Solid playoff numbers for CBC, TSN

Despite the absence of Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers, CBC and TSN are still drawing good numbers to their NHL playoff broadcasts featuring other Canadian teams and American-only match-ups.

CBC averaged more than one million viewers on the April 13 weekend for all games featuring the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks. The pubcaster got an average of 1.3 million viewers for Friday’s 9 pm match, in which the Canucks lost game two of the series to the Dallas Stars, 2-0.

On Saturday, the Ceeb had about one million viewers tune in to its 3 pm game between the Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins. The network was vocally upset that it had to broadcast the game in the afternoon, in order to satisfy the wishes of US broadcaster NBC. Instead, Hockey Night in Canada‘s feature game was an all-American affair between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils, which generated a satisfactory 791,000 viewers.

The numbers grew on Sunday, when an average 1.5 million viewers tuned in for game three of the Senators-Penguins series at 6 pm, followed by 1.4 million for the Canucks-Stars match-up at 9:30 pm.

Meanwhile, TSN’s national average audience for the playoffs to date is 391,000 viewers, marking a 20% increase from the network’s 2006 coverage of the first round.

The specialty’s broadcast of game two between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators on Friday, April 13 marked its highest-rated game so far, with 610,000 viewers. TSN averaged 602,000 viewers when the New York Islanders met the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at 7:30 pm, peaking at 1.2 million during the last three minutes of the game.

This story first appeared in Playback Daily.