Big numbers for Blades finale

Reality programming continues to perform for CBC with high numbers for Blades and Dragon's Den.

CBC is seeing first-rate numbers for its reality programs this fall despite tough competition from U.S. fare, as Battle of the Blades ended its first season on a high note, while Dragon’s Den continues to make gains in primetime.

The performance finale of Blades on Sunday garnered nearly 1.9 million viewers at 8 p.m. as three remaining couples skated for a $100,000 cash prize toward the charity of their choice. The show, from John Brunton’s Insight Productions, averaged 1.7 million viewers on Sundays, despite tough competition from CTV’s reality The Amazing Race, a Top Ten performer with over 2.5 million viewers each week. (All data 2+ and based on PPM meters.)

Sunday’s Blades episode had a strong lead-in from family drama Heartland with 1.2 million viewers.

Numbers for Monday’s Blades results show — which revealed Jamie Salé and Craig Simpson as the winners — were not available at press time.

Meanwhile, last Wednesday’s special episode of Dragon’s Den hit over 2 million viewers at 8 p.m., as the show featured fan favorites from past seasons. Dragon’s is averaging 1.7 million viewers for its fourth season, up against Global’s popular crime drama Bones, with roughly two million viewers per episode.

Meanwhile, over on TSN, the opening weekend of the Canadian Football League playoffs generated record audiences for the sportscaster. The buzzed-about battle of Alberta with Edmonton taking on Calgary averaged 1.5 million viewers on Sunday afternoon. It’s the most-watched conference semifinal game ever, according to TSN.

The earlier B.C. and Hamilton match up on Sunday scored 1.3 million viewers.

Sports programming continues to benefit from PPM, as TSN averaged 600,000 viewers for this year’s 72-game CFL season, marking a 51% increase over last season.

From Playback Daily