Hockey Night in Canada premiere sees four-year high

The presence of all seven Canadian teams across five games helped pull the opening night up 13% higher than that in 2016.

Canada’s hockey fever from the most recent Stanley Cup Playoffs has carried into the regular season, according to Sportsnet.

This past Saturday’s opening night of¬†Hockey Night in Canada¬†took in an average minute audience of 1.87 million people, according to overnight ratings from Numeris.

This not only represented a 13% lift from the opening Saturday of 2016, but also served as the most-watched opening Saturday night for the program since 2013.

The fact that five of the scheduled games across three channels (Sportsnet One, City and CBC) featured all seven Canadian teams likely didn’t hurt.

The total reach for the season premiere was 8.7 million people. For the 7 p.m. games (which included the Leafs facing off against the Rangers, the Habs versus the Capitals and the Senators up against the Red Wings), an average of 2.27 million Canadians tuned in. The 10 p.m. games (including the Oilers versus the Canucks and the Jets against the Flames) was 1.5 million.

The night’s AMA of 1.87 million viewers was an increase of the overall AMA of this past year’s Stanley Cup playoffs — which pulled in an average minute audience of 1.61 million Canadians across Sportsnet and CBC.