Thursday, March 11, 2004

Mock them NOT!

Well, I your meek little servant, sit humbled in front of you tonight. I was working on a satirical piece, placing myself inside the TSN boardroom, as they sat down to work out the channels broadcast plans for this week. To take the form of an insiders memo, I was going to make a snarky remark about making sure the satellite uplink to Saskatoon was working right, hiring locals to go out and sweep the dish hourly. Having a TSN flunky make sure that Vic Rauter's hairstylist was on paid retainer, blow dryer at the ready for 24 hour emergency comb calls. And most importantly, to make sure that the all important Broom cam was working as designed. We would all then adjourn to the boardroom, to watch four hours of wild and wooly curling action, leaving an intern to guard the fax machine in case anything else important happened.

But now I shake my head in awe and bow down to the masters of television content. My poor attempt at satire shall go unfinished, for the Rocks brought ratings, what I thought would be a debacle turned out to be a ratings bonanza, go figure. TSN's combination of curling and hockey coverage apparently blew the competition away on Trading deadline day.

From William Houston's Truth and Numbers column comes this breakdown of the numbers. The sports channel drew 223,000 viewers for its afternoon coverage of the National Hockey League trade deadline and the developing story of Todd Bertuzzi's attack on Steve Moore. On a typical weekday, TSN averages 74,000 in the afternoon.

Rogers Sportsnet pulled in 108,000 viewers for its hockey coverage, less than half of TSN's audience, although Sportsnet was required to hold its viewership over six hours, from noon EST to 6 p.m., while TSN went with a shorter show, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In a later edition he also passes on the results of a particularly strong performance by THE SCORE. The Score's NHL trade deadline coverage produced big numbers on Tuesday. The network averaged 74,000 viewers from noon to 6 p.m. EST, for a 118-per-cent increase from last year. From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., The Score outdrew Sportsnet, with 124,000 viewers, compared with Sportsnet's 89,000.

I now, shall have to content myself with my mindless meanderings about hockey in this forum. Judging by the success of TSN's coverage this week, they don't need my advice in any way, shape or form. Like Bart Simpson made to stay late in the classroom, I pick up my piece of chalk. "I shall not mock TSN", "I shall not mock TSN"

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