Category Archives: Rogers Sportsnet

Ratings Update

I haven’t posted much when it comes to weekly ratings lately so I’m past due.

These Canadian BBM Ratings are sourced from The Remote Control Blog.


TSN WJC Pregame 905,000
TSN Finland/Canada 2,210,000


Sportsnet Ontario Toronto @ Florida 813,000


TSN WJC Pregame 812,000
TSN Czech Republic/Canada 2,484,000
TSN Vancouver @ San Jose 931,000


TSN WJC Pregame 883,000
TSN Denmark/Canada 1,829,000


TSN USA/Czech Republic 684,000


CBC Winter Classic Alumni 416,000
CBC Regional 7 PM (Tor/Wpg, Mtl/Fla) 1,595,000
CBC Vancouver @ Los Angeles 760,000
TSN WJC Pregame 831,000
TSN USA/Canada 2,718,000


The Voice of TV has a complete recap of Versus ratings from November 28-December 14. The high for that period was Philadelphia/Buffalo (585k, 12/7) while the low was San Jose/Colorado (193k, 12/13).

Puck The Media has some numbers courtesy of TVSportsratings on Twitter. The debut NBC Sports Network game featuring San Jose @ Vancouver drew a respectable 267,000. Considering that it went up against the Fiesta Bowl and featured a Canadian club, that’s not too bad. It was also a season high for a game that featured the Sharks. Other games from earlier drew similar numbers. Dallas/St. Louis (270k, 12/26) and NY Rangers/Washington (327k, 12/28) had to be slight disappointments since both games were exclusive telecasts.


The Potential Fallout From The MLSE Deal

The new Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment will be a powerhouse in the sports media world. The most powerful media companies in Canada will now be joined at the hip. It’s hard to say how this will change things in Toronto and Canada but I’m gonna put a few theories out there on how it might affect various parties.


For Rogers, it makes all the sense in the world to do a joint bid on NHL rights but does Bell want to help out their largest competitor? True, they will now be long-term financial partners, but is it worth it to help each other out? The short answer appears to be yes. A potential bid helps Sportsnet greatly, but if it means that CTV and TSN are virtually guaranteed NHL rights, then Bell should work with them. It would pretty much lock out CBC and give the companies a strangle hold on the sports market.


The CBC might be the group most impacted by this deal. Having Rogers and Bell come together might make it very difficult for Hockey Night in Canada to continue. If the two parties bid together on national rights, CBC might be done. CBC’s only hope might be for the league to take bids on over the air and cable rights separately. Another possibility is for the league to sign a deal with CBC before anyone else gets a chance to make a bid. That happened last time around, but I find it hard to believe that the league will pass up the potential to make some serious cash. A Rogers/Bell bid would certainly break the bank open. Another option, and it is a wildcard, is to woo Rogers and get them on board with CBC. Sportsnet is loaded with former CBC execs and it’s hard to predict if the folks at Sportsnet are essentially ready to cede the national sports market to TSN. Regardless, it doesnt look good for CBC. The tradition might be coming to an end.


This deal only strengthens TSN. A joint bid by CTV, TSN and Sportsnet pretty much locks them in, assuming it gets to that point. TSN would also likely get the most games out of that deal. TSN is already the dominant sports network, and this helps assure that to continue. There’s also the strong possibility that TSN may gain some regional rights in the future. TSN has been aggressive in this market, and TSN has aired the Leafs regionally in the past.

For CTV, this gives them the potential to dominate the Canadian TV market even more than they do today. The thought of the playoffs on CTV surely makes CTV executives drool. True, they would have some scheduling issues, but a joint bid would likely alleviate most of those issues. As long as they get the bulk of the playoffs and a weekly game, it’s a big win for their network schedule.


This is where things begin to get interesting. Maple Leafs games are the jewel of Sportsnet Ontario. Sportsnet has been ultra aggressive the last few months, adding talent and re-positioning themselves as a legitimate competitor to TSN. If everything goes just right, this deal should keep the Leafs on SNO long-term in some form. Additionally, a potential joint bid for NHL rights might be on the table. Sportsnet would likely be the secondary partner in any Rogers/Bell bid but any hockey programming is a good thing for them. A partnership with CBC looks good on paper but it’s hard to see how it works financially.


