Canadian Sports Ratings Update: February 25, 2013

Here are the latest sports ratings, including the Scotties and the first Jays game of the season. All numbers are BBM 2+ AMA.

Tournament of Hearts
ON-QC, Feb 19, TSN: 518, 000
ON-CAN, Feb 22, TSN: 596, 000
ON-MB, Feb 23, TSN: 822, 000
CAN-MB, Feb 24, TSN: 635, 000
BC-CAN, Feb 24, TSN2: 287, 000
ON-MB, Feb 24, TSN: 1.057 million

NHL
PIT-WPG, Feb 15, CBC: 772, 000
PHI-MTL, Feb 16, RDS: 912, 000
OTT-TOR, Feb 16, CBC: 2.248 million
VAN-CHI, Feb 19, SNP: 483, 000
LA-EDM, Feb 19, TSN: 506, 000

NASCAR
Daytona 500, Feb 24, TSN: 691, 000

MLB Spring Training
Jays Central, Feb 23, SN: 206, 000
TOR-DET, Feb 23, SN: 456, 000

NBA
LAL-BOS, Feb 7, TSN: 43, 000
CHI-DEN, Feb 7, TSN: 25, 000
LAC-TOR, Feb 8, TSN: 148, 000
TOR-NY, Feb 13, SN: 224, 000
MIA-OKC, Feb 14, TSN: 127, 000
Rookie Game, Feb 15, TSN: 64, 000
All-Star Game, Feb 17, TSN: 309, 000
MEM-TOR, Feb 20, SN: 164, 000

Thanks to: Jamie Campbell,  Bill BriouxWhitey FiskBob Weeks

Those baseball numbers are incredible for spring training. 450, 000 would be good for a regular season game against Detroit on a Saturday afternoon. But what’s most amazing, the repeat of 1993 World Series game on Sunday afternoon scored around 150, 000. And we all thought the 200, 000 range was crazy for 20-year old hockey broadcasts on the CBC last fall.

The Scotties ratings are about consistent with 2012, drawing around 50, 000 more viewers this year.B

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

The “New” HNIC Needs a Few More Adjustments

CBC is under-using Andi Petrillo in her new role at the "iDesk"

CBC is under-using Andi Petrillo in her new role at the “iDesk”

CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada began its 60th season on Saturday with record ratings. There were a number of changes to CBC’s broadcasts, especially to the studio programming and the “Prime West” game. While some of CBC’s changes were effective, others need tweaking. And still others made no sense whatsoever. And, of course, it wouldn’t be the first weekend of a new NHL season without Don Cherry analysis on the Brian Burke firing (remember when Burke tried to have Cherry fired?).

I’ll start with the good. I think Kevin Weekes and Glenn Healy are both far more effective in studio than they are on game broadcasts. Weekes is especially good as the slower pace of studio talk fits his delivery better. Healy’s better if only because I’d rather hear him for 10 minutes than 60+. In fact I actually thought he was kind of funny Saturday night, more like his pre-NHLPA self. I also think CBC giving Rick Ball the “Prime West” game was a great choice. He isn’t Cuthbert or Hughson, but he is far better than Lee and should grow into the spot fine. He is also a great candidate to lead CBC’s CFL coverage, should they ever get those broadcast rights again.

The only problem about Weekes and Healy in the studio is that Kelly Hrudey is also a better studio analyst. He really seemed out of his element doing colour commentary on Saturday night. He constantly stumbled over sentences and was just too slow to keep up with the pace of the game. Hrudey is at his best when he’s in the studio with a telestrator breaking down plays. This presents the obvious problem for CBC, they have too many goalies who all excel at the same thing.

So how do they fix that problem? Well most importantly there’s still plenty of time for Hrudey to adjust to his new role. If he doesn’t, I’d suggest moving him back to the studio with Weekes. CBC could also try putting Hrudey between the benches.If all else fails, then I’d love to see Daryl Reaugh back at CBC working the late game with Ball. Of course that would also depend on Reaugh’s commitment to do local Dallas Stars game on Fox Sports.

Luckily for Hrudey, it isn’t him everyone will remember Saturday HNIC season opener for. PJ Stock drew the ire of most of Twitter on Saturday night for his studio analysis. The “best” of Stock’s lines? “Take option ‘A’ or option ‘B’. [Toronto] didn’t beat Jack the Giant Killer in Montreal.” If you can figure that one out, then good on ya. And yes, I realize it’s a metaphor to the story, but it’s also a metaphor that makes little sense.

