tripling the average of CBC NATIONAL (PART 1) (466,000) and up 31% compared to its summer average.**

 

Additional Highlights for Days 1-3:

  • Weightlifting: Men’s 56kg is the most-watched event so far on CTV garnering 2 million viewers on July 29
  • Beach Volleyball: Men – Canada vs. Great Britain has been the most popular event on TSN, with 664,000 viewers on July 28
  • Weightlifting: Women’s 53kg is the most-watched event on Sportsnet, garnering 554,000 viewers on July 29
  • V delivered 412,000 viewers for the Beach Volleyball: Men – Canada vs. Great Britain game on July 28
  • RDS saw 385,000 tune in to the Beach Volleyball: Women – Great Britain vs. Canada game on July 29

 

By the end of Day 3, CTVOlympics.ca and RDSolympiques.ca sites and apps saw nearly 6 million visits, delivering a combined 41.7 million page views, pacing 11% higher than Vancouver 2010 with most marquee events still ahead. With a total of 4.5 million video views, more than 184,000 hours of video has been consumed on classic web alone (desktop and laptop). The Ultimate Fan experience – which invites fans to earn points and enter to win prizes – has resulted in 32% more time spent on the site by those visitors compared to users who are not playing the game. While sites within Bell Media usually receive 12% of their traffic from mobile sites, 62% of page views on Consortium digital platforms during London 2012 have come via a mobile device.

London 2012 Daily Highlights: Day 6

Here is what to expect on CTV, TSN and Sportsnet tomorrow for Olympic coverage. Check back later tonight for a complete schedule.

DAY 6 – SCHEDULED SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)                                               

OLYMPIC MORNING/ LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V

Airing 4 a.m. – 12 noon ET

 

·         Rowing: Women’s Eights Final – Canada is pulling for the podium led by coxswain Lesley Thompson-Willie who is poised to set several records with a medal performance.  (CTV, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

·         Judo: Women’s 78kg – Diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at 17, Canada’s Amy Cotton is a fighter in more ways than one as she battles the competition on the world stage (CTV, RDS CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

·         Canoe/Kayak: Men’s C2 – Three-time Olympic gold medallists and twin brothers Pavol and Peter Hochschorner of Slovakia look to continue their golden record (TSN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

·         Track Cycling: Men’s Team Sprint – Chris Hoy, who won three gold medals in the velodrome at Beijing 2008, helms Great Britain against France, Germany, and Australia (Sportsnet, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

·         Equestrian: Team Dressage – Sometimes described as ballet for horses, this fascinating competition tests a rider and horse’s ability to display control and supreme elegance (OLN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

OLYMPIC DAYTIME / LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V

Airing 12 – 6 p.m. ET

·         Gymnastics – Artistic: Women’s Individual All-Around Final – Fresh off helping Canada land its top team finish ever, Sarnia, ON-native Dominique Pegg gives her all-around best (CTV, RDS, ATN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

 

·         Beach Volleyball: Women’s – It’s bump, set, spike as Brazil takes on Australia and Great Britain squares off against Russia in these preliminary round match-ups (TSN, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

 

·         Swimming:

o   Women’s 200m Breaststroke Final – No Canadian female has won a medal in swimming since Atlanta 1996 – this dry spell could end if Canada’s Martha McCabe* has her way (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o   Women’s 100m Freestyle Final – Another Canadian female swims for national pride as Julia Wilkinson* aims for a podium-worthy performance (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o   Men’s 200m Backstroke Final – Canada’s Tobias Oriwol* has a chance to swim for gold against 2011 World Champion Ryan Lochte* (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o   Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final – After competing in the 200m backstroke final Ryan Lochte* then takes on Michael Phelps* in another head-to-head battle (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

 

OLYMPIC PRIME TIME
Airing 7 – 11 p.m. ET/CT/MT/PT

• CTV:  Brian Williams hosts OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON CTV leading Canadians through the best of Day 6. The four-hour show recaps the women’s individual all-around final and examines the mechanics of a gymnast’s body in a Superbodies segment on the balance beam with Dr. Greg Wells. Rowing Prime Time Studio Analyst Marnie McBean joins Williams in studio for a review of Canada’s performance in the women’s eights final. Viewers can also watch a profile on three-time gold medallist Chris Hoy during a recap of the day’s track cycling: team sprint competition, along with an entertainingDifference Makers with Rick Hansen on shot putter Dylan Armstrong and his beloved coach Dr. Anatoliy Bondarchuk, who won gold in the hammer throw at Munich 1972. (CTV, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

