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Old
12-19-2008, 10:07 PM
  #1
Squiffy
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HNIC Ratings.. without the Leafs

Well folks, as we all know for the first time since 1996, the Leafs this past Saturday were not on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.

Long has been the debate of, "How much do the Leafs actually affect the ratings?". Are they in fact the biggest draw, and justified in showing as the national HNIC broadcast lo these many years? Or merely an intolerable bias towards Toronto?

For the first time in well over a decade, we can examine some hard data.

The Leafs, as the national broadcast of HNIC, through the first nine Saturdays of the season, averaged a draw of 1,334,889 for HNIC. I presume this includes viewership for locally broadcast CBC games as well.

That other Canadian original six team, with the market to themselves and a prime match-up, showcasing Washington and young phenom Alexander Ovechkin, drew 942,000, a drop of nearly 30% in viewership.

A similar match-up of the Leafs versus Washington on December 6, 2008, shared with a Montreal - New Jersey match-up, produced a draw of 1,220,000.

I trust that this will do nothing towards stemming the debate of why the Leafs are featured nationally so routinely, but draw your own conclusions based on cold hard numbers.

Viewership numbers from: http://www.bbm.ca/en/top_programs.html

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Last edited by Squiffy: 12-19-2008 at 10:26 PM.
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12-19-2008, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post
Well folks, as we all know for the first time since 1996, the Leafs this past Saturday were not on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.

Long has been the debate of, "How much the Leafs actually affect the ratings?". Are they in fact the biggest draw, and justified in showing as the national HNIC broadcast lo these many years? Or merely an intolerable bias towards Toronto?

For the first time in well over a decade, we can examine some hard data.

The Leafs, as the national broadcast of HNIC, through the first nine Saturdays of the season, averaged a draw of 1,334,889.

That other Canadian original six team, with the market to themselves and a prime match-up, showcasing Washington and young phenom Alexander Ovechkin, drew 942,000, a drop of nearly 30% in viewership.

I trust that this will do nothing towards stemming the debate of why the Leafs are featured nationally so routinely, but draw your own conclusions based on cold hard numbers.

Viewership numbers from: http://www.bbm.ca/en/top_programs.html
Interesting to see how close the 1st and 2nd game were in numbers. I wonder if viewership usually tails off near Christmas, with people out shopping and at Christmas parties. But there's not much question, enough of us westerner's will only watch the Leafs, although I'm sure viewership for the Canucks in the New Year will increase.

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12-19-2008, 10:16 PM
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Seeing as we're God's team, it's a bit unfair to the other five Canadian teams.

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12-19-2008, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dynrehab View Post
Interesting to see how close the 1st and 2nd game were in numbers. I wonder if viewership usually tails off near Christmas, with people out shopping and at Christmas parties. But there's not much question, enough of us westerner's will only watch the Leafs, although I'm sure viewership for the Canucks in the New Year will increase.
I wanted to present those numbers too, but the site only lists the top 30 shows of each week, of which the second game has only cracked twice this season. Just to small a sample size to draw any conclusions from.

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12-19-2008, 10:23 PM
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You know what will have an affect on these ratings in the future...? Gittin' a playa like Mats Sundin back. But not Mats this time. When the Leafs make that first HUGE trade, these ratings will shock the world. Who will that star player be? Joe Thornton? After this season? Malkin? Crosby? Heatley? I don't want Heatley in Toronto... he ain't that great... Tavares? These players like Malkin, Crosby, Tavares and Big Joe are players who SELL games and people wanna see them. Get Ovechkin, he's the best, with Joe. I hope The Burke will get that star player trade made... no matter what the cost. Cause these players can win too. Well, Heatley can't win anything in the NHL.

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12-19-2008, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post

The Leafs, as the national broadcast of HNIC, through the first nine Saturdays of the season, averaged a draw of 1,334,889.

http://www.bbm.ca/en/top_programs.html
That figure is very deceiving. The CBC has provided more regional telecasts of the Senators (Ottawa area) and the Canadiens (Quebec) than in previous years. Those particular games are also part of HNIC's weekend ratings.

On November 1st, Toronto had all of Canada to themselves when they hosted the NY Rangers. This game attracted 1,021,000 HNIC viewers.

I don't think it's a coincidence that 1,568,000 people watched Montreal play Toronto back on November 8th.

What many Maple Leaf fans fail to realize is the strong RDS (Canadiens) numbers. While the aforementioned Montreal/Washington game had a HNIC audeince of 942,000 (includes Ottawa/Tampa Bay). RDS had 865,000 fans watching.