One area of contention between the parties could be those regional rights. For Bell, they would gain little from Leafs games airing on SNO. They might want the games on a network where each party has a stake. So here comes Leafs TV to the rescue. Sure, Leafs TV lacks some distribution but it might be the fairest place for the Leafs games to air. It’s true that losing some or all Leafs games on SNO would be a blow to Rogers but Leafs TV needs a boost. Rogers might be willing to give up some games if they can gain a national package for Sportsnet. One thing to keep in mind is that Sportsnet’s Leafs rights deal still has some time left on it so don’t expect any changes in the short-term.

As far as the future Real Sports cable channel goes, that’s likely done. I’m not sure it has any future since it was largely being created to compete with TSN and Sportsnet. I suppose there’s still the possibility of it being green lighted but it’s not looking good at this point.


This is another potential issue since Rogers and Bell each have their own sports radio stations that are salivating to air Leaf games. Corus and AM 640 might as well pack it in now. Nobody expected them to retain the rights before and this pretty much seals that. Supposedly, Rogers Sportsnet 590 The Fan and TSN Radio 1050 will share the rights, splitting the games evenly. According to the Toronto Sports Media Blog, the NBA Raptors will do the same once their deal is up. That will certainly make things interesting but it its the fairest way to do it.


The real negative out of this deal is likely for the fans. Prices will probably go up but even more, accusations of Toronto bias will only get stronger. It might be hard to take these companies as neutral parties since they will be directly benefitting from the Leafs. Besides that, the Leafs might get even more coverage on each network.

Personally, I think they will be able to be fairly neutral on the subject. Yes, the Leafs will dominate the media market, but it’s been that way for years. This deal won’t change that. Besides that, thanks to the internet, the place to find news and info for each team is much wider than ever before. If fans think a party is being biased, go get the info from someplace else. I don’t think the Leafs will be able to censor all parties in the media even if Brian Burke would prefer that.

Bottom line, this deal is all about the money and everyone involved stands to gain a lot except for the fans. The shareholders will love it, the suits will love it, the accountants will love it. The fans, on the other hand, might get the short end of the stick. Time will tell whether this deal pays off for long suffering Leaf fans everywhere.


PR on Maple Leafs Sale to Bell & Rogers

I’ll have my thoughts on this deal a little later on but here’s the link to the Toronto Maple Leafs Press Releases on Rogers and Bell buying into Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment.. Bell, Rogers, OTPP and Larry Tanenbaum each have their own press releases. Additionally, the link takes you to a stream of the press conference.

Here are couple of financial highlights from the Rogers and Bell press releases. From Rogers –

Rogers’ net cash commitment, following a planned leveraged recapitalization of MLSE, will total approximately $533 million, representing a 37.5 percent equity interest in MLSE, and will be funded with cash on hand at closing. In a concurrent transaction, KSI Investments, owned by Larry Tanenbaum, will increase its current 20 percent ownership interest in MLSE to 25 percent.

From Bell –

Bell’s net cash commitment, following a planned leveraged recapitalization of MLSE, will total $398 million, representing a 28% equity interest in MLSE, and will be funded with cash on hand at closing. Through a co-investment arrangement with Bell, the BCE Master Trust Fund, an independent trust that holds and manages pension fund investments serving the pension obligations of BCE Group pension plan participants, will contribute $135 million toward the MLSE acquisition. The total investments by Bell and the BCE Master Trust Fund equal the 37.5% equity interest to be acquired by Rogers.

On top of that, CBC sent out its own statement on the matter –

“I would like to congratulate Bell, Rogers and Larry Tanenbaum on their deal announced today. To know the ownership of Canadian teams will be kept in Canadian hands is great news,” said Kirstine Stewart, executive vice-president CBC English Services. “Increasingly, sports rights deals are dependent on strong partnerships. We are proud of our partnerships with Rogers on the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014 and with Bell as we prepare our joint Olympic 2014/2016 bid.”



