Rogers Blames Declining NHL Viewership on Ratings Company



Rogers Communications is blaming ratings company Numeris for the decline in viewership of NHL games over the past year.

Numeris, the company that provides Canadian broadcast ratings, reported a significant decrease in viewers for last weekend’s NHL all-star game. In 2012, when the all-star game was only broadcast on the CBC, there were a total of 2.454 million viewers. Last weekend, the all-star game drew an audience of 1.479 million viewers, which is almost a drop of one million viewers.

A rival executive said that it is “utter nonsense” for Rogers to blame the decline in viewership on Numeris. However, president of Sportsnet and the NHL Scott Moore is concerned about how Numeris gathers these ratings.

“We have been in discussions with Numeris for some time about the reporting of both regional and national sports viewing. As you probably know, several sports properties seem to be down, which is contrary to what we are seeing south of the border. [The] CFL was down substantially this year as well. We are concerned about both the multiplatform reporting and the regional and sports representation on the Numeris panels.”

Moore’s statements were criticized by Bell Media, who said that there is nothing wrong with the way Numeris collects its data. CTV president Phil King said:

“We think that’s a laughable comment. How do we explain all-time records at the world junior [which was shown on Bell Media’s TSN]?

Everyone knows [the Numeris numbers] are a statistically valid sample. It’s the currency everyone uses in the world. It’s funny, I didn’t hear them complaining about the Blue Jays [owned by Rogers], who had one of their best TV ratings [in 2014].”

The reasons for Bell’s harsh comments might be because the Canadian carrier recently lost the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, in addition to losing their NHL rights to Rogers.

Moore was prompted to question Numeris about how they collect their data because the NHL all-star ratings were not the only numbers on the decline. The numbers for the regular-season games are also on the decline. As an example, the Eastern games on Saturday nights earlier in the season had an average of 1.696 million viewers this year. This number is down six percent from 1.803 million viewers last year when CBC was the only broadcaster of Saturday night games.

President and chief executive of Numeris Jim MacLeod said:

“We are balanced by geography, age, sex and household size. So you would think that for major sports that would fall out across the population. The important thing is to keep the panels in balance so that they match the population characteristics. We have a very careful system to do that. So far we haven’t found anything [unusual] but we’re continuing to watch it.”

MacLeod has looked into Moore’s concerns but has not discovered anything unusual with the ratings yet.

[via The Globe and Mail]


  • puffy03

    How about blame themselves for a crappy product. TSN/RDS are so much better then sportsnet/TVA. Garbage. I can’t even watch the games on their network.

  • JL

    Dear Rogers,
    Ratings are down because your coverage sucks. Your on air talent is not good, and to many games are blacked out.
    Sincerely, Canadian hockey fans.

  • FragilityG4

    As much as many people don’t want to admit it the Leafs are a huge driver of viewership. When they play like crap no one watches.

  • Tim

    With Rogers giving Gamecenter Live to most of their customers, why are they surprised that TV viewership is down? And the All-Star game is a joke, 27 goals this year? come on, that’s not a hockey game.

  • ticky13

    The same amount of games were blacked out last season. I didn’t hear anyone complaining then.

  • Smooth 75

    Then viewership must have been terrible for the last decade!!

  • James Thompson

    I cancelled my Rogers cable and cell package in protest of NHL foolish move of cutting out TSN from national games! Also Kyper and McLean arguing like a married couple on LIVE TV…. give me a break!

  • 20yardsdeep

    Tsn all the Way.Rogers is horrible to the CFL and that’s my favorite sport to follow.They diss my team and our league at every opportunity.Can’t play nice now I just avoid Rogers all the time period.The NHL coverage stinks period.Tsn will be fine with us CFL fans I watch every game for every team and I’m not alone the Ratings show that.Love Hockey too but when you’re so high and mighty like Sportsnet and dump on something that gets great ratings there’s bound to be people that won’t put up with it.Karma 101