TSN: OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON TSN host Darren Dutchyshen takes sports fans through Day 6 highlights, including recaps of canoe/kayak, men’s boxing, men’s basketball, men’s volleyball and a look at how Canada’s women’s eights team fared in the final earlier in the day. (TSN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• Sportsnet: On OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON SPORTSNET, host Brad Fay reviews the women’s eights final as the Canadian team battles for rowing gold. The popular Superbodies feature returns to OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON SPORTSNET with a look at the toll rowing takes on the body. Plus, full beach volleyball and tennis coverage from Day 6. (Sportsnet, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR RDS
• Host Chantal Machabée presents the highlights from Day 6 of London 2012 competition. (RDS, RDSolympiques.ca)

AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR V
• Host Jean Pagé examines the day’s top highlights. (V, RDSolympiques.ca)

London 2012 Daily Highlights: Day 4

Here is what to expect on CTV, TSN and Sportsnet tomorrow for Olympic coverage. Check back later tonight for a complete schedule.

OLYMPIC MORNING/ LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V
Airing 4 a.m. – 12 noon ET

· Rowing: Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls – Canadian duo Patricia Obee and Lindsay Jennerich – the 2011 world silver medallists – look to punch their ticket to the final (CTV, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Rowing: Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls – Canada’s Morgan Jarvis and Doug Vandor look to channel their recent fourth place finish at the 2012 Lucerne World Cup into a spot in the final (CTV, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Equestrian: Eventing – New Zealand’s Mark Todd – the most decorated individual eventer in Olympic history – competes in his seventh Games; Canadian contenders include Peter Barry, Rebecca Howard, Michele Mueller, and Jessica Pheonix (OLN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Diving: Women’s 10m Synchronized Platform – Fresh off a silver medal performance at the 2012 World Cup, Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion – best friends and synchro partners – are poised for the podium (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Weightlifting: Women’s 63kg – Canada’s Christine Girard aims to lift her way to glory past 2011 World Champion Svetlana Tsarukaeva of Russia, Kazakhstan’s Maya Maneza and China’s Ouxyan Xiaofang (TSN, ATN, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Soccer: Women’s – Canada squares off against Sweden in this must-win match for Canada led by captain Christine Sinclair (Sportsnet, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

OLYMPIC DAYTIME / LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V
Airing 12 – 6 p.m. ET

· Gymnastics – Artistic: Women’s – For the first time in Olympic history, Canada has qualified a team in the women’s artistic gymnastics team final. Team Canada goes for a best ever finish in the company of long standing gymnastics powerhouses Russia, United States, and Romania (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Soccer: Women’s – Back-to-back coverage of women’s soccer match-ups featuring United States vs. North Korea from Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester and Great Britain vs. Brazil from Wembley Stadium (TSN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Basketball: Men’s – Day 4’s hardcourt showdown features France vs. Argentina (Sportsnet, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Swimming:
o Men’s 100m Freestyle – 2011 world silver medallist Brent Hayden* of Canada
goes stroke-for-stroke against world record holder Cesar Cielo* of Brazil and 2011 World Champion James Magnussen* of Australia (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Women’s 200m Freestyle Final – Italy’s Federica Pellegrini* and the United States’ teenaged wunderkind Missy Franklin* continue their duel in the pool (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Men’s 200m Butterfly Final – Michael Phelps* competes in his signature event against Takeshi Matsuda of Japan and Wu Peng of China (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay – France* and China* chase the United States* – the 2011 World Champions and world record holders – in this thrilling quest for gold (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

