While Rogers executives are no doubt suffering from repetitive strain injury from all the money-counting they've been doing the past two months, their glee has to be tempered by thoughts of what might have been.
What if the Toronto Blue Jays had overcome the Kansas City Royals in Game 6 and gone on to a seventh game? If Friday's season-ender averaged a Sportsnet record 5.12 million viewers, what could Game 7 have produced?
Could it have topped the 5.9 million who watched the world junior hockey championship on TSN last January? Almost surely. It might have even threatened the Super Bowl as 2015's most-watched sports event, a game that attracted an average audience of 8.2 million to CTV.
Of course, that would have been the end of the run. The ALCS games were mostly on FS1, a channel not found in Canada, so Sportsnet had the entire Jays-loving audience to itself. The World Series is on Fox and Sportsnet would have had to share the audience with the American network.
Regardless, it was a heck of a run.
Consider the final numbers:
- More than 12 million individuals watched some or all of Friday's game, nearly one in three Canadians.
- The audience peaked at 7 million around the time Jose Bautista hit his game-tying homer.
- An average of 4 million watched the 45-minute rain delay.
- This year's playoffs produced the top 10 ratings in Sportsnet's 17-year history.
- The ALCS games averaged 3.8 million viewers, a 717 per cent increase over last year's Baltimore-Kansas City playoff.
As for the rest of Canada's sports leagues, they're all grateful the Jays run has ended so they can start retrieving their lost audiences.
Here are the most-watched English-language sports broadcasts from the past weekend, according to Numeris overnight ratings:
1. MLB, Blue Jays at Royals, Friday, Sportsnet: 5,120,000
2. NHL, Leafs-Habs/Coyotes-Sens/Bolts-Hawks, Saturday, CBC-Sportsnet: 2,070,000
3. NFL, Cowbys-Giants/Raiders-Chargers, Sunday, CTV: 797,00
4. NHL, Red Wings at Canucks, Saturday, CBC: 726,000
5. NFL, Jets-Pats/Saints-Colts/Vikes-Lions, Sunday, CTV: 719,000
6. CFL, Eskimos at Roughriders, Saturday, TSN: 607,000
7. CFL, RedBlacks at Blue Bomers, Saturday, TSN: 547,000
8. NFL, Eagles at Panthers, Sunday, TSN: 443,000 (NBC viewers not measured)
9. CFL, Tiger-Cats at Lions, Friday, TSN: 354,000
10. NHL, Flames at Rangers, Sunday, Sportsnet: 318,000
11. Auto racing, NASCAR Sprint Cup, Sunday, TSN: 314,000
12. Rugby World Cup, Argentina vs. Australia, Sunday, TSN: 259,000
13. CFL, Alouettes at Argonauts, Friday, TSN: 246,000
14. Rugby World Cup, South Africa vs. New Zealand, Saturday, TSN: 244,000
15. Soccer, Manchester City vs. Manchester United, Sunday, TSN: 243,000
16. NHL, Kings at Oilers, Sunday, Sportsnet: 241,000
17. Soccer, Chelsea at West Ham, Saturday, TSN: 194,000
18. Figure skating, Skate America dance and men's free, Sunday, CBC: 189,000
19. Figure skating, Skate America pairs and women's free, Saturday, CBC: 173,000
20. MLS, Toronto at Montreal, Sunday, TSN: 173,000
21. Soccer, Everton at Arsenal, Saturday, Sportsnet: 170,000
22. Auto racing, F1 United States Grand Prix, Sunday, TSN: 148,000
THREE TO WATCH
World powers: Blue Jays fans may find watching the World Series a little painful this year, considering what might have been. But the series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets is shaping up to be a good one with plenty of storylines. It all starts Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, Fox and Sportsnet.)
Hoop dreams: With the Blue Jays out of the way, the Toronto Raptors are hoping to pick up on the momentum they built last spring. While the bitter taste of a first-round playoff sweep lingers, the Raptors have their sights set on an even better season. Whether last year was a building block or a house of cards might be revealed when they open the NBA season Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN).
Eastern promise: We're pretty sure not many CFL pre-season predictions had the Ottawa RedBlacks battling for first place in the East, but that's exactly where the second-year franchise sits heading into the final two weeks of the season. Their game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, TSN) will likely determine which gets a first-round playoff bye.