On a combined national scale, that's 1,807,000 (minus a few thousand for the Sens game). Toronto couldn't get that type of attention, on a Saturday, unless they were playing the Habs.

This pattern was noticed during the 2002 playoffs. Montreal/Carolina (CBC & CBC French) outdrew Toronto/Ottawa (CBC). Same thing happened during the spring of 2004 with Montreal/Boston and Toronto/Ottawa.

In each case, Montreal was playing a non-Canadian based team. What made the comparison easy. Was that CBC made sure there was no head-to-head. They obviously milked it. Rightfully so.

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Old
12-19-2008, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chet-Nick View Post
That figure is very deceiving. The CBC has provided more regional telecasts of the Senators (Ottawa area) and the Canadiens (Quebec) than in previous years. Those particular games are also part of HNIC's weekend ratings.
I edited that statement to reflect that, and it's a fair statement. Quicker on the quote then my edit, good sir.

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12-19-2008, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chet-Nick View Post
On November 1st, Toronto had all of Canada to themselves when they hosted the NY Rangers. This game attracted 1,021,000 HNIC viewers.
That'd be just about 10% more. Not insignificant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chet-Nick View Post
I don't think it's a coincidence that 1,568,000 people watched Montreal play Toronto back on November 8th.

What many Maple Leaf fans fail to realize is the strong RDS (Canadiens) numbers. While the aforementioned Montreal/Washington game had a HNIC audeince of 942,000 (includes Ottawa/Tampa Bay). RDS had 865,000 fans watching.

On a combined national scale, that's 1,807,000 (minus a few thousand for the Sens game). Toronto couldn't get that type of attention, on a Saturday, unless they were playing the Habs.
Agreed, but from what I read on HF, RDS viewers are not going anywhere. It is of little consequence to the CBC, how RDS draws. Virtually every HNIC game is shown in the Quebec region. Strong Saturday numbers from RDS are not a result of the Canadiens not being available to view to loyalists. It's a choice of the consumer. While I have no data, I would think that the RDS numbers for Saturdays game were quite consistent with the normal numbers they might draw on a saturday broadcast. The CBC is not losing viewers to RDS.[/quote]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chet-Nick View Post
This pattern was noticed during the 2002 playoffs. Montreal/Carolina (CBC & CBC French) outdrew Toronto/Ottawa (CBC). Same thing happened during the spring of 2004 with Montreal/Boston and Toronto/Ottawa.

In each case, Montreal was playing a non-Canadian based team. What made the comparison easy. Was that CBC made sure there was no head-to-head. They obviously milked it. Rightfully so.
Were the above Montreal playoff series available to be viewed on RDS? I honestly have no idea..

If not, again, I argue not a significant argument against why the english broadcast of CBC should, on a business level (not on a right or wrong level re: taxpayer funded), be the Leafs.


Last edited by Squiffy: 12-20-2008 at 12:30 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old
12-19-2008, 11:18 PM
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That's interesting, I wonder how much the figures would improve if we hadn't been out of the playoffs for 3 years.

The day we make a return to the playoffs should see huge spikes in viewership.

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12-19-2008, 11:22 PM
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Leafs aren't on HNIC,i don't watch.i catch Coaches Corner & the Hotstove on CBC Sports Video player on CBC's website.

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12-19-2008, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post

Were the above Montreal playoff series were available to be viewed on RDS? I honestly have no idea..
The 2004 was the slow changing of the guard on Canadiens broadcasts. The CBC French and RDS both had their fingers in the cookie jar. Two years prior, the CBC French entire play-by-play crew was on strike.

The games were shown without any commentary. This rare novelty became popular. All you heard was the puck, sticks, boards, players and fans. CBC French was getting over a 1,000,000 from across Canada.

Saved this from the Montreal Gazette (Pat Hickey - April 2004).

More than 4 million Canadians watched Game 7 of the Bruins-Canadiens series. CBC drew 2.293 million for the national telecast, while RDS attracted a record audience of 1.8 million. It's interesting to note that the Canadiens game outdrew Game 7 of the Maple Leafs-Senators series, which attracted 3.769 million viewers on CBC.

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12-19-2008, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chet-Nick View Post
That figure is very deceiving. The CBC has provided more regional telecasts of the Senators (Ottawa area) and the Canadiens (Quebec) than in previous years. Those particular games are also part of HNIC's weekend ratings.

On November 1st, Toronto had all of Canada to themselves when they hosted the NY Rangers. This game attracted 1,021,000 HNIC viewers.

