And this week's ratings winners: the NFL and, no kidding, bowling
You kind of expected that the NFL conference finals would draw some pretty big audiences, especially considering how the late game turned out. Overtime, even one in which a coin toss tends to decide the winner, is a pretty big attraction.
What you don't expect is that bowling would score a top-10 finish.
On the former, CTV scored audiences of more than 2 million for both NFL finals (2.6 and 2.3). For those keeping score, that trumped the CFL's divisional finals, which attracted 2 million for the Western game and 1.35 million for the Eastern blowout. It should be noted that the CFL games were on TSN, which has a smaller reach than CTV.
On the latter, huh? How did bowling draw a bigger audience on a Sunday afternoon than the Raptors did on Friday and Sunday nights? The only possible explanation is that people were channel surfing and came across the sight of a woman, Kelly Kulick, making history by beating the guys.
The other is that people found bowling so exciting, they couldn't turn off their sets. Nah, we'll go with the previous theory.
Here are the most-watched sports events in English Canada over the past weekend, according to BBM Canada ratings:
1. NFL, Vikings at Saints, Sunday, CTV: 2,605,000
2. NFL, Jets at Colts, Sunday, CTV: 2,326,000
3. NHL, Leafs at Panthers/Rangers at Canadiens, Saturday, CBC: 1,451,000
4. NHL, Blackhawks at Canucks, Saturday, CBC: 1,139,000
5. Curling, Grand Slam final, Sunday, CBC: 600,000
6. NHL, Hockey Night In Canada pre-game show, Saturday, CBC: 498,000
7. Curling, Grand slam quarterfinal, Saturday, CBC: 388,000
8. Bowling, PBA Tournament of Champions, Sunday, TSN: 373,000
9. Tennis, Australian Open, Saturday, TSN: 356,000
10. NFL, NFC pre-game show, Sunday, CTV: 322,000
11. NBA, Raptors at Bucks, Friday, TSN: 267,000
12. NFL, NFL Countdown, Sunday, TSN: 265,000
13. NBA, Lakers at Raptors, Sunday, Score: 256,000
14. Curling, M&M junior men's final, Sunday, TSN: 249,000
15. NHL, Penguins at Flyers, Sunday, TSN2: 193,000*
* Viewers on NBC not calculated
KOBE AND CABBIE, THE SEQUEL PLUS: You might think this Cabbie-Kobe thing would have gotten a little stale by now, but about 14 episodes in it's still worth a look (tonight on The Score's Court Surfing at 8 p.m.) The Score's gonzo``reporter" is at it again, having dragooned Kobe Bryant into another bit of silliness surrounding Cabbie's relentless and seemingly clueless attempts to get an invitation to Kobe's house. It's not exactly 60 Minutes, but then that's the whole point.
What comes to mind when you watch this ongoing comedy bit is: How in the world does a self-described ``funny fat guy" from a small Canadian sports channel manage to get one of the biggest stars in the NBA to be a party to this?
The answer, says the fat guy, is that it gives Bryant a rare opportunity to show his sense of humour and get away from the day-to-day media grilling. ``It's a break for him," says Cabral Richards, aka Cabbie. ``He gets to be the straight man and he doesn't have to answer tough questions. He says he loves just being an idiot sometimes.
``The big thing is that athletes get tired of talking about the sport. I give them that opportunity."
The relationship goes past what you see on the air. Richards was invited to L.A. in December to host the launch of Bryant's new video game. Afterwards, he went for a ride in Bryant's helicopter.
According to Richards, Bryant got tired of the long commute from his home to the arena, so he bought his own chopper and a pilot.
``I asked him what it cost and he said it was about the the same as a Ferrari," Richards says. ``So I asked him why he didn't just buy a Ferrari."
Bryant replied: ``What am I going to do, drive it 20 miles an hour on the 405?"