Peter Puck and hockey talk pull in the viewers
It's pretty much a given that Canadian sports fans would watch hockey games if they were scheduled at 3 a.m., were shot with a cellphone camera and called by a stutterer with a lisp. But, based on last weekend's TV ratings, they've also developed a penchant for watching people talk about hockey.
Saturday's Hockey Night In Canada pre-game show was the second most-watched sports offering of the weekend, attracting an average of 900,000 viewers. Even if they all tuned in to catch Peter Puck, that's a pretty impressive number for a pre-game show. It outdrew every NFL game shown on the weekend.
On Friday, TSN drew an average of 268,000 viewers for an episode of That's Hockey prior to an NHL doubleheader. If you're comparing, that's more than the number who tuned in to Sunday's Raptors game.
Here are the top weekend sports ratings for English Canada, according to BBM Canada overnight calculations:
1. NHL, Bruins-Leafs/WIld-Sens/Habs-Islanders, Saturday, CBC: 1,876,000
2. NHL, Hockey Night In Canada pre-game show, Saturday, CBC: 900,000
3. NHL, Capitals at Canucks, Friday, TSN: 880,000
4. NHL, Maple Leafs at Sabres, Friday, TSN: 862,000
5. NFL, Early games, Sunday, CTV: 820,000
6. NFL, Colts at Jaguars, Saturday, Sportsnet: 745,000
7. NHL, Capitals at Oilers, Saturday, CBC: 729,000
8. NFL, Vikings at Panthers, Sunday, TSN: 510,000*
9. NFL, Packers-Steelers/Bengals-Chargers, Sunday, Citytv/Sportsnet: 397,000
10. NFL, That's Hockey, Friday, TSN: 268,000
11. NBA, Hornets at Raptors, Sunday, CBC: 255,000
12. NFL, NFL Countdown, Sunday, TSN: 239,000
13. Skiing, Men's downhill, Saturday, CBC: 217,000
14. Bobsleigh, World Cup, Saturday, CBC: 191,000
* NBC viewers not calculated
OTHER STUFF: Vernon Wells hasn't been making much of an impact with his bat in recent seasons, but hs is making a difference off the field. Rogers Sportsnet is airing a documentary Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. highlighting the Blue Jays outfielder's charitable work. ... If you feared you might miss the Dec. 30 announcement of the Team Canada roster for the Olympics, you can sleep peacefully. The event will be aired live at noon on CTV, TSN, Rogers Sportsnet, OLN, OMNI, APTN, ATN, A Channel, CTV News Channel, CP24 and the NHL Network. It will also be on RDS and RIS Info Sports as well as on the FAN 590 in Toronto, FAN 960 in Calgary and CKAC in Montreal. There's no word on whether the Olympic consortium will also hire Joe Bowen to shout the show from the top of the CN Tower.