Medals boost CBC audiences

CBC's ratings peaked at 2.5 million amid swimming and rowing wins for Canadian athletes.

As the Canadian medal count grew, so did audiences for CBC, which enjoyed a surge in viewers over its second weekend of coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games.

A pair of rowers ended the medal drought for Canada on Saturday and set the stage for a rush of hardware, which at press time totaled 13. CBC’s daytime coverage on Saturday averaged nearly 500,000 viewers, climbing to 1.4 million in prime time and peaking at 2.5 million as Canuck Ryan Cochrane swam to a bronze medal win in the 1,500 meter freestyle event (all numbers 2+).

It was the same night that US swim sensation Michael Phelps nabbed his record-breaking eighth gold medal of the Games, an occasion that saw 40 million Americans tune in to US caster NBC, according to Variety.

Meanwhile, CBC grabbed an average 750,000 eyeballs for its Sunday daytime coverage, highlighted by the women’s 100 metre final, which peaked at 1.2 million viewers at 10:26 am ET.

Sunday drew the largest prime-time audience for the pubcaster at 1.5 million viewers, peaking at 2.2 million for the women’s triathlon, though the event did not include any Canadian medal wins.

‘As we hoped, Canadians can’t seem to get enough of these games,’ commented CBC programming boss Kirstine Layfield in a release. ‘With our athletes really starting to hit their stride, we look forward to another fantastic week.’

On the web, CBC’s online Olympics coverage has triggered over 25 million page views to date, according to the pubcaster, which says the site is on track to surpass its 27 million page views during the Athens Games.

From Playback Daily