Some Weekend Ratings

There were two pressing questions this weekend in regards to sports ratings. How would Hockey Night in Canada fare without the Leafs as the primary game and how big of a hit would TSN’s curling coverage take without Canada in the final. We now have an answer to both.

CBC Audience Research tells me the 7pm Eastern slot on Saturday night, led by Penguins @ Senators, had an average audience of over 2 million viewers (all numbers BBM 2+ overnights AMA). That’s impressive considering the Leafs were relegated to Ontario. The Leafs vs. Senators game last week, which went national, had an average audience of 2.1 million. Just over 2 million is about the average audience for the 7pm Eastern game this season. The last time CBC went with a 4 game regional split (on November 5), 2.04 million tuned in. The Leafs were the primary game that day. I know Crosby had a major effect on Saturday’s ratings, but maybe CBC will consider sending Leafs games to Ontario-only more often next season if the team is mediocre again.

The late game, between the Canucks and Avalanche from Pepsi Centre, had an average audience of just over a million viewers. That’s about par for the course for Canucks games on CBC.

In curling an average of 750, 000 watched the World Women’s final between Switzerland and Sweden. Not a bad number considering Canada wasn’t playing. Almost more impressive was that 406, 000 tuned in on TSN2 to watch the bronze medal game, which was played in the morning, between Canada and Korea. That’s a better number than TSN2 scored for the Brier 3rd place game. (thanks to Bob Weeks for posting these numbers)

12th Hockey Day in Canada: Saturday on CBC

This Saturday CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada will present coverage of the 12th edition of Hockey Day in Canada, a celebration of Canada’s game. Summerside, Price Edward Island, the hometown of NHL players Steve Ott, Daryl Boyce and former NHL GM Doug MacLean, will serve as the host city.

This is the first time Prince Edward Island has hosted Hockey Day, and it is the 3rd time Hockey Day has visited the Maritimes. The Northwest Territories is now the only province/territory that has never hosted Hockey Day in Canada.

Here is the CBC’s press release with more information on their broadcast.

SCOTIABANK HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA journeys across the Confederation Bridge to bring its nationwide broadcast to Prince Edward Island for the first time, on Saturday, Feb. 11, beginning at 12 noon ET as Ron MacLean hosts live from a specially built outdoor rink in Summerside, P.E.I. MacLean will be joined by Don Cherry for Coach’s Corner, with fellow CBC stars and hosts P.J. Stock, Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Dick Irvin. The NHL Alumni will also have a strong presence with Bryan Trottier, Lanny McDonald, Wendel Clark, Doug MacLean, Mark Napier, Stéphane Richer, Tim Taylor and Gerrard Gallant, along with Olympian Tessa Bonhomme.

The 2012 edition of SCOTIABANK HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA celebrates “Heroes”—from childhood idols to the organizers who make the game possible on and off the ice, to the motivators and role models who are part of the fabric of hockey. The program features a wide range of inspirational stories, from Kelly Hrudey’s profile of a 23-year-old St. Albert man who continues to play hockey while waiting for a heart transplant, to Mark Lee’s story about 90-year-old Bert Keany Sr. of Sudbury, Ont., the oldest PA announcer in the country. Another feature profiles 16-year-old hockey phenom Nathan McKinnon, the Cole Harbor star who’s playing in the shadow of Sidney Crosby, while another feature looks into the way a small island like P.E.I. has produced so many outstanding players, from Forbes Kennedy to Brad Richards.

In addition to the P.E.I. broadcasts from Summerside and Charlottetown, satellite locations will also be established in Windsor, N.S., Verdun, Que., Thunder Bay, Ont., Winnipeg, Man., Prince Albert, Sask. and Richmond, B.C. for a host of community events also taking place across the country to mark SCOTIABANK HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA:

Windsor, N.S. – CBC News’ Colleen Jones hosts the “Long Pond Heritage Classic” featuring “Original Six” teams playing a day-long tournament to raise money for the Hockey History.

Verdun, Que. – Host Andie Bennett joins the Montreal Canadiens organization for a skate drive to provide rinks with loaner skates.

