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The Eh Game

The Great Canadian Ratings Report: Star power draws big numbers

Chris Zelkovich
Eh Game

While the Grey Cup dominated the ratings story on the weekend there were a few other interesting numbers that jump out.

For one, CBC drew a pretty impressive 2.3 million viewers for its early Hockey Night In Canada showing of three games. That above-average number was aided by star presence, namely Alex Ovechkin against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Sidney Crosby against the Montreal Canadiens.

Another interesting number is the 337,000 who watched figure skating on CBC, a pretty good Saturday afternoon audience for that sport. The star attraction there was Canada's Patrick Chan, who is a big player in reviving interest in a sport that fell from grace after a series of judging scandals.

Star power didn't play a big role in the late game between Chicago and Vancouver (1.2 million), but rivalry did. These two teams don't like each other and there's a bit of a history between them.

Here are the most-watched sports events for the past weekend, according to BBM Canada overnight ratings:

1. CFL, Grey Cup, Ticats vs. Riders, Sunday, TSN: 4,495,000

2. NHL, Caps-Leafs/Penguins-Habs/Sens-Wings, Saturday, CBC: 2,321,000

3. NHL, Hawks at Canucks, Saturday, CBC: 1,123,000

4. NFL, 1 p.m. games, Sunday, CTV: 643,000

5. CFL, Grey Cup pre-game show, Sunday, TSN: 487,000

6. NFL, Saints at Falcons, Thursday, Sportsnet: 383,000

7. NHL, Blue Jackets at Canucks, Friday, Sportsnet Pacific: 363,000

8. NFL, Broncos at Patriots, Sunday, TSN2: 353,000 (NBC audience not calculated)

9. Figure skating, ISU Grand Prix men's, Saturday, CBC: 337,000

10. NFL, Cowboys at Giants, Sunday, Citytv: 326,000

11. Football, Vanier Cup, Calgary vs. Laval, Saturday, Sportsnet 360: 301,000

12. Figure skating, ISU Grand Prix women's, Saturday, CBC: 237,000

13. Auto racing, Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix, TSN: 198,000

THREE TO WATCH

Athlete of the Year, Part 1: There will be numerous athletes honoured over the next few months, but Sportsnet gets the jump when the 2013 Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year will be revealed on Thursday. A 30-minute special on the winner following the late edition of Connected.

Sports of all sorts: Like Diogenes searching for an honest man, CBC host Scott Russell will traverse the country looking for great stories from the hinterland for RBC Sports Day In Canada. Mixed into the features is a pretty good slate of skiing, skeleton and bobsleigh competitions. Saturday, 1 p.m., CBC.

The Toronto Bills: Rocker Jon Bon Jovi's alleged interest in buying the Buffalo Bills and moving them to Toronto will be explored at length on Sunday. There may also be some discussion of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and transplanted-to-Toronto-for-a-day Bills. Sunday, 4 p.m., Citytv, Sportsnet.

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