Vancouver Day 5: Ratings records pretty much a sure thing
There is little doubt that the Vancouver Games will be the most-watched in Canadian history. And we don't mean the most-watched Olympics. They will be the most-watched anything.
The CTV-Rogers consortium reports another big audience for Monday's offerings, including 7.1 million watching Alexandre Bilodeau's medal ceremony. Prime-time coverage averaged 5.3 million, according to BBM Canada overnight ratings, which compares with the world junior hockey final.
The difference is that the world junior hockey final was about three hours long, We're talking about six hours here. Even more amazing, the daytime show averaged 4.5 million. That's on a Monday.
The consortium says 80 per cent of English Canadians and 71 per cent of francophones tuned in to some of Monday's broadcasts.
Those are pretty impressive numbers -- and the men's hockey tournament hasn't even started yet.
THE STANDOUTS: Several CTV-Rogers consortium announcers have stood out early in the Games. The best have included the afternoon hosting team of James Duthie and Lisa LaFlamme. Duthie brings the perfect mix of humour and tact to the job. LaFlamme's gap in sports knowledge show up a little too often, but her news training and credible delivery overcome them. Most important, they don't annoy, which is rather important when you're on the air for almost six hours a day. ... The figure skating crew has been superb. Viewers knew what to expect from old pro Rod Black, but Jamie Sale and David Pelletier have been a revelation. Pelletier, in particular, has stood out as the TV star of the Games. ... R.J. Broadhead has done a superb job on sports that don't usually stir hearts: cross-country skiing and biathlon. ... Rod Smith and Catriona Le May Doan have also been outstanding on speed skating. Smith can really make the most of the big moments. Le May Doan tends to talk a bit too much, but nobody explains the intricacies of the sport better. ... While I'm handing out laurels, James Cybulski's interview Monday with former speed skater Dan Jansen was fascinating as was Michael Landsberg's chat with skier Erik Guay.
SNOWBOARD NO-NO: Former Blue Jays announcer Jamie Campbell has been doing a pretty good job calling the freestyle skiing stuff, sports he's calling for the first time. But he could be a little slower to boost Canadian hopes and really has to stop calling Canada ``our great country." We know it's great, okay? And Tuesday's comment regarding Dominique Maltais' second run that ``suddenly, time is of the essence," was rather silly considering that it's a timed event in qualifying. ... Snowboard analyst Tara Teigen does a great job of explaining what the heck's going on out there, Too bad she used the term ``five-peat" on Monday. Normally, that would be considered a capital offence.
THE BAD: Please, please spare us any more of those cheesy promos for CTV shows, like those annoying etalk intrusions. Does anyone other than Walter Gretzky care where Wayne and Janet dined? ... Boy, is CTV having communications problems or what? On Tuesday, Duthie announced that viewers would be taken to the U.S.-Switzerland men's hockey game. Naturally, snowboarding showed up on the screen. That's twice the left hand apparently didn't know what the right was doing. ... Where are the leader boards during events such as snowboarding and speed skating? They're shown at the end, but it would be nice to see them a little more often. ... One thing that the CTV group has in common with CBC: Too many features, not enough action. These are the Olympics, not the Cannes Film Festival.
THE UGLY: One can only imagine how painful it was for NBC's Bob Costas to do a thinly disguised pitch for Dreamworks during leading up to snowboard competition Monday. What followed was a Dreamworks cartoon of a Viking snowboarder. Let `em buy an ad.