Super ratings show strength of Grey Cup and World juniors, too
Not surprisingly, the Super Bowl scored big in the ratings Sunday and has become the new high-water mark for Canadian television. It was a game filled with great storylines and featured the two most attractive teams in the NFL.
An average of just over 6 million people watched the game on CTV and another 650,000 saw it on French-language RDS. That's small potatoes compared with the 106 million who watched the game in the U.S., but the Canadian total of 6.7 million is pretty impressive.
But in most respects, the size of that audience highlighted how successful the World junior hockey final and Grey Cup were. The junior final scored 5.3 million on TSN while the Grey Cup audience was 5.1 million. While those numbers are lower than the Super Bowl, remember that they were on TSN and it has a smaller reach than CTV.
In addition, neither of those events benefited from continent-wide publicity. The last I checked, there were no Grey Cup promos or world junior ads on NBC or CBS. The fact that the total Grey Cup audience, including RDS, was 6.1 million is something the league can use against those who say interest in the game is dying.
The only down side to the numbers was what happened in the Toronto-Hamilton region. The Super Bowl drew an average of 2 million viewers there. The Grey Cup audience in that coveted region was 900,000.
That's why reviving the Toronto Argonauts is so essential to the CFL.
But the Super Bowl wasn't the only thing Canadians watched on the weekend. Women's curling scored big numbers for TSN and the NHL's 29th best team drew big numbers for both CBC and Rogers Sportsnet.
Here are the top weekend sports ratings on English-Canadian television, as complied by BBM Canada:
1. NFL, Super Bowl, Sunday, CTV: 6,025,000
2. NHL, Senators at Leafs, Saturday, CBC: 2,080,000
3. Curling, Tournament of Hearts final, Sunday, TSN: 1,200,000
4. NHL, Leafs at Devils, Friday, Sportsnet Ontario: 834,000*
5. Curling, Tournament of Hearts semifinal, Saturday, TSN: 800,000
6. Curling, Tournament of Hearts Page playoff, Friday, TSN: 737,000
7. NHL, Penguins at Canadiens, Saturday, CBC: 718,000
8. NHL, Bruins at Canadiens, Sunday, CBC: 646,000
9. NHL, Oilers at Avalanche, Saturday, CBC: 632,000
10. NFL, Super Bowl pre-game, Sunday, CTV: 573,000
11. Skiing, World Cup cross-country, Saturday, CBC: 437,000
12. Curling, Tournament of Hearts tie-breaker, Friday, TSN: 393,000
13. Golf, PGA Northern Trust Open, Sunday, TSN: 248,000
* Ontario only