How about those Blue Jays? Ratings match team record
Returning from a European vacation is always a bit of a shock, though no more shocking than learning that Rogers Sportsnet has now cornered the market on all Toronto Blue Jays games -- a dream the late Ted Rogers had the moment he bought the team.
Though the reasons for Sportsnet claiming rights to all Jays games aren't quite clear, the weekend ratings do provide a few clues.
Outside of hockey, nothing else produced the kinds of audiences that the Blue Jays did -- averaging around 500,000 a game in the second month of the season. Certainly nothing else on Sportsnet came close, which is a pretty good reason for cornering the market on baseball games in Canada.
While those numbers could certainly collapse if (or is it when?) the Jays do, the team is Sportsnet's only biggest summer asset. Now if only the Jays can figure out a way to get some of those viewers off their couches and into the Rogers Centre seats.
At the same time, hockey is working wonders for both CBC and NBC. The new Canadian ratings system has to be taken into account, but audiences in the 3 million neighbourhood for the opening two games of the Stanley Cup final are always welcome at CBC -- especially when no Canadian team is involved.
The big surprise is that this series is selling south of the border. Its 3.5 average rating (meaning the games were seen in about 3.5 million homes) is the biggest in 11 years and helped NBC win the ratings battle on Saturday and Monday nights.
Here are the top weekend sports TV ratings on English-language television, according to BBM Canada overnight calculations:
1. NHL, Flyers at Blackhawks, Saturday, CBC: 3,164,000*
2. NHL, Flyers at Blackhawks, Monday, CBC: 2,775,000*
3. NHL, Hockey Night In Canada pre-game, Saturday, CBC: 989,000
4. MLB, Orioles at Blue Jays, Friday, Sportsnet: 581,000
5. MLB, Rays at Blue Jays, Monday, Sportsnet: 535,000
6. MLB, Orioles at Blue Jays, Saturday, Sportsnet: 527,000
7. NBA, Suns at Lakers, Saturday, TSN: 435,000
8. Auto racing, Indianapolis 500, Sunday, TSN: 356,000*
9. NBA, Magic at Celtics, Friday, TSN: 348,000
10. MLB, Orioles at Jays, Sunday, Sportsnet: 334,000*
11. Auto racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Sunday, TSN: 315,000*
12. Auto racing, F1 Turkish Grand Prix, Sunday, TSN: 312,000
13. NHL, Stanley Cup preview, Saturday, TSN: 243,000
14. PGA,The Colonial final round, Sunday, Global/CBS, 201,000
15. MLB, Rangers at Twins, Sunday, Sportsnet: 187,000
* Viewers for U.S. channels not calculated.