Stock also talked in circles during the Hotstove when he got confused about P.K. Subban’s contract negotiations. Or as Stock put it, “With him in the lineup they finished 15th, without him they can’t finish any worse.”  Well, duh, unless the NHL adds a 16th team to the Eastern Conference the Habs could skate a team of any 18 guys they like and not finish any worse. Stock also said he sells, which is great, but it’s not like this is Nashville or Phoenix. The Canadiens selling tickets and merchandise isn’t dependent on P.K. Subban. For CBC’s studio programming to improve, Stock needs to go.

Ron MacLean, Kevin Weekes and Elliotte Friedman followed up Stock’s “analysis” with some insight, rebuttal and facts, which I thought was great. Healy also put Stock in his place on the NHL lockout, where Stock thought the players did good to get to 50% HRR. Did anyone really believe the players would get less than a 50/50 split on HRR? Stock went on to talk over Healy.

Getting rid of Stock would also help improve CBC’s Hotstove, which was once the best sports studio programming on TV anywhere in North America. Of course that was also before the Twitter age (Satellite Hotstove, anyone?) when Saturday night was the time to get the latest trade rumours. The Hotstove, as it originally was, may not work anymore because of Twitter and 24/7 insider coverage on TSN with McKenzie and Dreger. But regardless, I’m not alone (see other media writers). If CBC is insistent on using the current format, then removing Stock and replacing him with Tim Wharnsby would probably do it for me. At least Weekes and Healy have their facts straight. Friedman needs more speaking time.

And then there were two things that were just odd about CBC’s broadcast on Saturday. The first was Andi Petrillo. Despite hosting the “iDesk” segment, there was no desk whatsoever. And the camera angles the CBC choose to use didn’t really help their case. Like her predecessors at the iDesk (Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek), CBC is wasting her talent on a useless segment. There is nothing worse than reading Tweets on-air, and it is becoming more common on every network. CBC should use her as the rinkside reporter for the afternoon game (when there is one). That would account for about 1/3 of their broadcasts this season. It’s great that she’s the first female studio host for HNIC, but what’s not great is the way they are using her.

The other oddity of CBC’s coverage was the second Don Cherry segment, at the first intermission of the Ducks @ Canucks game. It seems CBC has removed Cherry’s post-Leafs game segment for this one, which is odd in itself. What is even more odd is the arrangement. Ron MacLean sits down, while Don Cherry stands up awkwardly towering over MacLean. It was nice to see Cherry talk about teams outside the Northeast Division for once though.

Hockey Night in Canada will originate live from Calgary next Saturday. MacLean and Cherry will both be there. I’m not sure about the rest of CBC’s studio crew. Hockey Night will visit all seven Canadian cities this season.

Fact Checking… I thought Cherry was mostly on point with his Brian Burke analysis. Usually his line “Instead of getting Canadians he got US college guys and Finns and Swedes” would draw a lot of attention. Not so because of the rest of CBC’s studio programming. Anyone want to guess how many “Finns and Swedes” the Leafs have? Two, one from each country. They also have a, dare I say it, Russian.

HockeyCentral… Speaking of studio programming, Sportsnet’s HockeyCentral needs more Jeff Marek and Billy Jaffe. They two hosted the first HockeyCentral Tonight of the season on Monday and were excellent together. Jaffe never played in the NHL, he played college hockey at Michigan, but he sees the game brilliantly. His comparison of Patrick Kane’s goal on Saturday and Kyle Turris’ goal last night was great insight.

Sportsnet Scorebug… Sportsnet’s new hockey scorebug is a huge upgrade over their old one. It is very similar to the one Leafs TV used last season and it is designed by a Canadian.

Canadian Sports Ratings Update: October 27

Here are the latest ratings as the CFL and Baseball postseason continue to benefit from the lack of hockey. And hockey from 20 years ago benefits from no hockey this year. Thanks to Whitey Fisk and Bill Brioux for publicizing many of these.

CFL
WPG-TOR, Oct 19, TSN: 688, 000
EDM-BC, Oct 19, TSN: 729, 000
MTL-SSK, Oct 20, TSN: 720, 000
HAM-CGY, Oct 20, TSN: 929, 000

MLB
NYY-DET (g3), Oct 16, SN: 799, 000
SF-STL (g4), Oct 18, SN: 398, 000
SF-STL (g5), Oct 19, SN: 487, 000
STL-SF (g6), Oct 21, SN: 497, 000
STL-SF (g7), Oct 22, SN: 645, 000

NFL
NYJ-NE, Oct 21, Citytv: 487, 000
PIT-CIN, Oct 21, TSN: 448, 000
DET-CHI,Oct 22, TSN: 560, 000

NHL
CGY-VAN (’94), Oct 20, CBC: 217, 000

All numbers are BBM Canada AMA 2+

First off, anyone who says the NFL is way more popular than the CFL needs to look at these numbers. Yes, many watch the NFL on Sunday afternoon on American nets or Sunday Ticket, but the three big nationally televised games were all well below the CFL standard.

