TSN Had A Lot of Canadians Watch the World Junior Finals

We’re pretty sure this is a picture of last year’s Canadian World Junior Championship team – I can see Stamkos anywhere – but it’s a good backdrop to make our point against.  Via TSN.ca:

Team Canada’s gold medal victory at the World Junior Hockey Championship last night has made ratings history for TSN as the most-watched broadcast of all time on the network.

Preliminary data revealed 3.7 million viewers watched Canada take its fifth consecutive gold medal in a 5-1 victory over Sweden. The audience surpassed TSN’s previous audience high of 3.5 million viewers for the gold medal game at the 2003 World Junior Championship in Halifax.

The gold medal game on TSN is the most-watched program ever on a Canadian specialty channel and is also the most-watched program overall across all Canadian television this broadcast season.  Audience levels for the game peaked at 4.7 million viewers at 9:58pm et, as Team Canada celebrated its victory in Ottawa.

With 602,000 viewers, RDS also had a record audience for the gold medal game. TSN and RDS’s total combined viewership for the game was a record 4.3 million. The game was watched in whole or in part by 9.3 million Canadians, or nearly 30% of the country’s population.

Yowser.  If you’re looking for an American equivalent event, think the AFC or NFC Championship ratings from football.

This comes after William Houston reported  that the Canadian semi-final game drew more viewers than the beloved Hockey Night in Canada:

TSN drew 1.855 million viewers for the Canada-Russia thriller on Saturday night, more than doubling Hockey Night In Canada‘s 857,000 for the Ottawa Senators-Toronto Maple Leafs game. The world junior hockey championship semi-final game peeled off about 400,000 viewers from the Hockey Night telecast. As a rule, a prime-time Leafs game onHockey Night will average about 1.28 million viewers.



The TSN telecast peaked at 2.668 million from 10 to 10:20 p.m. ET during overtime and the shootout. For its five telecasts of Canadian games, TSN is averaging 1.324 million viewers. The Saturday audience ranks as TSN’s ninth largest.

Make that 10th largest.  Oh, Canada.


You Know, the FOX Network Once Produced 60 Hockey Games in One Season

THAT, my friends, is an NHL On FOX denim shirt that seems eternally available on eBay.  Not that you’d ever want that thing, but the point is, FOX promoted the NHL.  Shirts, pucks, a series of hockey cards, FOX immersed itself in marketing the game.  Sure, they had some really stupid ideas like the Glow Puck, but they also showed a lot of games.  In fact, see if you can count how many they showed from this 1997-98 NHL On FOX Schedule:

Read more of this post

Speaking of Versus… Uh, Again: VERSUS #3 Among Cable Sports Nets in 2008… We’re Number 3!



The New VERSUS Dynasty Coming Soon?  Not so much...

The New VERSUS Dynasty Coming Soon? Not so much...

Sports by Brooks (via Sports Business Daily) did a ginormous post about VERSUS looking towards taking on ESPN in the near future today.  We had to check about four times to make sure the post wasn’t from 2005, when MLB, NFL and NBA TV rights were all up for grabs, but failed to be snagged by the wealthy folks at Comcast.

The post is based on SBD numbers saying how VERSUS improved it’s primetime ratings in year-to-year comparisons by 23%.  Here are the total rankings.

1. ESPN – 2.122 Million viewers (Up 8.7%) 
2. ESPN2 – 641,000 viewers (Down 2.4%)
3. VERSUS – 278,000 viewers (Up 23.6%) 
4. Speed Channel – 273,000 viewers (Up 13.8%) 
5. NFL Network – 175,000 viewers (Down 10.7%) 
6. Golf Channel –
131,000 viewers (Down 4.4%) 
7. ESPNews – 86,000 viewers (Down 3.4%) 
8. ESPN Classic – 74,000 viewers (Down 30.8%) 

Ouchies for ESPN Classic, first of all.  Never forget “Cheap Seats”.  Anyway, the article goes on to point out how terrible VERSUS website is (We’re not alone, Dater!) and that Comcast really needs to start dipping into the money piles if they really want to see improvement and growth and challenging ESPN and whatever.  It’s a great read, but in Mike Lange terms, we’ve seen this fish before.

Your Elite Eight Matchups For Puck the Media’s NHL Tournament of Announcers

Here we go folks, Round 3.  It all starts tomorrow at 5:30 PM.  Enjoy these great faceoffs:

Foster Hewitt Bracket Final

#2 Seed – Ralph Strangis
#1 Seed – Mike Emrick

Danny Gallivan Bracket Final

#5 Seed – Howie Rose 
#2 Seed – Dave Strader

Dan Kelly Bracket Final

#8 Seed – Jack Edwards 
#3 Seed – Sam Rosen

Dick Irvin, Jr. Bracket Final

#2 Seed – John Forslund
#1 Seed – Bob Miller

Adrian Dater Really Isn’t Using His “A” Material For VERSUS.com


Adrian Dater

VERSUS.com Columnist Adrian Dater

As the blurb underneath his tiny photo points out, that man above is Denver Post/VERSUS.com columnist Adrian Dater.  We like Adrian.  He’s kind of nuts.  He once posted this in response to a media-member saying that by not appearing on ESPN every day, he wasn’t “being all that he could be”:

And here’s my answer to my still respected friend, that I should have said right away: hell yes, I’m glad I’m not some ESPN stooge, who might make more money than me, but spends his/her entire day preening around the athletic arena, microphone in hand, makeup case in hand, hair spray in hand, ready to ask an inane, suckup, kiss-butt question to a player that, at the end of the day, at the end of this life, at the end of this universe, HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RESONATING IMPACT ON THE MEMORIES OF ITS VIEWING AUDIENCE, AND ABSOLUTELY NO LASTING IMPACT ON ANYTHING REMOTELY ASSOCIATED WITH THE ART CALLED “JOURNALISM” WHICH YOU FALSELY ATTACH YOURSELVES TO.” 

Isn’t that wacky?  It kind of reminds us of Ben Affleck’s Keith Olbermann impression on SNL.  Anyway, Dater was told to take it down and did soon after, but gracias to the blogosphere for keeping it alive, and the Latest Word for us finding it from that particular website, where you can finish your big ol’ cup o’ crazy for the day.

Anyway, Mr. Dater has been writing for VERSUS.com since the beginning of the season.  Initially, we were excited when he and fellow hockey columnists Mike Heika and Chuck Gormley were providing actual original content to the poorly designed website of the NHL’s cable television home.  But, well, some of their stuff, especially Mr. Dater’s, lately has been, how should we say… crap?

Read more of this post

Speaking of VERSUS: So, Apparently This is What We Missed the Past Couple Days

As VERSUS is the cable network devoted to the National Hockey League, we feel it is in every hockey fan’s best interest to know some of the non-NHL stuff that’s been going on at the network.  Every so often, we’ll update you on it with a segment called “Speaking of VERSUS”.

Yeah… we were going to comment about this, but then our modem died and with it, any chance of posting on Monday or Tuesday.  Sorry.  We did have a chance to take a full look into VERSUS’ new “Show Me Your ‘V'” campaign and, while it is well intentioned, it really should’ve been shot down on the brainstormer’s floor.  Some of the titles of various blog postings commenting on the campaign:

I personally got the biggest chuckle out of the last one, but we’re very crude.

Anyway, VERSUS is apparently trying to become more about peace and goodwill, which they show off in their “other”, less double entendre-laden promotion, unless you like a good Freddie Mercury joke.  We do.

Read more of this post