Leafs, Canadiens on Leafs TV draws record audience
/ Toronto Maple Leafs
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. announced Wednesday that the Nielsen ratings for Leafs TV's coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Montreal Canadiens game on Saturday December 15 were the strongest in the short history of the channel, peaking at 59,000 viewers with a total audience reach of 213,000.
The game attracted the largest number of viewers to any single primetime live sporting event to date across all new digital channels in Canada. Broadcast rights were made available to Leafs TV courtesy of the CBC and the NHL.
"We were excited to have had the opportunity to deliver this important game between two of Canada's most storied hockey franchises to fans who otherwise would have not been able to watch the game," said John Shannon, executive producer, Leafs TV. "These ratings show that the fans were extremely receptive to our coverage both before, during and after the game. Our hope now is that since they've sampled the Leafs TV product, they'll continue to rely on our channel for the most in-depth coverage possible of the Toronto Maple Leafs."
Ontario residences, excluding Ottawa Valley, began to tune in during the Leafs TV pre-game show, Game Face, which drew an average audience of 13,000 during its broadcast window. The post-game show, After the Horn held strong with an average audience of 48,000. Brian Duff, Bob Harwood and former Leaf Rick Vaive hosted Leafs TV pre and post-game coverage, while Joe Bowen and Glenn Healy handled the play-by-play and color commentary duties.
"It proves that Leafs TV provides a first rate service in bringing the game closer to our loyal fan base," said Richard Peddie, president and chief executive officer, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd." This added value will only increase the benefits of what Leafs TV can provide on a daily basis and show Ontario viewers that we're truly committed to bringing them the very best in Toronto Maple Leaf coverage."
The Leafs TV broadcast schedule currently includes 30 hours per week of original programming that explores all levels of the Maple Leaf hockey Club. Highlights of the channel include pre and post-game coverage, game summaries and a wealth of archival footage and classic games. Leafs TV daily schedule and information on how to order the channel is available at www.mapleleafs.com.
Leafs TV is available exclusively on several digital television services in Ontario, free until January 7, 2002. The channel launched in September 2001 and coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club.