Hockey is Back: Canadians Tune in to CBC’S Hockey Night in Canada in Record Numbers on Saturday, January 19


January 21, 2013 (ISN) – What a way to start the 60th season of CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA! Canadians embraced the return of the game and the iconic show on Saturday night as more than 3.3 million viewers watched the 7 p.m. ET match-up between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.

The Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens 7 p.m. ET match-up drew a record average audience of 3.3 million viewers

This made it the most-watched regular season Prime East game ever on CBC. Earlier in the day, the Ottawa Senators/Winnipeg Jets game set a new standard for Saturday afternoon games with an average audience of nearly 1.5 million viewers.

“Hockey is back in a big way and we’re proud to have connected Canadians to the sport they love while celebrating the start of the 60th season with a new in-studio team and format,” said Julie Bristow, Executive Director of Studio and Unscripted Programming, CBC. “These tremendous audiences are a reflection of not only our country’s passion for the game, but also of the world class quality of our Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts that fans value and expect every Saturday night.”

Ratings data from the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM) show the Toronto/Montreal game reached 9.2 million Canadians, or 27 per cent of the population. The average audience for the Prime East game was up 16 per cent from the previous record of 2.85 million set on April 7, 2007.

“This is a fantastic start to the season and to the 60th year of Hockey Night in Canada,” said Kirstine Stewart, Executive Vice President, English Services, CBC. “We’ve missed hockey as much as every fan across the country and we’re thrilled that so many Canadians joined us in celebrating the return of our game on Saturday.”

The 1.49 million viewer average audience for the Winnipeg/Ottawa game breaks the previous Saturday afternoon game record by 36 per cent and 5.3 million viewers watched at least one minute of the game. Strong audiences continued into the late game as well with nearly 1.47 million viewers taking in the Anaheim Ducks/Vancouver Canucks match-up at 10 p.m. ET with 6.1 million Canadians tuning in for at least a minute of that game.

The brand new Hockey Night in Canada: 2nd Screen presented by Budweiser interactive experience launched on Saturday with 23,700 unique visitors logging on and engaging with the broadcast and in-game features throughout the day.

In terms of online viewership, the Toronto/Montreal game was the most viewed regular season game of the last two seasons with more than 80,100 views of the live streaming coverage at – more than twice the audience for last season’s HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA debut game. Nearly 34,700 viewers watched the live streaming coverage of the Anaheim/Vancouver game while another 33,000 viewers tuned into the Ottawa/Winnipeg game online.

HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA continues this Saturday, January 26 with Scotiabank Hockey Tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs visiting the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. ET and the Calgary Flames hosting the Edmonton Oilers in a classic all-Alberta match-up at 10 p.m. ET.

(Television audience numbers source: BBM Canada, Total Canada, Preliminary Overnights, Ind. 2+, 2013)

(Online audience number source: 2013 SiteCatalyst)

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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 five languages for international audiences. In 2011, CBC/Radio-Canada celebrated 75 years of serving Canadians and being at the centre of the democratic, social and cultural life of Canada.

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