Category Archives: TSN

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.


WJC Keeps Drawing In Viewers

Canada might have had a disappointing World Junior Hockey Championship semifinal performance but TSN can consider the tournament a success, at least leading up to that game. The tourney is averaging 2.4 million viewers, through the New Year’s Eve matchup against the United States. That game has a high of the tourney, drawing in 2.8 million viewers. From TSN –

The Canada-United States New Year’s Eve game capped off an overwhelmingly successful preliminary round. Over Team Canada’s four preliminary round games, TSN has averaged 2.4 million viewers.

• Dec. 26: Canada vs. Finland – 2.3 million viewers
• Dec. 28: Canada vs. Czech Republic – 2.55 million viewers
• Dec. 29: Canada vs. Denmark – 2.0 million viewers
• Dec. 31: Canada vs. United States – 2.8 million viewers

All four games ranked as the most-watched program of the day on Canadian television in all key demographics.

Online, registered 190,000 live streams of Team Canada games while TSN’s brand-new TSN Check-In app on Facebook – giving fans the ability to “check in” from around the world and show that they are cheering on Team Canada – has now gained more than 34,000 registered users, with fans checking in across Canada and from around the world.

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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Ratings, Television, TSN


A Few Thoughts

Here’s a few thoughts to get 2012 started.

  • Overall, the folks at NBC did a decent job with the Winter Classic. Sure, there was Mike Milbury’s verbal gaffe but things went pretty well. They did a nice job showing the warm ups although the audio kept dropping out on some of the mics. Fortunately, those problems were fixed as the telecast went on. There were some great visuals and sometimes the audio was too good as there were plenty of expletives overheard. The new NBC graphics are solid. They certainly reminded me of ESPN.
  • Some of the minuses include the so-called “NHL Pregame” that took over the 1 PM slot. Let’s call it what it was – a repeat of NBC Sports: A Storied Journey. That’s a fine documentary but there’s little hockey involved. We were also treated to a promo video hyping the London Olympics, something that doesn’t go with hockey what so ever. This led to a short discussion about the Vancouver games. It seemed awkward, even if it was filler.
  • Another minus were some of NBC’s talent. Jeremy Roenick was there, at least for a little bit. I realize he was in town for alumni purposes, among other things, but he was barely utilized on the telecast before heading back to Stamford for the game on NBCSN. And I know they want this to be a big “event” but Bob Costas and Jim Cantore add little to the broadcast. Costas is a fine host but so is Liam McHugh. McHugh works the NHL all year-long, he deserves the TV time. It seems kinda rotten to demote your regular host just because this is labeled a special event. Costas wasn’t even around for the early filler programming, as Mike Emrick helmed the studio. As far as Cantore goes, there isn’t much that he says that anyone couldn’t figure out by looking at the flags or a radar.
  • Moving on to the new NBC Sports Network, Cold War on Ice was terrific. CBC had a two-part movie on the Summit Series a few years ago, but they or TSN would be wise to pick this up. Unlike NHL 36 which was a letdown, Cold War was riveting from start to finish. With all the delays and scheduling shuffles, viewers might’ve missed this, but its appointment viewing for any hockey fan. This was a very good way to kick off the new NBCSN even if it was for a very niche audience. And, if you haven’t read it yet, check out Puck Daddy’s eulogy on Versus. It’s a funny summary and shows just how far the network has come from its OLN days.
  • Backtracking a little bit, the Versus coverage of the Winter Classic Alumni Game was a little shaky. The unique collaboration was an improvement over last year’s coverage which was tape delayed and completely chopped up. Jim Jackson and Kevin Weekes were their usual selves although there were a few times that Jim seemed lost and Weekes seemed to lean on cliches a little too much. Al Trautwig brought his dramatic flair to the proceedings. The real negative was Steve Coates. While at times he was humorous, he was also a mess. Many times he failed to identify who he was interviewing and just starting joking and chatting with them. That would be fine if we knew who he was talking to. This happened repeatedly, and as a relatively younger viewer, I didn’t always know who these people were. Thank goodness that graphics were usually shown at some point. Coates was just too silly and didn’t cut it.
  • While NBCSN got off to an ominous start with the delayed game, things didn’t go much better for NHL Network. A key to NHLN’s new look was their coverage of the World Junior Hockey Championships. It was promoted heavily in promos, including some featuring former Team USA players cheering this year’s team on. With USA bombing, the hype is largely over for this tourney and NHLN will lose some eyeballs. At least their Winter Classic coverage was pretty good.
  • And while the WJC were disappointing in the States, TSN is hauling in huge crowds. The first three Hockey Canada games averaged 2.3 million viewers. The tournament continues to get larger each year. With the TV rights expiring in 2014, you have to believe that Hockey Canada will be bringing in some serious dollars, just from broadcasting alone. That doesn’t count any other revenues like rink advertising as Hockey Canada is a partner with the IIHF sharing virtually all of the tourney’s revenue streams.

Posted by on January 3, 2012 in NBC, NHL, NHL Network, Ratings, Television, TSN, Versus


Thoughts On NHL Tonight and Other Stuff…

It has been awhile since I did an opinion piece in bullet form, so the time has come for one.

