A little sanity on Tiger's drawing power, please
There have been all kinds of wild predictions regarding the size of the audience that will be generated by Tiger Woods' return to the golf course Thursday.
There have been claims from network types that it could approach that of the Obama inauguration. Donald Trump even went as far as predicting Super Bowl numbers for Tiger's return, though Trump's knowledge of TV ratings isn't verifiable. Considering that each of the the past two Super Bowls have produced about 100 million viewers in the U.S., that's a tall order indeed.
While predicting ratings is a mug's game, I'm going to risk being a mug and predicting they won't be anywhere near the Super Bowl or the 37.8 million Americans who watched Obama become president.
The Masters record, set in 1997, is 20 million American viewers. Even if Tiger is in the final pairing Sunday, it's hard to imagine double that audience tuning in.
While there's a great curiosity factor here, you have to wonder just how many women will care to watch the Great Philanderer proving that infidelity didn't hurt his performance on the course. And you do have to remember that this is golf, a marathon sport that pales in popularity compared with the NFL and even presidential ceremonies.
As for the ratings we already know about, here are the most-watched sports programs on English-language television over the Easter weekend according to BBM Canada overnight calculations. Noticeably low on the list is the NCAA basketball tournament, which may or may not be an indication of its popularity.
We do know that 115,000 people watched Monday's final on The Score and another 67,000 147,000 on the Sun TV/CBS simulcast in the Toronto area. The Score says 91 per cent of all Canadian viewers watched either its channel or the Sun TV simulcast, which means the total audience was 288,000.
How The Score knows this is a bit of a mystery. We do know, however, that ratings on CBS in the U.S. were up 34 per cent over last year and among the highest ever.
1. NHL, Bruins-Leafs/Sabres-Habs, Saturday, CBC: 1,694,000
2. NHL, Canadiens at Flyers, Friday, TSN: 869,000
3. NHL, Oilers at Coyotes, Saturday, CBC: 777,000
4. NHL, Canucks at Kings, Friday, Sportsnet Pacific, 614,000*
5. NHL, Hockey Night In Canada pre-game, Saturday, CBC: 554,000
6. Baseball, Blue Jays at Rangers, Monday, Sportsnet: 489,000
7. NHL, Flames at Avalanche, Friday, Sportsnet West: 479,000*
8. NHL, Flames at Blackhawks, Sunday, Sportsnet West: 479,000*
9. NHL, Senators at Islanders, Saturday, CBC: 408,000
10. Baseball, Yankees at Red Sox, Sunday, Sportsnet: 371,000
11. NHL, Red Wings at Flyers, Sunday, TSN: 357,000**
PGA, Houston Open final round, Sunday, Global: 353,000
12. NBA, Warriors at Raptors, Sunday, TSN: 331,000
13. NCAA, Duke vs. Butler, Monday, Score/SunTV: 262,000
14. NBA, Raptors at 76ers, Saturday, TSN: 240,000
15. Auto racing, NASCAR Nationwide, Saturday, TSN: 221,000
16. PGA, Houston Open third round, Saturday, Global: 204,000
* One channel only
** Viewers on NBC not calculated