RDS tops CBC in playoff coverage

Might have something to do with the Canadiens topping the Eastern Conference for the first time since 1989. . .

The Montreal Canadiens’ bid for the Stanley Cup is drawing hefty numbers for French-language broadcaster RDS, which on Saturday scored the highest audience in its history for the team’s second game against the Boston Bruins.

Perhaps because the Canadiens finished the regular season atop the Eastern Conference for the first time since 1989, the 7 pm telecast grabbed 1.7 million viewers for RDS, peaking at 2 million as Montreal won 3-2 in overtime. It’s the most-watched event ever on the specialty, beating the nail-biting regular season ender between the Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs in 2007, which drew 1.5 million viewers (all numbers 2+).

CBC’s broadcast of the game on Hockey Night in Canada drew slightly less, at 1.5 million viewers. (RDS reaches about 2.5 million households across the country, in comparison to CBC’s 13 million.)

RDS also made away with more eyeballs for the Canadiens’ 4-1 opening victory over the Bruins last Thursday, nabbing 1.4 million, compared to the Ceeb’s 1.1 million viewers. Meanwhile, Game 3 on Sunday averaged 1.5 million on RDS, while CBC trailed again with 1.4 million viewers, as the Bruins edged Montreal 2-1 in overtime.

Meanwhile, over on Global, the broadcaster’s coverage of the 2008 PGA Masters Tournament reached 4.6 million Canadians throughout Saturday and Sunday, marking a 4% increase from last year.

The final day of the tournament – the first of the four majors – averaged 979,000 viewers, peaking at 1.4 million Sunday night, as South African Trevor Immelman captured the coveted green jacket with a three-shot victory over Tiger Woods.

From Playback Daily