While the new television ratings system is making everything look better, rendering comparisons to previous audience numbers irrelevant, the folks at CBC have to be pretty happy with the number of viewers they pulled in for Hockey Day In Canada.
The non-game segments did pretty well, though who knows how many people started watching at noon because they thought CBC was airing Shakespeare. On the other hand, how many were scared off by the sight of Don Cherry and Ron MacLean reciting the bard's best lines?
The games did even better, with all three topping a million and the prime-time match between the Canucks and Leafs drew more than 2 million viewers. Even the pre-game show almost hit the million mark.
Leaf and Flames lovers also helped TSN score big-time. Sunday's trade with Calgary produced the busiest day ever at TSN's website, if you don't count the insanity of NHL trade deadline day. The website recorded more than 800,000 views on Sunday.
Here are the top weekend sports ratings in English Canada, as assembled by BBM Research Canada:
1. NHL, Canucks at Maple Leafs, Saturday, CBC: 2,173,000
2. NHL, Oilers at Flames, Saturday, CBC: 1,036,000
3. NHL, Canadiens at Senators, Saturday, CBC: 1,032,000
4. Hockey Night In Canada pre-game show, Saturday, CBC: 948,000
5. NHL, Maple Leafs at Devils, Friday, TSN: 774,000
6. Curling, Tournament of Hearts (afternoon), Sunday, TSN: 694,000
7. Curling, Tournament of Hearts (evening), Sunday, TSN: 584,000
8. Hockey, Hockey Day In Canada (5 p.m.), Saturday, CBC: 464,000
9. Curling, Tournament of Hearts (morning), Sunday, TSN: 438,000
10. Figure skating, Canadian championships gala, Sunday, CBC: 309,000
11. Hockey, Hockey Day In Canada (noon), Saturday, CBC: 283,000
12. TSN The Reporters, Sunday, TSN: 259,000
13. Tennis, Australian Open men's final, Sunday, TSN: 246,000
14. Tennis, Australian Open women's final, Saturday, TSN: 239,000
15. NFL, Pro Bowl, Sunday, TSN2: 230,000
OTHER STUFF: TSN received good news Tuesday when the CRTC approved its proposal for a licence change. While the details are too boring complicated to get into, the changes mean TSN2 is no longer restricted to 10 per cent live sports. That means fewer reruns and more games. ... Speed skating legend Catriona Le May Doan has signed on with the CTV-Rogers Olympic consortium to do the 2012 London Games as well as this month's Vancouver Olympics. She'll be sharing the spotlight with Brian Williams and Lloyd Robertson during the opening ceremony on Feb. 12.