OLYMPIC PRIME TIME
Airing 7 – 11 p.m. ET/CT/MT/PT

• CTV: Brian Williams hosts OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON CTV with a rundown of Day 4 highlights and results, including a focus on how Team Canada fared in the women’s artistic gymnastics final. The four-hour show also reviews the Canada vs. Sweden match-up in women’s soccer as well as Christine Girard’s performance in weightlifting, including a Superbodies segment on the sport with Dr. Greg Wells. Along with a review of Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion’s performance, OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON CTV recaps the day’s rowing events with Rowing Prime Time Studio Analyst Marnie McBean. (CTV, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• TSN: OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON TSN host Darren Dutchyshen takes sports fans through Day 4 highlights, including extended looks at women’s soccer, men’s water polo and beach volleyball competitions from earlier in the day. (TSN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• Sportsnet: OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON SPORTSNET, hosted by Brad Fay, will recap women’s diving as Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion perform in the synchronized 10m platform. Also, how tough it is to be a table tennis expert? The Toronto Blue Jays’ J.P. Arencibia and Brett Lawrie give the fast-paced sport a try in the special Consortium feature The Experts. Plus, Fay looks back at Michael Phelps attempt to make history with an opportunity to win two more medals at London 2012 in the men’s 200m butterfly and the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay. (Sportsnet, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR RDS
• Host Chantal Machabée presents the highlights from Day 4 of London 2012 competition. (RDS, RDSolympiques.ca)

AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR V
• Host Jean Pagé examines the day’s top highlights. (V, RDSolympiques.ca)

London 2012 Daily Highlights: Day 3

Here is what to expect on Canadian TV for day 3 of the 2012 Olympics. Check back later tonight for a complete broadcast schedule.

DAY 3 – SCHEDULED SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

OLYMPIC MORNING/ LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V
Airing 4 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

· Rowing: Men’s Eights – Led by Beijing 2008 gold medallists Malcolm Howard, Andrew Byrnes and coxswain Brian Price, Canada’s men’s eights team vies for a spot in the final after a disappointing qualifying heat performance (CTV, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Weightlifting: Women’s 58kg – Canada’s Annie Moniqui competes in a tight field, where wins can be separated by a single kilo, alongside 2011 World Champion Nastassia Novikava of Belarus and China’s Li Xueying and Deng Wei (TSN, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Diving: Men’s 10m Synchronized Platform – Britain holds its breath as phenom Tom Daley and partner Peter Waterfield trade twist and tucks against 2011 World Champions Qui Bo and Huo Liang of China and Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein of Germany (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

OLYMPIC DAYTIME / LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V
Airing 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET

· Basketball: Women’s – Canada and Great Britain battle on the hard-court in this preliminary round match-up (Sportsnet, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Beach Volleyball: Men’s – Great Britain and Brazil hit the sand in this preliminary round match-up (TSN, V, ATN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Gymnastics – Artistic: Men’s – Superstar Kohei Uchumura looks to lead Japan to the top of the podium, taking on USA and veteran Jonathan Horton, Germany and two-time World all-around silver medallist Philipp Boy, and Great Britain’s Louis Smith and Daniel Purvis. (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Swimming:
o Men’s 200m Freestyle – 2011 World Champion Ryan Lochte* goes for his second gold medal against world record holder Paul Biedermann* of Germany and Beijing 2008 silver medallist Park Tae-Hwan* of Korea. (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Men’s 200m Butterfly – David Sharpe* makes his Olympic debut as the first swimmer from Atlantic Canada to qualify for the Games since 1984; world record holder Michael Phelps* competes in his signature event against Takeshi Matsuda* of Japan and Wu Peng of China. (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Women’s 100m Breaststroke – Canadians Jillian Tyler* and Tera Van Beilen* take on a field of veteran swimmers including Rebecca Soni* who finished second at Beijing 2008 in this event to defending Olympic champion Leisel Jones* of Australia. (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

OLYMPIC PRIME TIME
Airing 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/CT/MT/PT

