Hockey draft takes a run at World Cup
The high ratings for the World Cup are no doubt causing buttons to pop among supporters of the beautiful game in Canada. (Ever wonder why nobody refers to it as ``the well-officiated game"?)
But if ever proof was needed that this is a hockey country, it came Friday night. TSN's broadcast of the NHL entry draft averaged an incredible 828,000 viewers. That's only about 150,000 viewers below CBC's average for the World Cup, which is even more incredible when you consider that soccer's slow pace looks practically frantic compared with the NHL draft.
Four hours of kids in badly fitting suits sauntering up to a platform, being greeted by some team executive who had just spent five minutes thanking everybody from the city of Los Angeles to the parking lot attendants. Then painful interviews with kids who've managed to master all the cliches in a very short time. This was the ultimate in dull television, a one-hour show packed into four hours of tedium.
That said, this has been an awesome World Cup as far as ratings go. CBC's first-round average is about 90 per cent higher than the TSN-Rogers combo managed last team. Yes, all ratings are up (TSN's draft coverage was up 43 per cent over last year) but a ratings increase that high can't be solely due to a new ratings system.
On the other side of the ledger, Toronto Blue Jays ratings are following the team's fortunes and have bottomed out after a great start. Just like the team.
Here are the top-rated weekend sporting events on English-language television, according to BBM overnight calculations:
1. World Cup, Germany vs. England, Sunday, CBC: 2,270,000
2. World Cup, U.S. vs. Ghana, Saturday, CBC: 2,116,000*
3. World Cup, Argentina vs. Mexico, Sunday, CBC: 1,993,000
4. World Cup, Uruguay vs. South Korea, Saturday, CBC: 1,453,000
5. World Cup, Portugal vs. Brazil, Friday, CBC: 1,119,000
6. World Cup, Chile vs. Spain, Friday, CBC: 1,049,000
7. NHL, Entry draft, Friday, TSN: 828,000
8. World Cup, N. Korea vs. Ivory Coast, Friday, CBC: 644,000
9. MLB, Blue Jays at Phillies, Saturday, Sportsnet: 306,000
10. Auto racing, F1 European Grand Prix, Sunday, TSN: 296,000
11. MLB, Blue Jays at Phillies, Friday, Sportsnet: 294,000
12. ,Auto racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Sunday, TSN: 269,000
13. Tennis, Wimbledon, Saturday, TSN: 262,000*
14. MLB, Blue Jays at Phillies, Sunday, Sportsnet: 229,000
* Viewers on U.S. channels not calculated
OTHER STUFF: With all those FAN 590 guys out of work, they might take solace from the fact that Norm Rumack has landed with XM Radio. Rumack was let go last year. ... Listening to the FAN 590 in the wake of last week's bloodletting, you have to wonder why the changes were made now. Why not ride out the summer wih existing staff, which was a lot better than anything that's replaced it so far. ... TSN will air its CFL preview show Wednesday at 7 p.m.