The new ratings II: Both brands of football score
When BBM launched its people meters rating system in Canada earlier this month, the claim was that it would be more accurate. According to BBM, the pager-like devices strapped to 9,000 Canadians will provide a more realistic picture of who's watching what than the old set-top boxes for a variety of reasons. One is that all those people gathering in sports bars are now being counted.
Nobody really knows how accurate these things are, but the sports-bar explanation appears to have held up. Sunday night's Bears-Packers NFL game scored the highest audience of the weekend, almost hitting the 1 million mark on TSN. The fact the game was also on NBC, whose audience is not counted in Canada, means more than 1 million were watching.
How many more is a pure guess. It could be as much as 1 million more, though that's doubtful because Canadian NFL fans have been accustomed to watching Sunday night games on TSN for more than 20 years so most would tune in to the Canadian channel.
Personally, I believe not that many Canadians were watching on NBC. Monday's NFL game, for example, which was exclusive to TSN in Canada, drew only 932,000 viewers total despite being a better game than Sunday's.
Regardless, both Sunday and Monday nights were big numbers for the NFL, as were the numbers post by the CFL. A dog of a game between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg Sunday afternoon was watched by 872,000, though many may have stuck around to see if the Riders would hit 60 points. And the CFL beat the NFL head-to-head on Sunday afternoon, though only by 1,000 on the early game.
While the belief still lingers that the CFL is a western thing, Friday's Ticats-Argos game just missed the 800,000 mark.
Here are the top-rated weekend overnight sports ratings for English Canada, according to BBM Research. Ratings may change when final data is compiled.
1. NFL, Bears at Packers, Sunday, TSN: 972,000*
2. NFL, Bills at Patriots, Monday, TSN: 932,000
3. CFL, Roughriders at Blue Bombers, Sunday, TSN: 872,000
4. CFL, Ticats at Argonauts, Friday, TSN: 795,000
5. CFL. Stampeders at Eskimos, Friday, TSN: 755,000
6. MLB, Blue Jays at Tigers, Saturday, Sportsnet: 660,000
7. CFL, Lions at Alouettes, Sunday, TSN: 546,000
8. NFL, early games, Sunday, CTV: 545,000
9. Golf, PGA BMW Championship, Global: 463,000
10. NFL, Chargers at Raiders, Monday, TSN: 460,000
11. MLB, Blue Jays at Tigers, Friday, Sportsnet: 449,000**
12. NFL, late games, Sunday, Sportsnet/City: 400,000
13. Auto racing, NASCAR Rock and Roll, Saturday, TSN: 320,000
14. Equestrian, Nations Cup, Saturday, CBC: 297,000
15. Auto racing, F1 Italian Grand Prix, Sunday, TSN: 264,000
16. NCAA football, USC at Ohio State, Saturday, The Score: 208,000
* Viewers on NBC not calculated
** Two channels only