Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Digital Up, TV Ratings Down for CBC's Olympic Coverage So Far

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Digital Up, TV Ratings Down for CBC's Olympic Coverage So Far

Article excerpt

Digital up, TV ratings down for Olympics so far


TORONTO - More than 28 million Canadians have tuned in to coverage of the Sochi Olympics so far and while some of the ratings numbers have been lower than the records set during the 2010 Vancouver Games, the CBC's head of sports programming says he's pleased with the early returns.

In 2010, Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium said 13.3 million Canadians watched the opening ceremonies in Vancouver live, while 23 million saw at least part of the 3.5-hour show.

The CBC says about 19 million Canadians saw at least part of the opening ceremonies in Sochi -- when combining the ratings for the live broadcast in the morning, repeats and online streams. It did not provide a figure for how many Canadians watched the whole show.

"When you're looking at comparables I would say it's pretty tough to compare a home Games -- which is a pretty special thing, a once-in-a-generation usually type thing -- versus an Olympic Games that's happening in a place that's nine hours of time zones away," says the CBC's Trevor Pilling.

"That said, that's one of the special things about the Olympics, that it doesn't always happen in your country, it doesn't always happen in your time zone, that's one of the things that's intriguing about it to me, that it's happening in a faraway land."

About 22.75 million Canadians tuned in at some point on the second day of the Sochi Olympics, the CBC says, with a peak of 4.8 million during Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's free dance performance in the team figure skating event.

In comparison, on Day 2 of the Vancouver Olympics, the first medal event of the Games drew an average of 5.1 million viewers and the broadcast consortium counted 27.7 million over the course of the day.

"I think we weren't necessarily positive on how the numbers would turn out (in Sochi) but I think that we were always optimistic knowing that Canadians love winter sports and it's the Olympics we shine at particularly," says Pilling when asked about his ratings expectations.

"I think I'd say that we're pleased, I think the reason why I'm so pleased is we're getting good feedback, we're giving people, I think, really good choices and not only to get whatever sport they may want but also on whatever device they may want. …

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