I don't think it's a coincidence that 1,568,000 people watched Montreal play Toronto back on November 8th.

What many Maple Leaf fans fail to realize is the strong RDS (Canadiens) numbers. While the aforementioned Montreal/Washington game had a HNIC audeince of 942,000 (includes Ottawa/Tampa Bay). RDS had 865,000 fans watching.

On a combined national scale, that's 1,807,000 (minus a few thousand for the Sens game). Toronto couldn't get that type of attention, on a Saturday, unless they were playing the Habs.

This pattern was noticed during the 2002 playoffs. Montreal/Carolina (CBC & CBC French) outdrew Toronto/Ottawa (CBC). Same thing happened during the spring of 2004 with Montreal/Boston and Toronto/Ottawa.

In each case, Montreal was playing a non-Canadian based team. What made the comparison easy. Was that CBC made sure there was no head-to-head. They obviously milked it. Rightfully so.
Are you trying to imply the Canadiens can bring in better ratings than the Leafs on a nation wide TV? If that was the case, CBC would've made Montreal games nation wide games and not the Leafs games. But it is not. Toronto has been consistently bringing in one of the best ratings on hockey television (I don't know if the ratings ARE the highest or not) and there have been great points made on HFboards in the past that would go against what you said.........

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12-19-2008, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Squiffy View Post
If not, again, I argue not a significant argument against why the english broadcast of CBC should, on a business level (not on a right or wrong level re: taxpayer funded), be the Leafs.
There's two schools of thought. Toronto caters to English speaking audience. Thus their regular presence on CBC. Whereas Montreal has two groups of fans within Canada. Both English and French. Hence RDS and some CBC coverage. The latter being mostly regional.

With Toronto not qualifying for the playoffs since 2004. Ratings, for Maple Leaf games, have predictably taken a hit recently.

(William Houston - Globe & Mail - April 2008).

But the results are not entirely a surprise. RDS has been posting big audiences for three years. This trend has been building.

The channel held the 717,000 average in 2007-08.

Comparatively, Rogers Sportsnet averaged 370,000 a game for its Toronto Maple Leafs regional telecasts. Despite Sportsnet's wider distribution - about 2.9 million households in Ontario, compared with RDS's 2.1 million in Quebec and 500,000 outside the province - its Leafs audiences were 48 per cent smaller than RDS's Canadiens average.

What does the comparison tell you?

For starters, the Canadiens have a more dedicated and passionate following on Quebec TV than the Leafs do in Southern Ontario.


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12-19-2008, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Chet-Nick View Post
The 2004 was the slow changing of the guard on Canadiens broadcasts. The CBC French and RDS both had their fingers in the cookie jar. Two years prior, the CBC French entire play-by-play crew was on strike.

The games were shown without any commentary. This rare novelty became popular. All you heard was the puck, sticks, boards, players and fans. CBC French was getting over a 1,000,000 from across Canada.
The broadcasters strike.. fun times, I remember it well. English CBC commentators also joined the strike, as I recall. It was quite nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chet-Nick View Post
Saved this from the Montreal Gazette (Pat Hickey - April 2004).

More than 4 million Canadians watched Game 7 of the Bruins-Canadiens series. CBC drew 2.293 million for the national telecast, while RDS attracted a record audience of 1.8 million. It's interesting to note that the Canadiens game outdrew Game 7 of the Maple Leafs-Senators series, which attracted 3.769 million viewers on CBC.
Ah, but again, CBC viewership was trumped by the Leaf-Ottawa series in game seven of the respective series by 1.5 million viewers. Especially if in 2004 French CBC was also an option.

I have no intentions of presenting this as who has more fans, etc., it is merely a (business) case for English CBC's insistence on showing the Leafs every Saturday night.

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12-19-2008, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TheLeastOfTheBunch View Post
Are you trying to imply the Canadiens can bring in better ratings than the Leafs on a nation wide TV? If that was the case, CBC would've made Montreal games nation wide games and not the Leafs games. But it is not. Toronto has been consistently bringing in one of the best ratings on hockey television (I don't know if the ratings ARE the highest or not) and there have been great points made on HFboards in the past that would go against what you said.........
Toronto would have an edge on Montreal when it comes to HNIC. Albeit not by the wide margin you're implying. The difference lies here - RDS. My whole point is to make you understand that when Montreal is shown on CBC and naturally RDS. Their numbers will always surpass that of Toronto's.

