Wednesday, June 11, 2003
Here's why American TV is still in charge of hockey, no matter how much Canadians (and hardcore U.S. fans) don't like it.
Game 7 got a pretty good 4.6 rating for ABC, though twice as many people still watched the Everybody Loves Raymond rerun, and just as many combined tuned in to 7th Heaven and Girlfriends (a ratings point equals just over 1 million viewers, so the game was watched by somewhere between four and five million people, give or take a few hundred thousand, depending on the hour).
Meanwhile, for the entire playoffs, the CBC had what turned out to be its fourth highest average playoff audience in the past 10 years, an average of 1.593 million people, with 2.589 million glued to the screen for Game 7.
In other words, ABC's crappy Game 6 audience was about the same as Canada's most-watched NHL final broadcast in two years (since the last Game 7).
Money talks, and because of the huge disparity between the two countries (in terms of population as well as currency), America will always pay more, even if the next TV deal's lousy.