World Series hits ratings homer
While many out there have been predicting the death of baseball for some time, the fact is that all the sport needs are a couple of marquee teams and a competitive series to draw huge audiences.
Now, we are talking relatively huge here. Huge huge is what Hockey Night In Canada drew Saturday for the Leafs-Habs game: 2.45 million viewers. In this country, nothing tops hockey. Nothing ever will.
And imagine how big those numbers would be if the Leafs could ever ice a good team, or the Canadiens could play consistent hockey. By the way, if there are any thoughts that a bad start will cause Leaf fans to break ankles jumping off the bandwagon, Sportsnet drew the weekend's seventh-highest audience, for a Leaf game shown only in Ontario.
Relatively huge was the audience Rogers Sportsnet attracted for Sunday's World Series game: 840,000. That doesn't include all those who watched on Fox, which I'm guessing was at least another 800,000. That's not hockey huge, but it's huge.
Not so huge were the Toronto Raptors. They got off to a great start last week, drawing a record audience of 420,000 on The Score. But that fell to 240,000 Friday and only 190,000 on Sunday.
Here are the top English-Canadian sports ratings for the weekend, as supplied by BBM overnight calculations:
1. NHL: Leafs at Canadiens, Saturday, CBC: 2,453,000
2. MLB: World Series Game 4, Sunday, Sportsnet: 840,000*
3. NHL: Red Wings at Flames, Saturday, CBC: 809,000
4. NFL: Early games, Sunday, CTV: 786,000
5. NHL: Hockey Night In Canada pre-game, Saturday, CBC: 781,000
6. CFL: Roughriders at Tiger-Cats, Saturday, TSN: 775,000
7. NHL: Leafs at Sabres, Friday, Sportsnet: 692,000**
8. NFL: Falcons at Saints, Monday, TSN: 679,000
9. NFL: Vikings at Packers, Sunday, Citytv: 673,000
10. MLB: World Series Game 3, Saturday, Sportsnet: 633,000*
11. CFL: Blue Bombers at Alouettes, Sunday, TSN: 537,000
12. CFL: Stampeders at Lions, Saturday, TSN: 519,000
13. CFL: Argonauts at Eskimos, Friday, TSN: 515,000
14. NHL: Thrashers at Senators, Saturday, CBC: 499,000
15. Figure skating: Grand Prix of China, Saturday, CBC: 338,000
16. Auto racing: F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Sunday, TSN: 243,000
17. NBA: Raptors at Grizzlies, Friday, TSN: 240,000
* Viewers on Fox not included
** Ontario only