• CTV: Brian Williams hosts OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON CTV with a rundown of Day 3 highlights and results, including looks at swimming, men’s gymnastics and women’s basketball: Canada vs. Great Britain. The show starts with a look at the men’s 10m synchronized platform competition, including a feature on British phenom Tom Daley and a Superbodies segment with Dr. Greg Wells. Rowing Prime Time Studio Analyst Marnie McBean gives a recap of Canada’s men’s eights, men’s pair, and men’s four results. Viewers can also watch the debut of Consortium features, including The Experts where Toronto Blue Jays’ Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arencibia take on table tennis, and Difference Makers with Rick Hansen with swimmer Brent Hayden. (CTV, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• TSN: OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON TSN host Darren Dutchyshen takes sports fans through Day 3 highlights, including extended looks at beach volleyball, men’s boxing, and swimming competitions from earlier in the day. Dutchyshen also brings fans highlights from women’s weightlifting with a focus on Canada’s Annie Moniqui. (TSN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• Sportsnet: OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON SPORTSNET, hosted by Brad Fay, features extensive coverage from tennis, judo, women’s volleyball and fencing. Sportsnet also updates viewers on the Day 3 action from the pool and rowing. (Sportsnet, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR RDS
• Host Chantal Machabée presents the highlights from the third day of London 2012 competition. (RDS, RDSolympiques.ca)

AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR V
• Host Jean Pagé examines the day’s highlights. (V, RDSolympiques.ca)

London 2012 Opening Ceremony Attracts Record Audience

Can’t say I’m all that surprised. The Opening Ceremony was on during prime evening viewing in the east, at times when many regularly tune into local CTV News, SportsCentre or Connected anyway. I am a bit surprised by the number though, 6.4 million viewers. That’s double the number CBC recorded for the Atlanta Opening Ceremony in 1996. These numbers might make Canadian networks think twice about not bidding on the 2014/2016 Olympics.

Live coverage of the LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES OPENING CEREMONY Friday night by Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium has broken records as the most-watched Summer Olympic Games broadcast on record in Canada. On average, 6.4 million Canadians watched the late-afternoon, 3.5- hour-plus ceremony from 4-7:30 p.m. ET, making it the second most-watched Opening Ceremony on record in Canada behind Vancouver 2010 (13.5 million).

The audience eclipsed the previous Summer Olympic record-holder, the ATLANTA 1996 OPENING CEREMONY (4.3 million), by 49%, and delivered nearly four times the audience of BEIJING 2008 OPENING CEREMONY (1.6 million) and more than four times the audience of ATHENS 2004 OPENING CEREMONY (1.4 million). Last night’s prime time encore broadcast of the OPENING CEREMONY attracted 3 million viewers from 7:45 – 11 p.m. ET, while earlier in the day 1.6 million Canadians watched the Consortium’s OPENING CEREMONY PRE-SHOW from 2-4 p.m. ET.

Airing live across Consortium networks in six languages (English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil, Punjabi), an astonishing 16.6 million viewers, or nearly one in every two Canadians, tuned in to some part of the ceremony. Overall, 64% of Canadians watched some Olympic Games coverage on the Consortium’s channels yesterday. The television coverage peaked at 8.1 million viewers at 7:36 p.m. ET when the Olympic Cauldron was lit.

Meanwhile, nearly 1.5 million Canadians watched CTV NATIONAL NEWS WITH LISA LaFLAMME live from London, an increase of 36% compared to its summer average.

Directed by two-time Academy Award®-winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), the Opening Ceremony took viewers on a whirlwind visual and musical ride through London’s rich history, from Shakespeare to the industrial revolution to present day. Appearances were made by Daniel Craig as the iconic character James Bond, alongside Queen Elizabeth II, soccer star David Beckham, beloved Harry Potter author J.K Rowling, Mr. Bean star Rowan Atkinson, and a stellar closing performance of “Hey Jude” by the legendary Paul McCartney.

Showing a possible change in trends of how people will consume London 2012, more than half the traffic (54%) to CTVOlympics.ca and RDSolympiques.ca yesterday was from a mobile device.

London 2012 Daily Highlights: Day 2

Here is what to expect on Canadian TV for day 2 of the 2012 Olympics. Check back later tonight for a complete broadcast schedule.

OLYMPIC MORNING/ LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V

Airing 4 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

· Road Cycling: Women’s – Clara Hughes makes her return to Olympic cycling for the first time since Sydney 2000 in her attempt to become Canada’s single most decorated Olympian (CTV, TSN, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Diving: Women’s – Reigning World Cup silver medallists Émilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel of Québec look to topple the competition and make it to the podium (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Basketball: Men’s – NBA’s Kobe Bryant and LeBron James lead Team USA on their quest for gold in their opening game against France (CTV, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca).

