Tuesday’s Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens game attracted 22% more viewers than the 2011-12 season-opening game between the Original Six rivals on CBC. The Winnipeg Jets @ Edmonton Oilers game at 10 p.m. ET marked a 5% increase over the opening Prime West game of the 2011-12 NHL season on CBC.
October 2, 2013 – It’s more than a game. It’s a Canadian tradition! Millions of viewers across the country celebrated Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off with CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA as they tuned in for a season-opening double-header featuring the Toronto Maple Leafs taking on the Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) followed by the Winnipeg Jets visiting the Edmonton Oilers at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT). Overall, more than 9.4 million viewers – or more than one-in-four Canadians – watched at least part of CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA coverage last night.
“Canadians have been turning to CBC for more than six decades for the best NHL hockey coverage available and we’re proud to keep that tradition going with a strong start to the new season,” said Neil McEneaney, interim executive vice-president, CBC English Services. “We’re as passionate about this sport as the fans across the country and CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada is looking forward to sharing more of the game we love all season long through to the Stanley Cup Final.”
Ratings data from the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement (BBM) show the average audience for the Toronto/Montreal game was more than 2.3 million viewers. Overall, the game reached nearly 7.6 million Canadians, 10 per cent more than the 2011-12 opening night Prime East game. Audience numbers peaked at more than 3.2 million viewers at 10:05 p.m. ET as the Canadiens pulled their goalie for an extra attacker late in the third period in an attempt to tie the game.
Tuesday night’s late game featuring the Winnipeg Jets on the road facing the Edmonton Oilers showed a five per cent increase compared to the first Prime West game of the 2011-12 NHL season with an average audience of nearly 1.05 million viewers (2+).
In addition, both games on CBC last night marked at 19 per cent increase over the 2011-12 opening night Prime East and Prime West games for viewers in the 25-54 demographic.
CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA continues this Saturday, October 5 with three games on the schedule. Hockey Tonight starts things off at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT) followed by the Ottawa Senators visiting the Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers taking on the Canadiens in Montreal at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) followed by the Oilers taking on the Vancouver Canucks at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT). Each game will also be available live at CBCSports.ca.
(Television audience numbers source: BBM Canada, Total Canada, Preliminary Overnights, Ind. 2+, 25-54, 2013)