Canada’s TV numbers are in for the NHL all-star game and the numbers are down.
Sunday’s game that featured an absurd 29 goals drew 1.479 million viewers to CBC, nearly one million viewers less than the last all-star game in 2012 when 2.454 million people watched and 2011 when 2.363 million tuned in.
“Frankly it’s a little mystifying,” said Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and NHL Properties for Rogers. “Somebody else asked me if I have an explanation and I don’t really.
“I just think they (the numbers) seem wrong.”
The ratings for the rest of the weekend were also down significantly compared to previous years.
Saturday’s super skills drew 1.7 million viewers to CBC, down from 2.5 million in 2012 and 2.4 million in 2011.
And Friday’s fantasy draft on Sportsnet drew a hair over half-a-million viewers, compared to 1.33 million in 2012 on TSN and 1.5 million in 2011.
The numbers come from the rating agency Numeris and Moore says he’s not sure the company is counting correctly.
The Toronto Star’s call to Numeris’s communications director was not returned.
“We’ve been talking to the ratings agency to see if the hardcore sports viewing is being measured correctly,” said Moore. “We’ve seen disturbing trends in sports viewing in Canada in general that don’t seem to match up with what’s happening elsewhere in the world.
“We’ve seen a decrease in CFL ratings (a TSN property). Numeris is telling us hockey ratings the last four years have been on a downslide which we think bucks what we’re seeing in other research we do.”
While the skills show and fantasy draft were generally well-received, fans can be excused for tuning out the all-star game itself given the lack of hitting defence and checking. “The NHL all-star game has always had a unique feel to it,” said Moore. “It may cause people to say: ‘Hey what should we do differently?’ Which is not a bad thing necessarily. There is certainly lots of stuff to watch on a Sunday.”