Maple Leafs and NHL TV ratings dropped 30% in the first seven weeks of the season (from October 7 through November 21), according to Numeris, the company that compiles broadcast ratings, reports the Globe and Mail.
As quantified by Numeris, the average audience for Leafs games was 863,825 viewers for the 16 games broadcasted on the CBC, Sportsnet, or City networks. That’s down significantly from the 1,226,265 recorded for the same period a year ago. One major influencing factor is that the Leafs are in rebuilding mode and were in last place in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division by Thursday night.
For Rogers, this is bad news, because you may recall that the company has agreed to shell out $5.2 billion to own the NHL’s Canadian national broadcast rights, and a drop in viewership cuts into the ad revenue. This is the second year in a row this has happened, as revenue didn’t quite meet expectations in the first year either.
Going further, the Eastern games on Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada also recorded a 19% drop in viewership – down to 1,771,500 from 2,184,000 a year ago. Also, Rogers Hometown Hockey, the carrier’s bet that Canadians will watch hockey in the weekends, is showing disappointing viewership numbers: During the seven weeks so far of this season, it has attracted only on average 475,271 viewers compared to 664,000 a year ago.