I’m not sure of the exact percentage change, but Sportsnet’s LCS ratings were up over last year. Games 1 and 3 of the Yankees series was far and away better than thar 528, 000 high mark from last season. Giants-Cardinals averaged 477, 000 viewers for the six games that weren’t affected by rain.

2012 NHL Playoffs: Conference Quarterfinal Schedule

Here is the NHL Conference quarterfinal schedule arranged by day. Continue after the break for a series by series breakdown.

Wednesday April 11
7:30pm, Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins (g1) – TSN, RDS
8:00pm, Detroit Red Wings @ Nashville Predators (g1) – CBC, RDS2
10:30pm, Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks (g1) – CBC, RDS

Thursday April 12
7:00pm, Ottawa Senators @ New York Rangers (g1) – CBC, RDS
7:30pm, Washington Capitals @ Boston Bruins (g1) – CHEX, RDS2
7:30pm, San Jose Sharks @ St. Louis Blues (g1) – TSN, RDS INFO
10:00pm, Chicago Blackhawks @ Phoenix Coyotes (g1) – TSN, RDS

Friday April 13
7:00pm, New Jersey Devils @ Florida Panthers (g1) – TSN2, RDS INFO
7:30pm, Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins (g2) – TSN, RDS
7:30pm, Detroit Red Wings @ Nashville Predators (g2) – CBC, RDS2
10:00pm, Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks (g2) – CBC, RDS

Saturday April 14
3:00pm, Washington Capitals @ Boston Bruins (g2) – CBC, NBC, RDS
7:00pm, Ottawa Senators @ New York Rangers (g2) – CBC, RDS
7:30pm, San Jose Sharks @ St. Louis Blues (g2) – TSN, RDS INFO
10:00pm, Chicago Blackhawks @ Phoenix Coyotes (g2) – TSN, RDS

Sunday April 15
12:00pm, Nashville Predators @ Detroit Red Wings (g3) – CBC, NBC, RDS
3:00pm, Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers (g3) – TSN, NBC, RDS
7:30pm, New Jersey Devils @ Florida Panthers (g3) – TSN, RDS
10:30pm, Vancouver Canucks @ Los Angeles Kings (g3) – CBC, RDS

Monday April 16
7:30pm, New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators (g3) – CBC, RDS
7:30pm, Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals (g3) – CHEX, RDS2
10:00pm, St. Louis Blues @ San Jose Sharks (g3) – TSN, RDS

Tuesday April 17
7:00pm, Florida Panthers @ New Jersey Devils (g3) – TSN, RDS
7:30pm, Nashville Predators @ Detroit Red Wings (g4) – CBC, RDS2
9:00pm, Phoenix Coyotes @ Chicago Blackhawks (g3) – TSN, RDS

Wednesday April 18
7:30pm, New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators (g4) – CBC, RDS
7:30pm, Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers (g4) – TSN, RDS2
10:00pm, Vancouver Canucks @ Los Angeles Kings (g4) – CBC, RDS

Thursday April 19
7:00pm, Florida Panthers @ New Jersey Devils (g4) – TSN2, RDS INFO
7:30pm, Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals (g4) – CBC, RDS
8:00pm, Phoenix Coyotes @ Chicago Blackhawks (g4) – TSN, RDS2
10:30pm, St. Louis Blues @ San Jose Sharks (g4) – TSN, RDS

Friday April 20
7:30pm, Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins (g5) – TSN, RDS
8:00pm, Detroit Red Wings @ Nashville Predators (g6) – CBC, RDS INFO

Saturday April 21
3:00pm, Washington Capitals @ Boston Bruins (g5) – CBC, NBC, RDS
6:30pm, New Jersey Devils @ Florida Panthers (g5) – TSN2, RDS INFO
7:00pm, Ottawa Senators @ New York Rangers (g5) – CBC, RDS
7:30pm, San Jose Sharks @ St. Louis Blues (g5) – TSN, RDS2
10:00pm, Chicago Blackhawks @ Phoenix Coyotes (g5) – TSN, RDS

Sunday April 22
TBA, Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals (g6) – CBC, RDS
TBA, Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers (g6) – TSN, RDS
TBA, Nashville Predators @ Detroit Red Wings (g6) – CBC, RDS
TBA, Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks (g5) – CBC, RDS

Monday April 23
TBA, New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators (g6) – CBC, RDS
TBA, Phoenix Coyotes @ Chicago Blackhawks (g6) – TSN, RDS INFO
TBA, St. Louis Blues @ San Jose Sharks (g6) – TSN, RDS