· Gymnastics – Artistic: Women’s – Team USA stars Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas make their debut against a re-invigorated Russian squad and the powerhouse team from China (Sportsnet, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Rowing: Heats –

o Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls – Canadian duo Patricia Obee and Lindsay Jennerich – the 2011 World silver medallists – go up against Australia, Great Britain, and Greece (CTV, TSN, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls – Winnipeg’s Morgan Jarvis and Quebec’s Doug Vandor have the podium in sight after a strong showing at this year’s Lucerne World Cup (CTV, TSN, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Women’s Eights – Canadian coxswain Lesley Thompson-Willie is poised to set several records with a medal performance in this expected USA vs. Canada showdown (CTV, TSN, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

OLYMPIC DAYTIME / LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V

Airing 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET

· Swimming:

o Women’s 400m Freestyle – 2011 World Junior Champion Brittany MacLean* of Canada goes stroke-for-stroke against world record holder Federica Pellegrini* of Italy and British medal hopeful Rebecca Adlington* (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay – Pending a medal earned in Day 1 competition, Michael Phelps* could tie the all-time Olympic medal record of 18 as Team USA looks to conquer Team Australia and its rising star James Magnussen* in this promising thriller (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

OLYMPIC PRIME TIME

Airing 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/CT/MT/PT

· CTV: Brian Williams hosts OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON CTV with a complete rundown of Day 2 highlights and results. During a focus on rowing, Williams is joined in studio by Rowing Prime Time Studio Analyst Marnie McBean and Dr. Greg Wells, who tees up a Superbodies segment on Canada’s women’s eights team. The four-hour show also includes features on cyclist Clara Hughes, divers Émilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel, swimmers Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps, and Brittany Rogers in a Difference Makers with Rick Hansen segment (CTV, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· TSN: Host Darren Dutchyshen takes sports fans through Day 2 during OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON TSN, including extended looks at men’s boxing, beach volleyball and weightlifting. Dutchyshen also brings fans highlights from women’s road cycling with a focus on Clara Hughes. (TSN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

· Sportsnet: OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON SPORTSNET, hosted by Brad Fay, features the U.S. men’s basketball team as they begin their highly-anticipated quest for gold against France. Sportsnet also goes Upclose with American swimmer Ryan Lochte – Michael Phelps’s biggest rival – while Canadian divers Émilie Heymans and Jennifer Abel look to hit the podium in the women’s synchronized three-metre springboard event. (Sportsnet, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)
AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR RDS

· Host Chantal Machabée presents the highlights from the second day of London 2012 competition (RDS, RDSolympiques.ca)
AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR V

· Host Jean Pagé examines the day’s daily highlights (V, RDSolympiques.ca)

London 2012: Day 1 CTV/TSN/Sportsnet Highlights

I’ll post the full broadcast schedule a bit later, but for now here are the highlights of day 1 of the 2012 Olympic Games.

DAY 1 – SCHEDULED SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

OLYMPIC MORNING/ LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V
Airing 4 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

• Rowing: Men’s Eights, Men’s Pair – Canada’s men’s eights team, reigning Olympic champions, and the men’s pair team hit the water to secure their spots in the next round (CTV, OLN, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• Cycling Road: Men’s – Ryder Hesjedal, who became the first Canadian to ever win the prestigious Giro D’Italia earlier this year, chases gold along the streets of London (TSN, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• Gymnastics: Men’s – Follow Japan’s three-time World all-around champion Kohei Uchimura as he demonstrates his jaw-dropping athleticism to the crowd (Sportsnet, V, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• Women’s Basketball – Canada and Russia face off in this preliminary game in hopes of advancing to the next round and meeting their next competitor on the hard court (CTV, V CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• Women’s Soccer – It’s Canada vs. Republic of South Africa on the pitch as each team goes after a win in this qualifying round group match (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

OLYMPIC DAYTIME / LONDRES À RDS, LONDRES À V
Airing 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. ET

