Canadian TV Ratings [Sports]: March 11-13, 2016


Could GameCentre Live be to blame for the sinking NHL numbers? (image via Rogers)

When you’re brave enough to take a look at the ratings for the weekend of March 11, you probably won’t be able to stop yourself from saying “good grief.” Well, that or a series of expletives.

March 12’s Hockey Night in Canada early games drew in 1,360,000 across CBC, Sportsnet and City. Remember way back in the day (i.e. last year) when you’d see a good 2.1 million tuning in? I guess those days are long gone.

So, what happened? Maybe in this Rogers era of the NHL, Rogers was a victim of its own success. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but when Rogers snagged the NHL rights, it started to bundle in GameCentre Live (sorry, Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE™) in random packages.

Through GameCentre Live, you can watch a number of NHL games live and several other games from the current season and a few past seasons, too. There are also cool features like alternate camera angles and the ability to watch either the home or away broadcast. The service works on cell phones, tablets and gizmos like the Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast or most modern Sony and Microsoft game consoles.

When you look at the way GameCentre Live works, I highly doubt people watching games through that service are factored into the 1,360,000 I mentioned above.

Currently, Rogers throws in a subscription to GameCentre Live if you’ve also subscribed to a Share Everything plan or with some Rogers Ignite bundles.

Considering that cell phone plans expire every two years and if you renegotiate a discount with Rogers for your other services every year or two (as my cheap ass does), there are a bunch of people getting GameCentre Live for free.

For those who aren’t, Rogers also sells it. So diehard NHL fans who are stuck with cell phone or internet service from Bell, Telus or someone else can get GameCentre Live that way.

With a GameCentre Live subscription, where you can watch almost any game, anywhere, any time and all that with additional features, why bother with gathering around the boob tube to watch HNIC when you can get the same thing and much, much more through a palm-sized rectangle that fits in your pocket (a smartphone), a bigger rectangle that is the main reason you tote around a man purse (a tablet) or noisy boxes that always sound like an airplane is about to take off in your house hooked up to an even bigger rectangle (a game console connected to a TV)?

Anyway, for more on the weekend’s top sports broadcasts, check out the source link below. (Surprise! The Raptors bomb yet again with fewer than 200,000 viewers.)