  • The much ballyhooed NHL Tonight made its debut last night. It had its new soundtrack and modern looking intro. Besides that though, nothing really changed from NHL On The Fly: Final. It was basically a flashier version of OTF. I was concerned about that, and indeed it seems like NHLN is just trying to update its image and use the vaunted program name to grab some eyeballs.
  • Now, not everything was bad about it. The show moved fast and it was updated throughout the night. Kevin Weekes and Billy Jaffe were solid as always and David Amber kept things lively. But let’s face it, fans were expecting something new, and this didn’t cut it. They did use the actual calls on some highlights and I’d still like them to do that during all game packages. But the graphics and style were stale which was a bit of a disappointment on its first night.
  • The good news is that as I mentioned before, there is new programming on the way. This will be slowly rolled out and should go full speed once NHLN gets its new studios in Stamford. Their Winter Classic coverage should be interesting although I’m not a fan of then cutting off TSN’s WJC intermissions to go to Philadelphia as they plan on doing. TSN is number one and NHLN should be showcasing them, not hyping the league’s special event.
  • Going back to the WJC, I thought NHLN did a decent job of covering the blowout by USA over Denmark. The new graphics looked pretty good and I’d like to see them in use during NHL games. Matt Rosen was solid although I’d prefer to see Gary Thorne or JP Dellacamera come back to the mic. I like Dave Starman, I think he’s very knowledgable and is one of the top college analysts. Rob Simpson was as good as one can be in a rather thankless reporter role. I’d still prefer TSN’s coverage but I understand the want of USA Hockey to have their own cheerleaders.
  • Moving on to CBC, Canadian Sports Media Blog has the news that Nabil Karim has moved on to join TSN. This comes at a bad time for the CBC as Mike Milbury is only expected to make sporadic appearances from here on out as NBC starts ramping up their NHL coverage. CBC has been decimated with departures over the past year and this makes it worse. Karim wasn’t an essential part of the HNIC team but he was important when it comes to their digital strategy.
  • Milbury’s move leaves a much larger hole, no matter how you feel about him. They could move Glenn Healy to the studio and try someone else between the benches. Both Greg Millen and Cassie Campbell have done it before. Or they can go down to two analysts as the main desk as they did before. Less chatter might be a good thing. And of course, they could go the TSN route and find themselves an ex-coach to join the network. Either way, CBC is lacking in the personnel department compared to where they stood many years ago.

Posted by on December 27, 2011 in CBC, NHL, NHL Network, Television, TSN


Canada Ratings Update

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


CBC 1 PM Montreal @ New Jersey 573,000
RDS 1 PM Montreal @ New Jersey 727,000
CBC 7 PM Regional (Van/Ott,Wpg/Det) 1,592,000
CBC 10 PM Calgary @ Edmonton 1,136,000


Sportsnet Ontario Carolina @ Toronto 746,000


TSN Boston @ Ottawa 519,000


TSN Philadelphia @ Montreal 548,000


CBC 7 PM Regional (Van@Tor, Ana@Wpg, NJ@Mtl) 2,382,000
CBC 10 PM Edmonton @ San Jose 797,000

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Posted by on December 23, 2011 in CBC, NHL, Ratings, RDS, Television, TSN


Davis Payne Joins TSN For World Juniors

TSN is hyping its coverage of the World Junior Hockey Championships but there’s something more interesting in the release –

TSN’s coverage of the 2012 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP features James Duthie live on location in Edmonton and Calgary to host pre- and post-game shows – as well as intermissions – alongside Hockey Insider and leading junior hockey expert Bob McKenzie.

TSN game analyst Ray Ferraro makes his World Juniors debut this year calling all Team Canada games with play-by-play commentator Gord Miller. This marks the 10th consecutive year that Miller is in the broadcast booth for the event. Joining Miller and Ferraro is reporter Farhan Lalji, who is rinkside for Team Canada games.

Also featured in the booth are play-by-play commentator Dave Randorf and game analyst Craig Button, who call the action for other round-robin match-ups. New TSN recruit and former St. Louis Blues’ head coach Davis Payne, a native of Port Alberni, BC, provides analysis for these games from the TSN studio.

Like virtually every NHL coach that gets fired, Davis Payne has joined the TSN team. Also, it appears that Pierre McGuire will not be making any appearances on TSN unless it is a cameo of some sort. It’s hard to imagine a WJC without Pierre’s presence but I’m sure there’s plenty of people looking forward to his disappearance. A full WJC on TSN schedule and other broadcasting details can be found here.


Posted by on December 21, 2011 in Television, TSN


Ratings Update

Here’s an update on NHL ratings.

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


Sportsnet Ontario New Jersey @ Toronto 789,000
Sportsnet Pacific Colorado @ Vancouver 469,000


TSN Washington @ Ottawa 525,000
TSN Carolina @ Edmonton 488,000


Sportsnet Ontario Toronto @ Washington 891,000
TSN Colorado @ Edmonton 484,000


CBC 1 PM Montreal @ New Jersey 573,000
CBC 7 PM Regional (Van/Ott,Wpg/Det) 1,592,000
CBC 10 PM Calgary @ Edmonton 1,136,000

All in all, the Leafs continue to be strong. CBC struggled somewhat without them and the Habs afternoon game was a bit disappointing in their numbers. The very early start likely impacted their viewership.

Now, we move on to the United States. These Nielsen ratings come from Puck The Media.


Phoenix @ Chicago 302,000


Detroit @ St. Louis 259,000


Philadelphia @ Buffalo 585,000

A decent week for Versus. Monday’s numbers are a little disappointing since the game was exclusive in Chicago. Phoenix likely dragged the numbers down. Tuesday’s look low but since the Wings were on FS Detroit, that severely impacted what should’ve been a very attractive matchup. However, Wednesday was, as expected, a big ratings draw. The Flyers and Sabres always draw plenty of eyeballs as proven by their strong regional ratings.


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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in CBC, NHL, Ratings, Television, TSN, Versus