• Swimming:
o Men’s 400m Individual Medley – Americans Michael Phelps* and Ryan Lochte* face off in their first of two showdowns (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Men’s 400m Freestyle – Canadian Ryan Cochrane* dives in head first for a chance to step onto the podium (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

o Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay – Team Canada’s Samantha Cheverton*, Heather MacLean*, Victoria Poon*, Julia Wilkinson* go for gold in the pool; American teenager Missy Franklin* competes in her first of seven possible medal events (CTV, RDS, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

OLYMPIC PRIME TIME
Airing 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/CT/MT/PT

• CTV: Along with taking Canadians through the best of Day 1 events – including swimming, gymnastics, rowing, and cycling – OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON CTV host Brian Williams is joined in studio by Rowing Prime Time Studio Analyst Marnie McBean and also gives viewers an in-depth look at cyclist Ryder Hesjedal. (CTV, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• TSN: OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON TSN host Darren Dutchyshen kicks off four hours of highlights including a look at tennis superstars Roger Federer and Serena Williams, Canadian swimming sensation Ryan Cochrane, American swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, as well as beach volleyball, women’s weightlifting, men’s cycling and more (TSN2, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

• Sportsnet: Day 1 of OLYMPIC PRIME TIME ON SPORTSNET coverage features a look at Canada’s women’s soccer team following its match against the Republic of South Africa. Sportsnet also heads to the pool as Michael Phelps’ chase for Olympic Games history begins, while Canada’s men’s eights hit the water for the first day of rowing heats. (Sportsnet, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca)

AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR RDS:
• Host Chantal Machabée reviews the top highlights from the first day of competition from London 2012 (RDS, RDSOlympiques.ca)

AUJOURD’HUI À LONDRES SUR V
• Host Jean Pagé examines the day’s highlights (V, RDSolympiques.ca)

CTV’s London 2012 Coverage: By the Numbers

This is the first of a couple posts tonight. TSN (and CTV) do a “By the Numbers” feature for all of their big properties (Grey Cup, World Juniors, Olympics etc.). I’ve received the London 2012 edition. Has a couple interesting behind the scenes figures.

  • 5,500+ – hours of London 2012 coverage by the Consortium
  • 3,500+ – hours of coverage on CTVOlympics.ca and RSDolympiques.ca
  • 2,000+ – hours of coverage on television
  • 1,200 – members of the Consortium‟s production team
  • 703+ – hours of coverage in French
  • 350+ – people on French production team
  • 223+ – hours of coverage that will air in languages other than English and French
  • 22 – hours of coverage each day on CTV
  • 22 – hours of coverage each day on RDS
  • Up to 15 – live streams available at CTVOlympics.ca and RDSolympiques.ca
  • 11 – languages in which coverage will air
  • 10 – radio stations within Consortium
  • 10 – television channels within Consortium
  • 10 – times CTV has been the official broadcaster of the Olympic Games, including London 2012
  • 5 – different sets
  • 3 – broadcast locations

Check back later this evening when I’ll post everything you need to know about watching the 2012 Olympics in Canada.

Oh God, It’s Back

Bad news for many readers, “I Believe” is back. I like the instrumental opening, but I swear I don’t want to hear the full version 25+ times.

Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium announced today that it will debut The Tenors’ new version of the #1 hit I Believe for the London 2012 Olympic Games. This new version by the multi-platinum Canadian group will complement the original by Nikki Yanofsky. I Believe by The Tenors will debut during the Opening Ceremony pre-show tomorrow, July 27 beginning at 2 p.m. ET. The show will air on Consortium networks, CTV, RDS, TSN, Sportsnet, V, OMNI.2, ATN, CTVOlympics.ca, RDSolympiques.ca, and on the CTV Olympics London 2012 and RDS olympiques pour Londres 2012 Apps.

Both Yanofsky’s and Villeneuve’s version, along with The Tenors’ will be used by the Consortium throughout its 17-day broadcast of the London 2012 Olympic Games. With Celtic undertones and the group’s distinct harmonies, the new version of I Believe is available for download on iTunes beginning today and on the group’s upcoming album release, Lead With Your Heart, due out Oct. 9, 2012 through Universal Music Canada (UMC), the country’s leading music company.

