Surprise ratings for NBA, boxing and the CFL draft
It should surprise nobody that this year's Stanley Cup playoffs are producing huge ratings in Canada. There are two home teams involved and the hockey has been as good as any and better than most.
But CBC, TSN and RDS aren't the only ones enjoying the benefits of all this. Both Versus and NBC are reporting double-digit ratings jumps. Even the presence of a Canadian team on Sunday afternoon didn't stop NBC from posting a 14 per cent increase over last year.
Big numbers for hockey in Canada are nothing new, so let's take a look at some of the surprises. There were some good ones -- namely the NBA, boxing and the CFL -- and one bad one -- Toronto FC.
The NBA hasn't been treated very well by Canadian television, with playoff games bouncing from channel to channel and being relegated to the likes of Raptors NBA TV, TSN2 and The Score. Nothing wrong with those channels, but they don't have the reach of TSN or Rogers Sportsnet.
Regardless, two weekend games still managed to score some decent audiences. Friday's Lakers-Thunder game hhit 246,000 on TSN while Sunday's Bucks-Hawks showdown drew 194,000 to TSN2.
The death of boxing has been predicted for years now, but obviously those reports have been premature. A pre-fight special on the Mosely-Mayweather bout hit 433,000 viewers for TSN on Saturday night -- up against hockey. Not bad.
And how about the CFL draft. In only its second year on TV, it doubled its audience to 119,000 on TSN Sunday afternoon. Imagine what it could do if the show went beyond talking heads and commissioner Mark Cohon's smiling announcements.
A few more cameras in a few more war rooms and a few more players would be welcome.
As for Toronto FC, who can explain the fact its game against Real Salt Lake on Sunday evening drew a paltry 25,000 viewers. Yes, the game was on only two Sportsnet channels (Ontario and Pacific) and it was up against hockey, but Slap Chop infomercials draw better than that.
Here are the top weekend sports offerings, according to BBM Canada overnight ratings:
1. NHL, Canucks at Blackhawks, Saturday, CBC: 2,887,000
2. NHL, Canadiens at Penguins, Friday, CBC: 2,476,000
3. NHL, Canadiens at Penguins, Sunday, CBC: 1,666,000*
4. NHL, Red Wings at Sharks, Sunday, TSN: 1,460,000
5. NHL, Hockey Night In Canada pre-game, Saturday, CBC: 1,045,000
6. NHL, Flyers at Bruins, Saturday, TSN: 833,000*
7. NHL, Sharks-Wings pre-game show, Sunday, TSN: 502,000
8. Boxing, Mayweather-Mosely special, Saturday, TSN: 433,000
9. Golf, PGA Quail Hollow Championship final round, Sunday, Global/CBS: 305,000
10. MLB, A's at Blue Jays, Friday, Sportsnet: 275,000
11. Auto racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Saturday, TSN: 257,000*
12. MLB, A's at Blue Jays, Sunday, Sportsnet: 251,000
13. NBA, Lakers at Thunder, Friday, TSN: 246,000
14. MLB, A's at Blue Jays, Saturday, Sportsnet: 243,000
15. OHL, Barrie at Windsor, Sunday, Sportsnet: 208,000
16. NBA, Bucks at Hawks, Sunday, TSN2: 194,000
17. Soccer, Tottenham at Bolton, Saturday, Sportsnet: 123,000
18. CFL, College draft, Sunday, TSN: 119,000
* Viewers on U.S. channels not calculated
Soccer, TFC at Salt Lake, Saturday, Sportsnet: 25,000**
** Ontario and Pacific channels only
OTHER STUFF: A tip of the cap goes to Rogers Sportsnet reporter Arash Madani, who created a stir around the CFL Saturday by breaking the Toronto-Saskatchewan pre-draft trade. Madani has obviously benefited from the contacts he established while working for CFL teams a few years back. ... You never know what The Score is going to do next. The channel has struck a partnership with entertainment paper t.o.night. Under the deal, Score on-air types will write for the paper while promoting it on the air. It seems like a rather unusual pairing, but you can't say The Score doesn't think outside the box.