8.7 Million Watch In Canada, A New Record

It was only fitting that a playoff run that delivered record ratings in each round ended with a Game 7 that

broke all viewing records for CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA. A stunning average audience of

8.76 million Canadians tuned in, making it the most-watched NHL broadcast in CBC history*, and second-

most watched sports broadcast ever, just behind the 2002 Olympic Men’s Hockey Final between Canada and

the USA at 8.96 million.

The game, which saw Boston defeat Vancouver 4-0 to win their first Stanley Cup title since 1972, peaked at

11.2 million viewers at 9:40 p.m. ET with five minutes left in the 2nd period. The game reached a total of

18.45 million Canadians (more than half of the Canadian population), by far the most ever for the Final on



The game also delivered spectacular ratings in the key 25-54 demo, with an average audience of just over

4 million viewers.


Top 5 sports audiences in CBC history*:


2002 Olympic Men’s Hockey Final, Canada vs. USA: 8.96 million

2011 Stanley Cup Final, Game 7, Boston vs. Vancouver, 8.76 million

2011 Stanley Cup Final, Game 6, Vancouver vs. Boston, 6.6 million

2011 Stanley Cup Final, Game 5, Boston vs. Vancouver, 6.1 million

2011 Stanley Cup Final, Game 1, Boston vs. Vancouver, 5.6 million


Average audience, overnight data, all games of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final:


Game 1- 5.6 million (Vancouver 1-0 win)

Game 2- 5.6 million (Vancouver 3-2 win OT)

Game 3- 5.4 million (Boston 8-1 win)

Game 4- 5.3 million (Boston 4-0 win)

Game 5- 6.1 million (Vancouver 1-0 win)

Game 6- 6.6 million (Boston 5-2 win)

Game 7- 8.7 million (Boston 4-0 win)


(Source: BBM Canada, Total Canada, Preliminary Overnights, Ind.2+, 2011)

* Based on metered television audience data only


CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The

Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of

radio, television, Internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada

is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and

eight Aboriginal languages, plus seven languages for international audiences. In 2011, CBC/Radio-Canada

is celebrating 75 years of serving Canadians and being at the centre of the democratic, social and cultural

life of Canada.


7 Responses to 8.7 Million Watch In Canada, A New Record

  1. Edward says:

    I’ll tell ya right now there will be a huge betting war for the right when CBC’s contract is up in a couple of years. Even though TSN has rights for NHL games they don’t for the Saturday night games, Canadian teams in the playoffs(there might be an exception here or there) and the all mighty one they don’t have the rights for the Stanley Cup finals. After Vancouver setting the playoffs on fire with all-time ratings records. TSN a lot like ESPN is pissed and envious(when they see something doing great….lol) I don’t know if CBC even though tax payer owned will be able to out bid TSN which I think is owned by BELL/CTV I love CBC as an alternate to TSN. I like TSN but, sometimes they just over kill stuff. Maybe it is just me. Sportsnet isn’t bad either up here for hockey though, they do all the games regional games for canucks, flames, leafs, oilers and senators.

    • Josh says:

      The big thing that CBC still has in its favour, Edward, is the fact that they can put Saturday night games, playoff games and occasional special events (the odd Thursday or Friday night game like opening night most years) on over-the-air television. It really depends on whether the NHL finds that important or not.

      TSN might put in a bid that would include Saturday nights on CTV (because Saturday is typically a dead night for networks anyway), but I can’t imagine any scenario under which TSN/CTV would put early-round playoff games (even ones with Canadian teams in them) on CTV. The early rounds of the playoffs happen during sweeps, and CTV has too much money devoted to American comedies and dramas to shove them all aside for two months to have hockey on every night.

      If the NHL sticks with CBC, that will probably be the deciding factor.

    • Josh says:

      Oh, and the other reason CTV wouldn’t air the early rounds of the playoffs is that it would mean their highly-rated local newscasts at 6pm local time would have all kinds of scheduling problems, especially in the western provinces.

  2. kevin says:

    I can’t imagine the riots in Toronto if they ever make the Final. Fortunately, they can’t even make the playoffs.

  3. Pappy says:

    “TSN a lot like ESPN is pissed and envious”

    Funny you say that because ESPN owns a 20 share in TSN.

  4. eddie says:

    I hope your right josh. Not that I don’t enjoy tsn. It is just I like the ways each network does their take on hockey

  5. Dave Sullivan says:

    I seem to remember that there was mild astonishment that CBC held on to the rights the last time. In the weeks leading up to the renewal, some writers considered it a fait accompli that they would not.

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