**Media Note: Listen to a clip of I Believe by The Tenors, here.

“We’ve always loved this song and we are thrilled to work with Stephan and Alan to create our new version for these Olympic Games,” said The Tenors.

“This song is a perfect update for our audience during the 2012 Games,” said Rick Chisholm, Executive Vice-President, Broadcasting, Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. “We thank The Tenors for their hard work on the song. It is a perfect accompaniment to Nikki Yanofsky’s original recording and adds a new element to our broadcast.”

Internationally renowned, The Tenors consist of members Remigio Pereira, Victor Micallef, Fraser Walters and Clifton Murray. Also referred to as the Buckingham Palace house band, they have performed for the Queen a total of four times, twice in Canada and twice in the UK for the Golden and Diamond Jubilee.

Composed by Alan Frew and Stephan Moccio, I Believe touched the hearts of millions when it was released as the Consortium’s official promotional song for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The English version, recorded by 16-year-old Montreal-born Nikki Yanofsky, went #1 two weeks after its release and became the emotional anthem for the country during the Games. Villeneuve’s version reached #4 on the Quebec radio chart.

SportsCentre is Live in London During the Olympics

As has been previously mentioned, TSN’s flagship program SportsCentre will broadcast live from London during the 2012 Olympics. Jay Onrait will host the evening edition of SportsCentre from Trafalgar Square. Dan O’Toole will join him from Toronto. SportsCentre join’s CTV’s National News and Sportsnet’s Connected broadcasting in London during the Olympics.

Here is TSN’s press release.

The world’s biggest spectacle hits London this week and SPORTSCENTRE, Canada’s most-watched sportscast, will be live in the heart of London at Trafalgar Square giving Canadians extensive coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Special editions of SPORTSCENTRE air live from London beginning today on TSN and run through to the end of the Games.

Hosted by popular TSN anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, the special editions of SPORTSCENTRE air at 6 p.m. ET Monday to Thursday and expand to two hours daily beginning at 5 p.m. ET starting on Monday, July 30.

Onrait hosts live from TSN’s prime broadcast location in Trafalgar Square located next to Canada House with a stunning backdrop that includes London’s iconic “Big Ben” and the House of Parliament. O’Toole joins Onrait from the SPORTSCENTRE studio covering all of the news developing in the world of sports. Reporter Brent Wallace is also on location in London filing daily London 2012 Olympic Games reports.

Onrait and O’Toole have gathered international acclaim for their work on SPORTSCENTRE and were recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.

SPORTSCENTRE is part of TSN’s comprehensive coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games. As part of Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, TSN will deliver 252.5 hours of London 2012 coverage, making it the eighth time in network history that TSN is televising the Olympic Games.

2012 Olympics on RDS Commentators

By request, here are the commentators for RDS and V for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

As you can probably tell, this isn’t a complete list. I hope to receive a complete list of English and French commentators from CTV later this week.

Hosts:
RDS Daytime: Alain Crête & Claude Mailhot
RDS Primetime: Chantal Machabée
V Daytime: Frédéric Plante & Yanick Bouchard
V Primetime: Jean Pagé

Commentators:
Athletics: Pierre Houde, Bruny Surin & Jean-Paul Baert
Beach Volleyball: Michel Fervac-Larose & Josée Corbeil
Boxing: Jean-Paul Chartrand & Bernard Barré
Canoeing: Maxime Boilard
Cycling: Louis Bertrand
Diving: Félix Séguin & Annie Pelletier
Gymnastics: Claudine Douville & Bernard Petiot
Handball: Alain Usereau
Rowing: Daniel Aucoin
Swimming: Denis Casavant & Yanick Lupien
Synchronised Swimming: Claudine Douville OR Félix Séguin
Volleyball: François-Étienne Corbin
Soccer:  Jean Gounelle & Patrick Leduc
Tennis: Yvan Ponton & Hélène Pelletier
Weightlifting: Alain Usereau
Water Polo: Michel Y. Lacroix & Ann Dow

Reporters:
Luc Bellemare
Luc Gélinas
Sylvain Pedneault