TSN/RDS rank highest in Roper survey

In a recent survey, Canadians ranked Canadian and American sports nets according to enjoyment, news and overall quality.

A 2007-08 Roper Reports Canada survey has revealed attitudes and trends about all-sports networks among Canadian sports fans – and the results put TSN in the lead by a wide margin. The report surveyed 1,200 Canadian adults 18+ between November 16, 2007 and February 15, 2008 – including 953 English-language respondents who watch sports on TV.

In the ‘channel most enjoy watching’ category, 42% of respondents chose TSN, a result that outpaced other all-sports networks and Canadian and American conventional networks by a wide margin. The closest competitors were major American networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX) with a combined 16% of sports viewers’ votes, followed by CBC at 14%, Rogers Sportsnet at 11% and The Score at 9%.

In ‘best channel for watching sports,’ TSN took 46% of the votes, followed by the US nets at 14%, The Score at 12%, CBC at 11% and Rogers Sportsnet at 9%.

In ‘best channel for sports news,’ TSN took 48% of the votes, followed by The Score at 15%, Rogers Sportsnet at 11% and CBC at 10%, while TSN’s French-language counterpart, RDS, took 45% in the Quebec market.

In ‘best overall quality of sports coverage,’ TSN took 44%, followed by The Score at 16% and CBC/Rogers Sportsnet/American networks, which tied for third at 11%.

TSN president Phil King says the results of the survey are ‘a testament’ to the quality of the net’s lineup and coverage. Sportsnet director of communications Dave Rashford tells MiC that the survey is an ‘attitudinal, not a behavioural’ study. Taking into account measured viewing, Rashford says Sportsnet is number one in BC, number two in Canada and number three among all specialty channels.

TSN reports that Sportsnet’s number-one-in-BC claim doesn’t paint a true picture. From January 2008 to March 2008 (3 months), Sportsnet does have an edge over TSN in BC (15,000 viewers to 14,000 viewers) – in part due to the Vancouver Canucks battling for a playoff berth. However, over a full 52-week period (April 2007 to March 2008), TSN’s average audience in BC is 15,000 viewers, compared to 14,000 for Rogers Sportsnet.