HNIC Ratings: Down Slightly Without the Leafs Early, Up with Oilers-Canucks Late

William Houston has his clock-like regular post on HNIC’s ratings this week:

The absence of the Toronto Maple Leafs cost Hockey Night In Canada at least 250,000 viewers on Saturday night.

The show’s 7 p.m. ET game, with the Leafs playing, had been averaging more than two million viewers. With Toronto idle on Saturday, a large segment of the southern Ontario market tuned out and the audience dropped to 1.783 million. Hockey Night aired three games: Washington Capitals-Montreal Canadiens went nationally, with Calgary-Columbus and Boston-Ottawa seen regionally.

The pre-game show continues to draw exceptionally well. It had 644,000. The second game of the doubleheader, Vancouver-Edmonton, was watched by a 1.202 million, well above the average.

Honestly, and not to be a Leaf-hater here, I think CBC will gladly take that number, but they have to be annoyed at the fact that they produced three games for the timeslot, including one featuring superstar Alex Ovechkin, and couldn’t match the feeble Leafs numbers.

Hockey Night’s average numbers for the season is after the jump.  The original HNIC ratings post has also been updated.

Thursday, Oct. 1
7:00
Montreal vs. Toronto 2.542 Million
10:00 Vancouver vs. Calgary 1.371 Million
Average: 1,956,500 Viewers

Saturday, Oct. 3
6:30 HNIC Pre-Game 628,000
7:00
TOR vs. WSH OR MTL vs. BUF OR OTT vs. NYR 1.74 Million
10:00
Calgary vs. Edmonton 1.153 Million
Game Average: 1,446,500 Viewers

Saturday, Oct. 10
6:30
HNIC Pre-Game 447,000
7:00 Pittsburgh vs. Toronto 1.686 Million
10:00 Montreal vs. Edmonton 1.004 Million
Game Average: 1,345,000 Viewers

Saturday, Oct. 17
6:30
HNIC Pre-Game N/A
7:00 NYR vs. TOR OR OTT vs. MTL 1.718 Million
10:00 Minnesota vs. Vancouver 986,000
Game Average: 1,352,000 Viewers

Saturday, Oct. 24
6:30
HNIC Pre-Game 507,000 Viewers
7:00 TOR vs. VAN OR BOS vs. OTT OR NYR vs. MTL 2.306 Million
10:00 Edmonton vs. Calgary 1.119 Million
Game Average: 1,712,500 Viewers

Saturday, Oct. 31
6:30
HNIC Pre-Game 781,000 Viewers
7:00 Toronto vs. Montreal 2.453 Million
10:00
Detroit vs. Calgary 809,000 Viewers
12:30 After Hours 222,000 Viewers
Game Average: 1.631 Million

Saturday, Nov. 7
6:30
HNIC Pre-Game 1.014 Million
7:00 DET vs. TOR OR NJ vs. OTT OR TB vs. MTL 1.964 Million
10:00 NY Rangers vs. Calgary 877,000 Viewers
Game Average: 1,420,500 Viewers

Saturday, Nov. 14
2:00 NYR vs. OTT 579,000 Viewers
6:30
HNIC Pre-Game 632,000 viewers
7:00 Calgary vs. Toronto 1.808 Million
10:00
Vancouver vs. Colorado 876,000 Viewers
Game Average (Primetime): 1.342 Million

Saturday, Nov. 21
6:30
HNIC Pre-Game 657,000 viewers
7:00
DET vs. MTL OR WSH vs. TOR OR BUF vs. OTT 2.101 Million
10:00
Chicago vs. Edmonton 725,000 viewers
Game Average: 1.413 Million

Saturday, Nov. 28
6:30
HNIC Pre-Game 644,000 viewers
7:00 WSH vs. MTL OR OTT vs. BOS OR CGY vs. CLB 1.783 Million
10:00 Vancouver vs. Edmonton 1.202 Million
Game Average: 1,492,500 Viewers

Through 8 Weeks and 9 telecasts:

7PM Game Average: 2,233,444 Viewers
10PM Game Average: 1,124,666 Viewers
HNIC Season-to-Date Average: 1,679,055 Viewers

8 Responses to HNIC Ratings: Down Slightly Without the Leafs Early, Up with Oilers-Canucks Late

  1. leafsfan1967 says:

    It might make more sense for the CBC to produce more regional games when the Leafs ARE playing. That way those who don’t like the Leafs have something to watch and enjoy. What this does show is that the Leafs still are the number 1 draw and if they ever get their act together and become a decent hockey team, who knows what the numbers might look like.

  2. Robert says:

    The numbers are pretty good and would have been slightly higher if the CBC’s original distribution would have been chosen. All of western Canada was supposed to see Calgary at Columbus and Atlantic Canada was to see the Capitals at Canadiens game.

    Thanks for keeping the numbers up to date. For Oct. 31 there was a Thrashers at Senators matinee. It had 499,000 viewers so try and add it if possible.

  3. leafsfan1967 says:

    While the CBC must be pleased by the ratings, they must also be nervous about what the playoff picture looks like. Obviously there is a long way to go but as pointed out elsewhere, right now Canadian teams are not doing well

  4. Josh says:

    Part of the problem here is that when you force-feed people a team for years upon years and decades upon decades, it cultivates fans of the team. To take an extreme example, if the Oilers of the 80s had been the national game on HNIC every weekend, you’d probably see a whole lot more Oil fans across the country, thus creating higher ratings for them to this day when they are featured on CBC or TSN.

    As a public broadcaster, CBC has a duty not to do a strict ratings calculation when deciding on distribution of the games every weekend.

  5. leafsfan1967 says:

    In the 1980’s Hockey Night in Canada pretty much only showed regional games. I lived in western Canada during this era and almost never saw the Leafs. There were no NHLCI packages then either so your theory about force feeding the Leafs doesn’t hold up. Reality is that despite their terrible record over the last few years the history of the Leafs insures they have fans all across the country and it is the same with Montreal.

  6. leafsfan1967 says:

    Fans of the Leafs were built up long before TV, when Hockey Niught in Canada was a radio only event and Foster Hewitt build the Leafs fan base

    In the 1980’s Hockey Night in Canada pretty much only showed regional games. I lived in western Canada during this era and almost never saw the Leafs. There were no NHLCI packages then either so your theory about force feeding the Leafs doesn’t hold up. Reality is that despite their terrible record over the last few years the history of the Leafs insures they have fans all across the country and it is the same with Montreal.

    .

  7. Josh says:

    From Wiki on HNIC:

    “After Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988, the network began showing occasional double-headers when Canadian teams visited Los Angeles, in order to give the game’s greatest star network exposure in Canada. These games were often joined in progress, as the regular start time for HNIC was still 8:00 Eastern Time and the Kings home games began at 7:30 Pacific Time (10:30 Eastern). Beginning in the 1995 season, weekly double-headers became the norm, with games starting at 7:30 Eastern and 7:30 Pacific. In 1998, the start times were moved thirty minutes earlier.”

    That sounds an awful lot to me like until 1995, Western Canadian teams were only shown on HNIC when they visited LA (or, one presumes, Toronto or Montreal). If you have differing information, I’d love to read it.

    When CBC airs a tribute to Chris Neil on the Toronto affiliate over a tribute to a Leaf HOFer (do they even make those anymore?) as they did with Tie Domi/Boom Boom Geoffrion, maybe you’ll have a slight idea how it is.

  8. leafsfan1967 says:

    I live in western Canada from 1982 to 1991. During the regular season I rarely saw either Leafs or Habs games. HNIC showed western Canadian teams in western Canada so there was no Leafs domination then.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: