Canadiens rock TSN, RDS

Montreal's climactic Game Seven victory over Washington sends playoff ratings to new heights.

Sportscaster dreams are made of this.

TSN and RDS scored record-breaking numbers for Wednesday’s Game Seven thriller between Montreal and Washington, as the underdog Canadiens upset the US favorites and star Alexander Ovechkin in a 2-1 victory for a spot in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

The game averaged 4.7 million viewers combined on TSN and RDS and peaked at 8.2 million in the final minutes of the third period. (All numbers 2+ and based on PPM data.)

Separately TSN delivered 2.8 million viewers, marking its highest audience ever for an NHL game. The broadcaster says it was also the most-watched program on Canadian television that night. The series averaged 1.8 million over seven games on TSN, ranking as its most successful playoff series ever.

Over on its French sibling RDS, the game nabbed 1.9 million viewers and represents a 51% share of the French-speaking Quebec market. RDS averaged 1.3 million viewers for the series – a 12% increase versus Canadiens playoff games on the specialty last season.

CBC also saw strong numbers for its first-round coverage, with an average 1.4 million tuning in, compared to 951,000 viewers for last year’s first round – though that was before PPM kicked in. CBC’s highest-rated series were Ottawa/Pittsburgh and Vancouver/Los Angeles, both with an average of two million viewers over six games.

Round two action on the pubcaster will feature two Canadian teams – Vancouver/Chicago and Montreal/Pittsburgh – the latter with ratings-draw Sidney Crosby. TSN will have Boston/Philadelphia and San Jose/Detroit.

From Playback Daily