Stanley Cup Playoffs Ratings Update #1

Here are the ratings for games on CBC, as well as the Canucks on TSN and Canadiens on RDS for the first six days of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Montreal vs. Ottawa (CBC/RDS)
Game 1, 5/2: 1.9 million (CBC) + 1.2 million (RDS) = 3.1 million
Game 2, 5/3: 1.8 million (CBC) + 1.2 million (RDS) = 3 million
Game 3, 5/5: 2.3 million (CBC) + 1.3 million (RDS) = 3.6 million

Boston vs. Toronto (CBC)
Game 1, 5/1: 2.6 million
Game 2, 5/4: 3.2 million

Vancouver vs. San Jose (TSN)
Game 1, 5/1: 1.25 million
Game 2, 5/3: 1.3 million
Game 3, 5/5: 1.1 million

St. Louis vs. Los Angeles (CBC)
Game 1, 4/30: 1.3 million*
Game 2, 5/2: 822, 000
Game 3, 5/4: 1.1 million

Chicago vs. Minnesota (CBC)
Game 1, 4/30: 1.3 million*
Game 2, 5/3: 687, 000
Game 3, 5/5: 502, 000

*These games were a split-national broadcast; the ratings are for the two games combined.
All numbers are BBM Canada AMA 2+

Based on this, it looks like CBC made the right decision to take the Montreal-Ottawa series instead of the Canucks. Not only is it getting better ratings, but even CBC’s third choice (STL-LA) put up comparable numbers for game 3. Its never good when a series trends downward on the weekend, as happened with the Canucks last night. To compare, last year the Canucks had a million more viewers for game 3 (on a Wednesday night) on CBC. In fact the Canucks’ ratings for games 1-3 were quite comparable to Habs-Sens this year. I know there is a difference between TSN and CBC, but come on, it isn’t worth 50% reduction in audience levels. The first three games from Flyers-Penguins on TSN last spring all had better ratings than the first three from Sharks-Canucks this year.

For comparison, here are the ratings for the first few days of the playoffs last year.

NHL Conference Semifinal Ratings Down

With every Canadian team, and many popular American teams, eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, second round  ratings tumbled. Not just over the impressive first round ratings from a few weeks ago, but also compared to last seasons second round. TSN averaged 774, 000 viewers for their nine games in the second round. Or, as they chose to spin it, an average of 883, 000 through the first two rounds. That number isn’t so good when you consider the first round averaged 927, 000, which was a 41% increase over 2011.

CBC’s biggest loss was the Canucks. They averaged about 1.5 million viewers for the Capitals-Rangers series, with Devils-Flyers coming in at just over a 1.4 million average. Those numbers are both up from CBC’s average of 1.2 million for four All-American second round games last season. CBC averaged 2.8 million for the Canucks last year, which brought their overall average up to 2.16 million. As a result, the approximate 1.5 million average this season is still down 30% over last year. Not good news for ad sales in later rounds.

TSN was also hard hit by late starts and two short series. Last season, with teams like Washington, Detroit and San Jose headlining their coverage, TSN averaged 1.12 million. This year, with those teams replaced by Phoenix, St. Louis and Los Angeles, they only managed 774, 000. That’s about a 30% decrease over last year as well.

The Conference Finals aren’t looking a lot better. While 1.36, the rating for game 1, is better than anything they did in the semifinals, it is still down from the 1.86 and 1.61 ratings they achieved for games 2 and 3 of the Eastern Conference Final last year (Tampa Bay vs. Boston). And also over 2 million less than the comparable game (which, yes, had Vancouver in it) last season.

NHL Conference Semifinals on CBC

And CBC’s press release.

Conference Semifinal action gets underway on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA with exclusive coverage of the New York Rangers/Washington Capitals series beginning April 28 and the Philadelphia Flyers/New Jersey Devils series which begins on April 29. Both series are available on CBC-TV and streaming online at CBCSports.ca.

The puck drops on the New York/Washington series at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 28 as Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals travel to Manhattan to take on Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers. Play-by-play for this series will be handled by Jim Hughson alongside analyst Craig Simpson with Glenn Healy providing additional analysis from between the benches and Elliotte Friedman reporting from rinkside.

The second Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup between Philadelphia and New Jersey hits the ice on Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m. ET as Claude Giroux and the Flyers play host to Martin Brodeur and the Devils. The broadcast team for this series includes Bob Cole calling the play-by-play from the booth with analyst Garry Galley and Scott Oake reporting from rinkside.

“With all of the excitement, suspense and stunning upsets that filled the opening round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada can’t wait to share more with hockey fans across the country,” said Julie Bristow, CBC’s Executive Director of Studio and Unscripted Programming. “NHL playoff hockey has become appointment viewing for everyone from intense fans to casual viewers and we will continue to provide them all with the world class, innovative coverage and analysis they expect from us.”