NHL Hypes Regional Ratings

This is a huge press release from the NHL, detailing various business and broadcasting numbers. I will post the full release after the jump. But first, I’m going to highlight some of the regional ratings that are included since much of the other information mentioned is dated and already known –

First Quarter Filled With TV Ratings Highlights

Eleven local Regional Sports Networks experienced double- and triple-digit growth, including:

• Nashville (+200 percent)
• Carolina (+125 percent)
• Florida (+100 percent)
• Tampa Bay (+71 percent)
• Philadelphia (+60 percent)
• Boston (+57 percent)
• Minnesota (+53 percent)
• San Jose (+44 percent)
• Buffalo (+26 percent)
• Edmonton (+21 percent)
• New York Rangers (+14 percent)

There’s some huge bumps in there, but keep in mind that for many of the Southern teams, ratings couldn’t go much lower. In the case of the Predators, their local ratings are rarely published, so we don’t know where they previously ranked on the totem pole. Clearly, Florida is seeing a boost from their strong start but they have a long ways to go when it comes to being respectable ratings wise. It will be interesting to see if Carolina can continue that momentum since they have been struggling on the ice. A quick update. The Carolina and Nashville ratings include the Atlanta market for the first time. This helps explain their jumps a little bit. Either way, its good to see more people tuning in. Thanks to Dirk Hoag at On the Forecheck for the info.

Read the rest of this entry »


Canada Ratings Watch

Here’s an update on Canadian NHL television ratings. These BBM ratings are sourced from the Remote Control Blog and BBM Canada.


Sportsnet Ontario Toronto/Phoenix 739,000


TSN Carolina/Montreal 473,000
Sportsnet Pacific Chicago/Vancouver 336,000


CBC 3 PM Winnipeg/Philadelphia 632,000
CBC 7 PM Regional (Washington/Toronto, Montreal/NY Rangers) 2,079,000
CBC 10 PM Edmonton/Chicago 948,000
RDS Montreal/NY Rangers 782,000


CBC NY Islanders/Pittsburgh 1,202,000


Sportsnet Ontario Toronto/Tampa 702,000


TSN Calgary/Detroit 499,000
Sportsnet Pacific Vancouver/Colorado 394,000


CBC 7PM Regional (Pittsburgh/Montreal, Edmonton/Colorado, Winnipeg/Boston) 1,975,000
CBC 10 PM Vancouver/San Jose 1,115,000


Sportsnet Ontario Toronto/Anaheim 600,000

Overall, a pretty solid couple of weeks for hockey in Canada. CBC held up well without the Maple Leafs this past Saturday. TSN is still struggling a little bit without the Leafs as the last three Wednesday broadcasts have failed to bring in over 500,000 viewers. This past Sunday’s Leafs game underperformed as it went up against the Grey Cup. Outside of that, the Leafs continue to draw very well.

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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in CBC, NHL, Ratings, RDS, Rogers Sportsnet, Television, TSN


Thoughts On Ratings & Other Stuff

Time for some random thoughts on a Monday afternoon –

  • First up, there’s some ratings news. And for the second time in a week, the NHL and NBC have some egg on their face. The much ballyhooed Discover Thanksgiving Showdown drew a 1.0. That’s pretty much on par with what the NHL on NBC averages every single week during the regular season. I can’t say I’m surprised. As I wrote a few weeks ago, this is was a regular game with a fancy name. NBC and the league could’ve saved their hyper promotion and fancy Macy’s float and gotten the same rating. 1.0 is pretty much the norm for hockey ratings and there’s not much of a ceiling above that no matter what type of gimmicks you add. Unless you put the game outside, ratings aren’t going to get much better.
  • Just to finish up on U.S. ratings, many people are trying to blame last Monday’s disappointing ratings on people not knowing the game was on. That excuse doesn’t fly with me as Versus was scheduled to air a game on that night anyhow. If Sid’s return drew so poorly, what would’ve the Boston/Montreal game drawn? After all, that game was not going to air in the Boston market, similar to the Penguins/Isles non-exclusive matchup. It just seems to me that NHL ratings have largely plateaued and outside of the playoffs and regional coverage, things aren’t going to grow very much short-term.
  • Going back to the Thanksgiving game, I thought NBC had a good idea on its hands with the players introducing themselves. It was a little sloppy, would’ve been much better with everyone doing it, not just one member of the line, but I’d like to see it some more. Some minuses were that they hyped Tim Thomas to death and he wasn’t playing. Another one was Mike Emrick. I normally enjoy Doc but he seemed rusty. I wonder if it’s because he hasn’t worked much the last few weeks. his “1-0 Boston” after the Wings scored was one thing, but he seemed to ramble and just didn’t seem very sharp to me.
  • Moving on to Canada, I thought Elliotte Friedman’s Inside Hockey segment on Dr. Ted Carrick was very interesting. But it needed to be more balanced. It sounded too much like an infomercial for Carrick and his education institute. Carrick’s work is considered pretty controversial and that should-be mentioned. Many of Carrick’s peers have questioned his credentials and the science behind him. I realize it was a short feature, but I don’t think it was made clear in the segment that not everybody in the medical field supports Carrick and what he’s doing. There’s conflicting data out there and someone should-be on there to challenge Carrick’s unusual beliefs.
  • Watching The Hotstove the last few weeks has really made me miss the old Satellite Hotstove. It was truly regional and was loaded with scoops. How Friedman didn’t punch out Glenn Healy a few weeks ago is still a mystery. Many of the breaking news and scoops from that segment have given way to more analyzing and bickering.
  • On that note, I’ve really enjoyed watching Scott Morrison on Sportsnet. It continues to baffle me how CBC totally wasted his talent during most of his time with HNIC. He knows his stuff and should’ve been a regular Hotstove panelist. He’s been a nice addition to the Sportsnet team and has given them some much-needed credibility.
  • And finally, if you haven’t read Rick Westhead’s story on the Maple Leafs and their future broadcast plans, go do it now. It’s hardly a secret that MLSE wants to launch a new RSN even though Leafs TV has largely failed to take off. What’s MLSE and Real Sports going to show outside of the Leafs and Raptors? I’m not sure there’s enough programming there. It makes a ton of sense but the summer will be a very sad time on that network. It’ll take some serious cash to make it work and it will be interesting to see if MLSE thinks its worth giving up all the promotion they can get from Bell and Rogers, not to mention their lucrative rights fees.

