U.S. hockey ratings must have Bettman smiling
Maybe Ron MacLean doesn't have to feel so sorry for Gary Bettman after all.
The Hockey Night In Canada host told The FAN 590 last week after his uncomfortable interview with the NHL boss that he felt sorry for Bettman because of all the pressure he was under, what will all those franchises in trouble and everything. Well, Bettman's probably feeling pretty good these days thanks to surprisingly good TV ratings in the U.S.
NBC recorded a 4.0 rating for Sunday's Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, a 54 per cent increase over last year and the best overnight rating in eight seasons. Add to that the fact that the Versus broadcast last Wednesday topped all other cable channels, and Bettman's month is getting a lot better.
On this side of the border, CBC continues to score some pretty big numbers. Ratings are up 64 per cent over last year, though how much the new ratings system plays into that is unknown.
Regardless, they'll only get better if this series goes the distance.
Not to sound repetitive, but the Blue Jays continue to ride high on television. Their three-game weekend series with the New York Yankees averaged more than 600,000 viewers.
Here are the top weekend sports audiences on English-language television, according to BBM Canada overnight calculations:
1. NHL, Flyers at Blackhawks, Sunday, CBC: 3,396,000*
2. NHL, Blackhawks at Flyers, Friday, CBC: 2,439,000*
3. NHL, Hockey Night In Canada pre-game, Sunday, CBC: 1,117,000
4. MLB, Yankees at Blue Jays, Saturday, Sportsnet: 671,000
5. MLB, Yankees at Blue Jays, Sunday, Sportsnet: 640,000
6. MLB, Yankees at Blue Jays, Friday, Sportsnet: 584,000
7. Auto racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Sunday, TSN: 502,000
8. NBA, Celtics at Lakers, Sunday, TSN: 291,000*
8. PGA, The Memorial final round, Sunday, Global/CBS: 249,000
10. Tennis, French Open men's final, Sunday, TSN: 185,000*
11. Horse racing, Belmont Stakes, Saturday, TSN: 165,000*
12.. PGA, The Memorial third round, Saturday, Global/CBS: 154,000
13. MLB, Red Sox at Orioles, Sunday, Sportsnet: 150,000
14.. Tennis, French Open women's final, Saturday, TSN: 145,000*
* Viewers for U.S. channels not calculated
TOTH IS BACK: After leaving the Rogers family on what he called a mutual decision, Mike Toth is now officially a Newstalk 1010 (CFRB) guy. He has signed on as sports director and will work the morning show. ``I'm really enjoying working full-time on radio," Toth says. ``In television, you're under such strict time requirements and radio offers a much better outlet for expressing opinions and telling stories. The only downside is that unless you're a big star, such as Bob McCown, television pays better than radio so I'm not eating at too many restaurants these days. But I'm having lots of fun, saving a few bucks and even dropping a couple pounds I needed to lose." He obviously hasn't lost his sense of humour.