Thunder Bay, Ont. – CBC Sports’ Scott Russell covers a special equipment donation as the NHLPA’s Goals and Dreams initiative and the Staal family come together to give back to minor hockey.

Winnipeg, Man. – A special family-focused SCOTIABANK HOCKEY DAY IN CANADA event live from The Forks hosted by Mitch Peacock.

Prince Albert, Sask. – Mark Connolly hosts coverage of a Pee-Wee Tournament with 16 teams from across the province.

Richmond, B.C. – Celebrities including Michael Bublé, Trevor Linden and other Canucks alumni take part in a ball hockey tournament at the Richmond Olympic Oval, hosted by Karin Larsen.

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2012 NHL All-Star Game Sets More Viewership Records

After TSN’s impressive 1.34 million rating for the All-Star Fantasy Draft on Thursday, CBC set records for its broadcasts of the All-Star Skills Competition and the NHL All-Star Game this weekend. An average of 2.468 tuned into the Skills Competition on Saturday night, while an average of 2.461 tuned into the All-Star Game on Sunday afternoon. These are the highest recorded ratings ever for these events on CBC. Sunday’s game compares favourably to first Winnipeg Jets game in October; an average of 1.83 million watched that game in a similar timeslot. Here is CBC’s press release.

Record-setting audiences tuned in to this weekend’s 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game and Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA, according to BBM overnight data.

Broadcast live from Ottawa on Sunday, January 29, the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All Star Game on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA drew an average audience of 2.461 million viewers, besting the previous record of 2.389 million viewers set last year. In total, more than 7.3 million people took in some or all of the game, representing 22 per cent of the population.

The Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition broadcast on Saturday, January 28 also set a new record, drawing an audience of 2.468 million. More than 6.9 million people, or one in five Canadians, saw at least part of the competition.

This marks the highest rating for an NHL All-Star Game and the Skills Competition on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA since metered audience measurement began in 1989-90.

Hockey Night in Canada Game Day garnered its largest audience to date and 760,000 viewers tuned in to Scotiabank Hockey Tonight.

“The numbers make it clear the NHL All-Star Weekend on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA continues to be a must-see event for Canadian hockey fans,” said Julie Bristow, executive director, Studio and Unscripted Programming, English Services, CBC. “To see record audiences tuning in year after year exemplifies our dedication to producing the best in Canadian sports programming and to increase the game’s fan base in partnership with the NHL.”

Overall, 10.2 million Canadians tuned-in to some part of CBC’s coverage of the NHL All-Star Weekend, representing roughly 30 per cent of the population.

Note the part of the release that I have bolded. CBC doesn’t mention exactly how many people tuned into Game Day to make it the most watched broadcast of the season. This leads me to believe that Game Day isn’t doing well in the ratings. If Saturday’s broadcast had even respectable ratings, CBC would have mentioned it.

CBC, TSN and Sportsnet Have NHL All Star Weekend Covered

This weekend is NHL All Star Weekend 2012 in Ottawa. While I don’t really enjoy watching much of it (except for the Skills Competition), the Canadian sports networks are giving it their full attention. CBC, TSN and Sportsnet have all issued press releases detailing their coverage of All Star Weekend. CBC has the Skills Competition and the game itself, TSN has the All Star Draft and Media Day. Sportsnet doesn’t have coverage of any events, but is broadcasting live from the Rideau Canal and has a junior hockey game featuring the 67s on Friday.

Continue after the break for all three press releases.

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Penguins-Flyers will be on CHEX-TV tonight

It is nice to see CBC and Sportsnet are taking advantage of the digital age. Tonight Sportsnet will have 3 different baseball games on their networks at the same time, including a Toronto game. While CBC will have 2 different Stanley Cup Playoff games on at the same time.

CHEX, a private CBC affaliate in Peterborugh, Ontario, will be the only English station in Canada to air game #4 of the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers Eastern Conference Quarter Final series. Because CBC Toronto is also available in Peterborough, CHEX has the oppertunity to provide another game, without making Canucks fans mad. CHEX is available on Shaw Direct (formerly Star Choice) and Bell TV, it is also carried by most digital cable companies as part of their timeshifting package.

If you have any questions about this, or the Sportsnet article below, feel free to ask me.