Local TV Ratings, Canada Style: Uh, Not So Good, Eh?

William Houston is the guru for TV ratings, Canada style.  I prefer him to most American counterparts because he usually reports an actual number of viewers.  Today, he had a piece on Canadian TV ratings.  They are not great, to be frank.  Let’s go bulletpoint on this:


  • Toronto: 341,000 viewers per game, down 17%
  • Vancouver: 228,000 viewers per game, down 19%
  • Ottawa: 88,500 viewers per game, down 18%
  • Calgary: 130,000 viewers per game, up 11%
  • Edmonton: 145,000 viewers per game, up 29%
  • Montreal (Games available nationally): 773,000 viewers per game, up 21%


So obviously, you see that while there is some good news in Alberta and Montreal, everywhere else is trending downward.

However, there is some good stuff nationally in Canada, where ratings are going up, and among key demographics.

As far as national TV, the numbers go this way:

  • Hockey Night in Canada, Game 1: 1.348 million viewers, up 13%
  • Hockey Night in Canada, Game 2: 763,000, up 19%
  • After Hours Post-Game: 281,000, up 53%
  • TSN: 496,000, up 21%
  • RDS: 773,000, up 21%

To put these ratings in perspective, simply add a zero and slide a decimal point, and you’ll get what that rating might look like in the U.S.  For example, HNIC’s Game 1 1.3 million viewers would be like an event drawing 13 million viewers in the U.S., and so on.

Houston points out that the greatest upward trend may be coming from young viewers:

The number of children, 2 to 11, watching the Hockey Night telecasts has increased. That demographic is up 70 per cent for the pregame show and close to 100 per cent for Game 2.

Generally, children 2 to 11 do not control the remote, but the audience results do show that they are in the room with parents watching hockey.

That is good news as far as growing the game goes.  Let’s just hope they don’t have to hear too much uncomfortable talk about sloppy seconds this week.


2 Responses to Local TV Ratings, Canada Style: Uh, Not So Good, Eh?

  1. Fred Snodgrass says:

    I wonder how much of the decline has to do with teams playing more games outside of their usual time zone this year over last? For example, the Leafs are now on their 2nd trip out west, whereas last year they only had one trip out west. Later starts mean fewer viewers. Conversely, earlier starts for Vancouver when they are out east means fewer viewers.

  2. The explanation for the regional numbers is right there in the article:

    But Sportsnet president Doug Beeforth is skeptical of the Leafs, Senators and Canucks results.

    “I can find very little, if any, factors that would support a notion that people are less interested in NHL hockey this year than in the past,” he said.

    The problem may be caused by HDTV, he says. Sportsnet has doubled its HDTV telecasts since last season, he said. While national HDTV audiences are given an accurate measurement, regional audiences are not.

    “By BBM Nielsen’s own admission, their measurement of HD homes isn’t where it should be,” he said.

    A more accurate system will begin in the fall of 2009, “but that’s a long time to wait,” Beeforth said.

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