Canadian TV Ratings [Sports]: May 16-19, 2014

NBC pressured the NHL to move games earlier in the day (logo via Wikimedia)

The Victoria Day weekend seems to have affected the sports ratings for better or for worse.

Canadiens games didn’t match last week’s high of 3,670,000 viewers for the Bruins vs. Canadiens match on the 12th. The game on Victoria Day only brought in 3,374,000 viewers.

The Canadiens game on Saturday saw a much more dramatic fall. It lost around one million viewers when compared to last week Saturday’s game.

So what happened? NBC happened. Chris Zelkovich pointed out in his ratings post that the NHL often bows to pressure from NBC to start games earlier in the day because NBC doesn’t want hockey to interfere with its Saturday primetime schedule of nothing.

Moving the game earlier in the day confused some viewers and I suppose some may have not been able to make it to a screen due to work. Having the same game also air on NBC with its own separate coverage provided some rather big competition to CBC. Perhaps some people who aren’t particular fans of CBC’s coverage, jumped ship to NBC and those who were curious to see how the match was covered on the other side of the border also tuned in to NBC. Those who were not working during the day, or watching the game on NBC, may have been at the cottage for the long weekend. That all together put a million viewer sized dent into CBC’s ratings.

Another oddity is that golf, the final round of the Byron Nelson Championship, in particular, made the top five games of the week; however the third round of the same championship lost to cars driving around in circles. That’s particularly shocking once you consider that the golf championship was on Global, a broadcast network, yet the NASCAR match wasn’t even on TSN proper, but rather TSN2.

The story was much better for the Jays, however, as its game on Saturday spiked to 740,000, from last week Saturday’s game with the Angels that drew 393,000. The Friday match on Sportsnet One also saw a rise week over week, as it has over the past few weeks, to 335,000. That’s getting close to the numbers of a typical Jays game on Sportsnet proper.

Perhaps gaining momentum from the NHL playoffs, a few CHL games made the list of the top matches of the week, as did a few IIHF games.

However, what barely made the list was Toronto FC’s match against the New York Red Bulls, which pulled in a sad 91,000 viewers on Saturday over on TSN. Major League Soccer looks as if it’s a huge dud.

To see the rest of Chris Zelkovich’s analysis and his ratings chart, click the source link below.

Top games for Friday, May 16, 2014
Rank for day Rank for week Show Network Total viewers
1 3 Kings at the Ducks (NHL) CBC 1,175,000
2 8 Blue Jays at the Rangers (MLB) Sportsnet One 358,000
3 13 Val D’Or vs. London (CHL) Sportsnet 249,000
4 15 Canada vs. Italy (IIHF) TSN 126,000
Top games for Saturday, May 17, 2014
Rank for day Rank for week Show Network Total viewers
1 2 Rangers at the Canadiens (NHL) CBC 2,147,000
2 4 Blue Jays at the Rangers (MLB) Sportsnet 740,000
3 12 Byron Nelson Championship, third round (PGA) Global 260,000
4 14 Guelph vs. Edmonton (CHL) Sportsnet 207,000
5 16 Red Bulls at the Toronto FC (MLS) TSN 91,000
Top games for Sunday, May 18, 2014
Rank for day Rank for week Show Network Total viewers
1 5 Kings at the Blackhawks (NHL) TSN 664,000
2 6 Blue Jays at the Rangers (MLB) Sportsnet 436,000
3 7 Byron Nelson Championship, final round (PGA) Global 390,000
4 9 Canada vs. Sweden (IIHF) TSN 355,000
5 10 London vs. Edmonton (CHL) Sportsnet 344,000
Top games for Monday, May 19, 2014
Rank for day Rank for week Game Network Total viewers
1 1 Rangers at the Canadiens (NHL) CBC 3,374,000
 
Top Ten Games of the Week
Rank Show Network Day Viewers
1 Rangers at the Canadiens (NHL) CBC Monday 3,374,000
2 Rangers at the Canadiens (NHL) CBC Saturday 2,147,000
3 Kings at the Ducks (NHL) TSN Friday 1,175,000
4 Blue Jays at the Rangers (MLB) Sportsnet Saturday 740,000
5 Kings at the Blackhawks (NHL) TSN Sunday 664,000
6 Blue Jays at the Rangers (MLB) Sportsnet Sunday 436,000
7 Byron Nelson Championship, final round (PGA) Global Sunday 390,000
8 Blue Jays at the Rangers (MLB) Sportsnet One Friday 358,000
9 Canada vs. Sweden (IIHF) TSN Sunday 355,000
10 London vs. Edmonton (CHL) Sportsnet Sunday 344,000
The numbers above are BBM’s overnight ratings for sports events on english-language Canadian TV. If these games were also broadcast on an American network available in Canada, those numbers are not included.
 
Note: I corrected the network for the final round of the Byron Nelson Championship in the Sunday chart on May 28th
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