Stanley Cup playoffs round one: The media impact

The country's hockey fever has led to more than nine billion minutes of playoff hockey watched across Sportsnet and the CBC and new records for Sportsnet.
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After six games, five overtimes and all games decided by a single goal, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ playoff dreams are over. But besides the Washington Capitals (and Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues and other round one winners), the clear winner from the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is Rogers Media.

In a post-mortem release of the first round of Stanley Cup Playoffs, Sportsnet revealed that a total of 9.55 billion minutes of Stanley Cup playoff hockey were watched across Sportsnet and the CBC in the first round.

Overall, round one of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs reached 22.2 million Canadians on CBC and Sportsnet, up 35% from the 16.4 million reached in 2016.

Sunday night’s deciding game six between the Leafs and Capitals had an average audience of 3.47 million viewers on Sportsnet and an overall reach of 8.4 million viewers.

The total reach for round one across all the match-ups was 22.2 million Canadians, with five of those broadcasts among Sportsnet’s top 10 all-time NHL broadcasts for viewers.  In total, the five series featuring Canadian teams averaged 1.8 million viewers per game. All of round one saw an average of 1.3 million viewers.

The most-watched game in terms of average minute audience was game two between Toronto and Washington, which had an average audience of 3.64 million viewers and peaked at 5.36 million viewers at the end of the first overtime.

Digitally, Rogers has seen an increase of 36% of daily visitors to Sportsnet.ca year-over-year, with a 45% increase in video views. It’s also seen visitors to its platform Sportsnet Now increase by 82%, and visitors to the app increase by 167%.

The Rogers NHL GameCentre Live app has seen users per game up 86% and total minutes streamed up 71%.

Brands who have bought spots in the post-season include existing partners Scotiabank, GM, Molson and Chrysler, and new partners WestJet and Gatorade. Anthony Attard, VP of integrated sports sales at Sportsnet, said prior to round one that sales had gone up considerably following the Leafs’ cinching of a playoff spot. Rogers also made the decision to remove two minutes of advertising time from intermission commercial spots for round one.