Tuesday April 24
TBA, Florida Panthers @ New Jersey Devils (g6) – TSN/TSN2, RDS INFO
TBA, Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins (g7) – TSN, RDS
TBA, Detroit Red Wings @ Nashville Predators (g7) – CBC, RDS2
TBA, Vancouver Canucks @ Los Angeles Kings (g6) – CBC, RDS

Wednesday April 25
TBA, Washington Capitals @ Boston Bruins (g7) – CBC, RDS
TBA, San Jose Sharks @ St. Louis Blues (g7) – TSN, RDS INFO
TBA, Chicago Blackhawks @ Phoenix Coyotes (g7) – TSN, RDS

Thursday April 26
TBA, Ottawa Senators @ New York Rangers (g7) – CBC, RDS
TBA, Florida Panthers @ New Jersey Devils (g7) – TSN, RDS INFO
TBA, Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks (g7) – CBC, RDS

Continue reading

Full 2011-12 NHL Canadian TV Schedule

Over the past month Canadian networks have released their 2011-12 NHL TV schedules. The complete TV schedules are now available for all seven Canadian teams. I have compiled all the broadcasts into one Excel file. It includes 7 different pages, one for each team. This way you can easily see where your favourite team’s games will be broadcast each night. I have included English-language schedules for all seven teams, as well as French-language schedules for the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens. If you have any questions, leave a comment. I hope everyone enjoys this feature, because I spent a fair amount of time working on it.

And please, download it, print it, share it with friends, whatever. The only thing I ask is that nobody posts it on their own site, without linking back here as well. Enjoy.

Here is the link to the file.

It’s Super Tuesday… In the NHL

There are 5 NHL playoff games, all with a major impact on their series, taking place tonight. I have been channel surfing thoughout the night, and here are my thoughts as of right now.

Penguins @ Flyers – Game #4

Marc Andre Fleury stole the show again, after a lackluster game 3 on Sunday afternoon. He made all the big saves at the right time, and really won the game for the Penguins. The Flyers came out of the gate strong, but couldn’t score a single goal in the first. Then the Pens got on the board with a pair in the second. The Flyers got close, making it 2-1 late in the third, but it was too little, too late as they are now in a deep 3-1 hole heading back to Pittsburgh for Thursday night’s game (7:00pm, CBC).

Canucks @ Blues – Game #4

This was the other game I’ve watched a fair amount of, most of the third and all of OT. I know I say this a lot during the playoffs, but the story at the ScotTrade Center was also goaltending. Chris Mason and Roberto Luongo are the biggest reason why the game went 79 minutes and change. It wasn’t for lack of opportunities for either team, especially St. Louis. However Alex Burrows scored with under a minute left in the first overtime session to send Vancouver on to the second round. It is the first time in the history of the Canucks that they have swept a team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Canucks could have up to ten days off before they start their Western Conference Semi Final series.

Devils @ Hurricanes – Game #4

I didn’t see a lot of this game. However, Carolina was up 3-0 halfway though. When New Jersey came back to score 3 unanswered to tie the game by the halfway point in the third. Then when the game surely looked like it was going to OT, Jussi Jokinen scored a goal on a tip in. The refs went upstairs to review the goal to see if it was in before the buzzer. After minutes of deliberation, they decided it was in fact a goal. Then Martin Broduer started to argue with the refs that he had been interfered with. Anybody who knows anything about Marty knows he doesn’t do that often, so he probably had a case. Devils commentator Chico Resch, a former goalie himself, certainly thought he did. Marty went on to slam his stick against the boards, before throwing it as he exited the ice at the RBC Center in Raleigh. Game #5 goes Thursday in Newark (7:30pm, TSN2)

Red Wings @ Blue Jackets – Game #3

It was the first ever Stanley Cup playoff game in Columbus, and it didn’t turn out too well for fans there. Detroit scored just over a minute in and never relinquished control, winning 4-1. Henrik Zetterberg scored twice. I didn’t see any of the game really, so I don’t know much more. The Wings can finish the series on Thursday (TSN, 7:00pm)

Sharks @ Ducks – Game #3

Another game I’ve saw very little of, I’m watching it now though. The Sharks are up 2-0, in what is a must win for them, midway through the second.

The Whole Playoff Picture

So we are almost through what might have been the best night of playoff hockey in recent memory and here is a quick rundown of how each series is looking. We should start with the fact that Vancouver is the first team to move to the second round. Detroit and Boston look like they will too, as both are up 3-0. The Flyers lost an important home game, and now have to win in Pittsburgh on Thursday, which is no easy task. Calgary has a really important home game tomorrow night, if they lose they will be down 3-1, while if they win the series will be tied 2-2 and Calgary will have the momentum heading back to Chicago. Carolina won an important home game, tieing their series with the Devils up at 2 heading back to Newark. The Ducks are currently winning a must win, and the Capitals need a win in The Big Apple tomorrow night.