Vancouver Day 4: More record ratings and a little more information
There's nothing like somebody wearing a Maple Leaf while competing for a gold medal to pull Canadians to their TV sets. Or maybe it's the deep-rooted love of moguls skiing ...
Alexandre Bilodeau's gold medal victory in moguls Sunday night was watched by an average audience of 7.3 million Canadians -- about a million more than the number who watched the Super Bowl and Grey Cup. According to BBM Canada overnight figures, Bilodeau's winning run was watched by 9.7 million people -- practically one in every three people in the country.
And while bronze doesn't have quite the attraction of gold, Kristina Groves' bronze medal in speed skating attracted more than 5 million viewers.
A LITTLE SILENCE, PLEASE: One of the great things about coverage of Monday's men's downhill was getting to hear the skis cutting into the ice and snow. It gave you a pretty good idea of how fast these guys were going and how difficult it must be to make turns. Unfortunately, we didn't get to hear that often enough, which is the inherent problem in having two analysts. Brian Stemmle and Cary Mullen did an excellent job overall, but did we really need Mullen telling us, ``We've got a ski race on our hands now"? Uh, downhill skiing? We were kind of expecting a race. And how about this puzzler from Stemmle on a poor performance by one of the lower-ranked skiers? ``I thought this guy was going to be an underdog and not really living up to that underdog expectation." Underdog implies he wasn't a favourite, which meant he did live up to expectations.
WORST REPLAY OF THE DAY: Bad enough to show a slow-motion replay of a skier drinking water, but Monday we got a super slow-motion shot of just that. It seemed to last about two minutes. If there was a reason for this, I missed it.
WHAT'S GOING ON? CTV did a better job today of alerting viewers to the other events being broadcast, but it needs to get a lot better. Since the CTV-Rogers consortium is lumping in all the ratings together, it can't be because the bosses are afraid of sending viewers to other channels. On Monday, CTV left the cross-country event once the winners had crossed the finish line, but never told viewers to go to Sportsnet if they wanted to watch the Canadians still on the course. It would have been a pretty simple thing to do. They finally got the point around 5:00 and actually told viewers they could watch snowboard cross preliminaries on Sportsnet. And what's the problem with giving times? James Duthie and Lisa LaFlamme mentioned that CTV would have medal ceremonies tonight but never said exactly when. Is Brian Williams the only one with a watch? Admittedly, I'm being a bit facetious here as the obvious reason is that CTV wants people to tune in at 6:00 in fear of missing the ceremony. That's how you keep up those ratings.
MEANWHILE, ON RADIO ... One of those radio quizzes on The FAN 590 Monday morning told you everything about what turns the cranks of the average FAN listener. The topic was the 1988 Calgary Olympics and it took some time for anyone to name the two Brians who battled for figure skating gold. More amazingly, one guy's answer when asked who won silver for Canada in the women's figure skating event: Catriona Le May Doan. Better keep the questions to hockey in future.