Each night during Round Two, Ron MacLean hosts CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’s coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs along with Kelly Hrudey and P.J. Stock, providing insight and analysis for all of the Conference Semifinal games. Don Cherry and Coach’s Corner returns in the first intermission while the second intermission features the Hot Stove and Andi Petrillo at the Chevrolet I-Desk.

Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi presented by Chevrolet continues with Harnarayan Singh handling play-by-play duties for Round Two with coverage of the New York/Washington series. The Punjabi broadcasts will be available on Rogers Cable channel 799, Shaw Digital TV channel 328, Shaw Direct classic channel 480 and advanced channel 429, TELUS Optik TV channel 131 and on Bell TV and FIBE TV channel 232 and will also be streamed live and on-demand on CBCSports.ca.

NHL Conference Semifinals on TSN

Here is TSN’s press release.

As the journey to the Stanley Cup continues, TSN tonight confirmed its broadcast schedule for the Second Round of the 2012 STANLEY CUP® PLAYOFFS.

TSN has complete live coverage of both Western Conference Semifinal series – Phoenix-Nashville and St. Louis-Los Angeles – featuring Vezina Trophy-nominated goaltenders Jonathan Quick of the Kings and Pekka Rinne of the Predators, Nashville’s Norris Trophy-nominated defenceman Shea Weber, Coyotes captain Shane Doan, and Blues goalie Brian Elliott.

Games are available live nationally on TSN and TSN Mobile TV.

TSN’s coverage of the 2012 STANLEY CUP® PLAYOFFS continues tonight (Friday, April 27) with Game 1: Nashville @ Phoenix at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Action in the Blues-Kings series kicks off on Saturday, April 28 with Game 1: Los Angeles @ St. Louis at 7 p.m. ET (see complete broadcast schedule below).

TSN also takes a look back at the opening round of the NHL post-season with its 60-minute FIRST ROUND RECAP SHOW tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET, leading in to live game coverage of the Phoenix-Nashville series. The highlight show focuses on all of the biggest moments from each First Round series, with close attention paid to the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators’ series, and the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia series.

TSN’s live coverage of the 2012 STANLEY CUP® PLAYOFFS runs through the end of the Third Round.

The network’s extensive coverage of the NHL post-season features play-by-play announcers Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert and game analysts Ray Ferraro and Darren Pang.

NHL ON TSN host James Duthie is in the TSN studio for pre-game shows and intermissions, alongside Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger, analysts Aaron Ward and Marc Crawford, and guest analyst and former NHL head coach Paul Maurice.

Canadian Sports Ratings Update: April 18, 2012

As expected, the ratings over the past week have been dominated by the NHL playoffs; however, the Blue Jays have held their ground as well. Here are your sports ratings for April 9-15, 2012. As always, thanks to TV Feeds My Family for posting these.

Stanley Cup Playoffs
PHI-PIT (g1), Apr 11, TSN: 1.49 million
DET-NSH (g1), Apr 11, CBC: 993, 000
LA-VAN (g1), Apr 11, CBC: 2.041 million
OTT-NYR (g1), Apr 12, CBC: 1.565 million
SJ-STL (g1), Apr 12, TSN: 592, 000
CHI-PHX (g1), Apr 12, TSN: 674, 000
DET-NSH (g2), Apr 13, CBC: 692, 000
LA-VAN (g2), Apr 13, CBC: 2.048 million
PHI-PIT (g2), Apr 13, TSN: 1.442 million
WSH-BOS (g2), Apr 14, CBC: 1.038 million
OTT-NYR (g2), Apr 14, CBC: 2.146 million
SJ-STL (g2), Apr 14, TSN: 352, 000
CHI-PHX (g2), Apr 14, TSN: 928, 000
NSH-DET (g3), Apr 15, CBC: 990, 000
PIT-PHI (g3), Apr 15, TSN: 1.299 million
NJ-FLA (g2), Apr 15, TSN: 1.137 million
VAN-LA (g3), Apr 15, CBC: 2.199 million

MLB
BOS-TOR, Apr 9, SN: 1.325 million (923, 000 were on SNO)
BOS-TOR, Apr 10, SN: 959, 000
BOS-TOR, Apr 11, SN: 443, 000
BAL-TOR, Apr 13, SN: 665, 000
BAL-TOR, Apr 14, SN: 796, 000
BAL-TOR, Apr 15, SN: 611, 000

Note: All numbers are BBM 2+ overnight AMA.

I also have a few more numbers. Game 3 of the Rangers @ Senators series on Monday averaged 2.25 million viewers, the highest of the playoffs so far.

Last night, without competition from the Flyers vs. Penguins, Predators @ Red Wings cracked a 1 million average on CBC.

Despite a thrilling game, Panthers @ Devils didn’t do so well last night. Only just over 500, 000 tuned in on TSN. Overtime certainly didn’t hurt the Coyotes @ Blackhawks game, as about 730, 000 watched that one on TSN.

You can see the updated NHL playoff ratings database here. For the most up-to-date NHL playoff broadcasting news, including ratings, follow me on Twitter.

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.