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12-19-2008, 11:57 PM
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Squiffy: Without a doubt. Numbers are numbers. You would expect a large CBC crowd for the deciding seventh game of Toronto/Ottawa series. Two bitter provincial enemies. Under the same circumstances, Montreal/Boston had 300,000 more Canadians watching their big game. Again, yes, the French viewership was the factor. Have a good one. Nice chatting with you. Cheers.

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12-20-2008, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Chet-Nick View Post
Squiffy: Without a doubt. Numbers are numbers. You would expect a large CBC crowd for the deciding seventh game of Toronto/Ottawa series. Two bitter provincial enemies. Under the same circumstances, Montreal/Boston had 300,000 more Canadians watching their big game. Again, yes, the French viewership was the factor. Have a good one. Nice chatting with you. Cheers.
Cheers Chet-Nick, always glad to participate in a good respectful debate, thanks for it.


Last edited by Squiffy: 12-20-2008 at 12:20 AM.
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12-20-2008, 12:05 AM
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All the spinning made my head hurt.

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12-20-2008, 12:05 AM
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I wonder what the Habs numbers were like when their team sucked not too long ago. Maybe their viewership/base is inconsistent ...?

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12-20-2008, 12:05 AM
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Great thread.

I was always curious to see the combined numbers but was a bit lazy to bother looking.

For those of you who speak French, or even understand a bit of it, it doesn't hurt to watch a game or two on RDS. The commentators are quite pleasant and know their stuff.

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12-20-2008, 12:09 AM
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All the spinning made my head hurt.
I shoulda been a politician. I think Chet-Nick has a career there too lol..

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12-20-2008, 12:25 AM
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Great thread.

I was always curious to see the combined numbers but was a bit lazy to bother looking.

For those of you who speak French, or even understand a bit of it, it doesn't hurt to watch a game or two on RDS. The commentators are quite pleasant and know their stuff.
Brunet is worst then Jack Edwards honestly

I speak french since its the first language I learned and Pierre Houde does a decent job at calling the came but always seems to screw up the names

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12-20-2008, 12:42 AM
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Brunet is worst then Jack Edwards honestly

I speak french since its the first language I learned and Pierre Houde does a decent job at calling the came but always seems to screw up the names
I have to echo the Brunet comments, not a fan at all. He may be one of the most biased commentators in the business, although I don't really understand what he says since I don't really speak any french.


And, since I feel guilty for helping push the thread off-track, Toronto should have higher numbers on HNIC than the Habs, although with the team not as good as it was in the early 00s one would expect the numbers to dip. The Leafs have 2 things going for them, one they're already on HNIC most of the time (except for Quebec), and two the audience for Leafs games won't be split between two networks.

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12-20-2008, 12:44 AM
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I shoulda been a politician. I think Chet-Nick has a career there too lol..

JK I was referring to the Habs fan really. I find it all very amusing. My wife is from Quebec. I spend quite a bit of time there.

What I have learned over the years is that if you want to push a Habs fans button, you will have trouble. You will have just too many buttons to choose from. If you start a conversation in which there is even a inference of Toronto having any thing over Montreal ... even if it is the most insignificant issue, you are in for a battle.

I will bet that within a few minutes another Habs fan will come in here and suggest we should watch a game in French because their broadcasters are sooo knowledgable. What they do not realize is that they sound like the Pope talking about religion. Fine if you are a Catholic but otherwise not really for anyone else. Just like the Leaf broadcast I am sure. But only a fan of the Habs needs to spread the gospel in other threads.

Now I am not fond of Leaf fans who run their mouths off in the Habs boards either. They have an excuse. They are generally uncivilized, ignorant louts. They cannot help it. But the Habs fans really think that if we listen we will all become Habs fans. The Leaf fans is just spouting hate. The Habs fan is projecting love.

It is not just about the Canadiens. It is that way generally in Montreal. They are certain that if we knew better we would all run off and live in Montreal. (Actually I find that quite a passable idea.) I always enjoy the place. But I am certain it not everyones cup of tea. A Montrealer does not and will never know that know that. In fact it is the major thing that English Montrealers have learned from the French ... cultural arrogance.


Oh BTW as long as the Habs are not playing the Leafs I cheer for them. I needed to find a team to support in the playoffs over the year.

PS I have expressed these thoughts to my wife. She swings at me and laughs but she had never contradicted me ... on this anyway.

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12-20-2008, 12:46 AM
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lol, listen... the guys on RDS... even when biased and messing up names, are better than the donkeys commentating the Atlanta games on SportsSouth or the Phoenix games on FSN hehe.

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