Big night for Hockey Night
As expected, the new ratings system has been very kind to hockey.
CBC drew an average audience of 2.5 million for its season opener last Thursday and Saturday was no disappointment. Its regional coverage of the Leafs at Capitals, Habs at Sabres and Senators at Rangers averaged 1.74 million. These are audiences CBC hopes for during the playoffs.
Of course, all ratings have risen and everybody's setting records. But there are some interesting revelations.
Let's take the Buffalo Bills, a team promoters and those who worship at the altar of the NFL would have us believe is wildly popular in Ontario. But Sunday's Bills-Dolphins game was pretty far down the list and behind all four CFL games.
Even when ratings for the NFL package shown simultaneously on City and Sportsnet are combined (558,000), they beat only CFL game.
Here are the weekend ratings for English-Canadian television, according to BBM overnight figures.
1. NHL, Early games, Saturday, CBC: 1,740,000
2. NHL, Flames at Oilers, Saturday, CBC: 1,153,000
3. CFL, Roughriders at Lions, Friday, TSN: 923,000
4. NFL, Early games, Sunday, CTV: 736,000
5. CFL, Tiger-Cats at Stampeders, Saturday, TSN: 697,000
6. CFL, Eskimos at Blue Bombers, Friday, TSN: 684,000
7. NHL, Hockey Night In Canada pre-game show, Saturday, CBC: 628,000
8. NHL, Red Wings vs. Blues, Friday, TSN: 472,000
9. CFL, Alouettes at Argonauts, Saturday, TSN: 446,000
10. NFL, Chargers at Steelers, Sunday, TSN: 422,000*
11. Auto racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Sunday, TSN: 401,000**
12. NFL, Bills at Dolphins, Sunday, City: 389,000
13. MLB, Blue Jays at Orioles, Friday, Sportsnet: 257,000
14. NHL, Panthers vs. Blackhawks, Friday, TSN: 256,000
15. MLB, Blue Jays at Orioles, Saturday, Sportsnet: 236,000
* NBC viewers not calculated
** ABC viewers not calculated