After Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton all were eliminated from the playoffs, a report was released stating that ratings for this year’s games fell 61 per cent in Canada, with the first five nights averaging only just 513,000 viewers for the 20 games.
This has not been for a lack of access. Rogers, along with their partner CBC, have carried every playoff game, and have broadcasted other network’s feeds whenever necessary.
NHL hockey seems to have reached a tipping point in Canada. No team from our Northern Country has won a Stanley Cup since Montreal did it in 1993, and the last time a Canadian team made it to the Stanley Cup final was about five years ago. Fans have noticed and this has caused the total decline in hockey ratings.
It is sometimes hard being a fan of a Canadian franchise, especially those that are rebuilding, as during playoff season you have to find a different team to be emotionally involved in and that takes time. Some fans are noticing now that there are other opportunities to cheer on a Canadian.
Blue Jay baseball season has begun and the Toronto Raptors have become Canada’s only hope for a championship this spring.
The National Hockey League once felt safe that if there is hockey on, no matter what, Canadians would watch, but that does not seem to be the case anymore. The lack of playoff action just frees people to return to their daily lives and to do whatever they would like to do.
The weather has become a lot warmer recently and summer sports and activities are starting back up. You could also go to a local council meeting and get informed about what is going on in your community.
It is going to be interesting to see if these numbers improve as the playoffs go along. Last year, the NHL received record viewership for game 3 of the Stanley Cup final. Is it only down from here now that there are no Canadian teams involved in the 2016 playoffs? It seems that the NHL is starting to lose it’s once loyal Canadian base.