The Great Canadian Ratings Report: Baseball pushes Sportsnet to its best month ever

The Kansas City Royals -- as well as the Toronto Blue Jays -- drove Sportsnet to record ratings last month. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The Kansas City Royals -- as well as the Toronto Blue Jays -- drove Sportsnet to record ratings last month. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays run is already a fading memory, but even though the run has ended its effects still linger on.

Aided by the Jays and a subsequent peak in interest in the World Series, along with a touch of NHL action, Sportsnet recorded the best ratings of any month in its 17-year history in October.

Not only was Sportsnet's 10.3 share and average audience of 446,000 viewers a record for the network, it was a record for any sports network in Canada. Seeing that there are only two, this means Sportsnet has surpassed long-time leader TSN -- at least for now.

October produced some spectacular ratings for Sportsnet. The World Series averaged 876,000 viewers -- a 16 per cent increase over the previous Sportsnet record set in 2012 when the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants averaged 754,000 a game.

There's little doubt that the interest created during the ALCS between the Royals and Toronto Blue Jays played a large part in driving audiences. That series averaged 3.8 million viewers and played the biggest role in Sportsnet's record month.

All of this has helped Sportsnet across the board. Sportsnet Central ratings averaged 265,000 last month, an 86 per cent increase over October of 2014. also benefitted, with page views up 191 per  cent over last October.

Sportsnet wasn't the only network celebrating big numbers.

The Rugby World Cup brought TSN its largest rugby ratings ever, with the overall audience triple that of the last World Cup in 2011. And last Thursday's MLS playoff game between Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact attracted an average audience of 582,000 on TSN and RDS (263,000 and 319,000 respectively), the highest ever for an MLS game in Canada.

Here are the most-watched English-language sports events from the past weekend, according to Numeris overnight ratings:

1. NHL, Jets-Jackets/Pens-Leafs/Wings-Sens, Saturday, CBC-Sportsnet: 1,580,000

2. World Series, Royals at Mets, Sunday, Sportsnet: 1,060,000 (Fox audience not measured)

3. World Series, Royals at Mets, Saturday, Sportsnet: 953,000 (Fox audience not measured)

4. NFL, 4 p.m. games, Sunday, CTV: 923,000

5. World Series, Royals at Mets, Friday, Sportsnet: 868,000 (Fox audience not measured)

6. NHL, Flames at Oilers, Saturday, CBC: 861,000

7. NFL, 1 p.m. games, Sunday, CTV: 611,000

8. CFL, Alouettes at Eskimos, Sunday, TSN: 509,000

9. Skate Canada, pairs final, Sunday, CTV: 496,000

10. CFL, Roughriders at Stampeders, Saturday, TSN: 449,000

10. NHL, Maple Leafs at Rangers, Friday, Sportsnet Ontario: 449,000

12. CFL, RedBlacks at Tiger-Cats, Saturday, TSN: 448,000

13. CFL, Lions at Argonauts, Friday, TSN: 423,000

14. NFL, Packers at Broncos, Sunday, TSN: 415,000 (NBC audience not measured)

15. Curling, Grand Slam Masters women's final, Sunday, Sportsnet: 361,000

16. Curling, Grand Slam Masters men's final, Sunday, CBC: 312,000

17. Rugby World Cup final, New Zealand vs. Australia, Saturday, TSN: 305,000

18. Curling, Grand Slam Masters women's quarters, Saturday, Sportsnet: 293,000

19. NFL, Lions vs. Chiefs, Sunday, CTV: 288,000

20. Auto racing, NASCAR Goody's 500, Sunday, TSN: 287,000

21. Skate Canada, ladies' free, Saturday, CTV: 249,000

22. NHL, Jets at Canadiens, Sunday, Sportsnet One: 230,000

23. NBA, Raptors at Celtics, Friday, Sportsnet One: 225,000

24. NHL, Islanders at Devils, Saturday, Sportsnet: 205,000

25. NBA, Bucks at Raptors, Sunday, TSN: 202,000


Kicking up a storm: The second leg of the MLS Cup knockout stage goes this weekend and two Canadian teams are in the running. The Montreal Impact take on the Columbus Crew Sunday (5 p.m. ET, TSN) while the Vancouver Whitecaps try to get by the Portland Timbers (10 p.m. ET, TSN.)

Hoop dreams: The Toronto Raptors are off to a hot start and will get one of their toughest tests in the early days of the NBA schedule against the Miami Heat on Sunday (6 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One.)

The fame game: The annual Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony goes Monday, with a roster of big-name inductees including Sergei Federov, Chris Pronger, Niklas Lidstrom and Phil Housley (8 p.m. ET, TSN.)