Canadiens-Senators Produces Low Audiences For HNIC, Leafs Fans Delight

From Chris Zelkovich:

While stories hit the news from time to time telling us that interest in the Toronto Maple Leafs is dropping faster than, well, the Leafs’ playoff chances, the fact is the Blue-and-White still drive ratings no matter how bad they are.

Further proof came Saturday night in one of those rare instances when the Leafs are not the main attraction on Hockey Night In Canada. In fact, this Saturday they weren’t even playing. Instead, the nation got the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators — an all-Canadian matchup featuring one team with deep roots across the country.

It was a pretty good game, too.

The result? The lowest Game 1 rating on CBC this season. It drew 300,000 fewer viewers than the previously ratings dog and drew only 130,000 more than a Detroit-Toronto pre-season game.

It was almost beaten out by the Pittsburgh-Vancouver late game and finished behind three NFL playoff games. Actually, it was four because the 1,040,000 who watched Sunday’s Jets-Chargers game included only those who tuned in to TSN. The game was on CBS, too.

The full numbers:

7PM, Ottawa vs. Montreal: 1,169,000
10PM, Pittsburgh vs. Vancouver: 1,085,000


About Steve Lepore
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2 Responses to Canadiens-Senators Produces Low Audiences For HNIC, Leafs Fans Delight

  1. Tim says:

    The NFL games are the key, methinks. I don’t know if they like to admit it or not, but Canadians tend to enjoy watching the NFL.

  2. Josh says:

    As a Sens fan, it pains me to say I’m not surprised. Not only was the NFL working against HNIC, but throw in the fact that, when you account for language breakdowns in Ottawa and Montreal, they are the smallest English-language Canadian markets (if not the smallest English-language markets in the league), and the fact that there was a competing broadcast (RDS is widely available in both), and you had a recipe for a low number.

    Are RDS numbers available anywhere you know of, Steve? I would assume that even opposite football (which I assume was also airing in French on RIS, though I don’t know that for a fact), a Saturday night game featuring the only two clubs with any kind of francophone following would have produced a bigger than average number for the Réseau.

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