Ratings Watch

Here’s a look at some NHL ratings.


These BBM ratings are sourced from the Canadian Sports Media Blog.


Sportsnet Ontario Florida/Toronto 783,000 viewers


TSN NY Rangers/Ottawa 448,000


TSN Toronto/St. Louis 1,170,000


CBC Scotiabank Hockey Tonight 1,245,000
CBC 7 PM Regional (OTT/TOR, WPG/CBJ, MTL/NSH) 2,250,000
CBC 10 PM Calgary/Colorado 757,000


Unfortunately, the Versus game ratings were unavailable for this past week but judging by the post-game ratings, they probably weren’t all that impressive anyhow. These Nielsen ratings are sourced from The Voice of TV.


9:30 PM NHL Live 66,000 41,000 A18-49
10:00 PM NHL Overtime 25,000 13,000


9:30 PM NHL Live 116,000 51,000
10:30 PM NHL Overtime 59,000 45,000


We have some regional ratings from Boston and Buffalo. First up, from BostInnovation are some Bruins ratings –

Whatever the case, the network has recorded two of its highest regular season game ratings in the past few weeks, and they’ve done it without the studio show host that so many people came to associate with the Bruins over the past few years. A 5.2 household rating was earned for the November 7th matchup with the New York Islanders, and that number was bested by Tuesday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils, which did a 5.3 – good for third in the network’s regular-season history all-time.

Despite a slow start for the Bruins, NESN still has a 3.9 household rating on the season, which is a 46% increase over last season through the same number of games, according to Puck the Media.

NESN’S Thursday night broadcast against Columbus brought in big ratings. This comes from NESN PR guy Gary Roy’s twitter account  –

Another season best #Bruins rating on @NESN last night – 6.1 HH the new 3rd best reg season rating in NESN history #NESNTV

In case you are wondering, the 2nd best reg season rating inNESN history was a 6.2 HH on 3/18/10 vs. Pittsburgh #NESNTV

Sabres ratings come from Buffalo Business First

The Buffalo Sabres drew the highest local television ratings in the National Hockey League through the month of October and up 15.2 percent compared to the same month last year.

Sabres games broadcast on rightsholder MSG network averaged an 8.3 rating last month, the highest number in three years for the Buffalo market. That compares to a 7.2 rating in 2010-11 and a 6.7 rating to start the 2009-10 season,

The 8.3 average rating represents approximately 54,000 households in the Buffalo market throughout October and takes into account the two afternoon games the team played while in Europe to start the season. In primetime games on MSG, the Sabres telecasts averaged a 9.3 rating and approximately 60,000 viewing households. The team’s home opener against Carolina on Oct. 14 drew the largest audience, with an 11.5 rating and approximately 74,000 households.