Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ready for a ratings monster

When Team Canada takes to the ice on Boxing Day in the Czech Republic, the goal will be to claim their fourth straight Gold Medal for Canada.

The World Junior Championships is a uniquely Canadian celebration, while it is held in Europe and the USA from time to time, nowhere does it receive the attention that it does in Canada.
For a good portion of the games we are about to watch in the next two weeks there will be countless rows of empty seats, the thrill of sitting through qualifying rounds and then elimination rounds seemingly not always high on the agenda for a good number of European and American fans.

Which is why the World Juniors seem to return to Canada more and more often, where the guarantee of a complete media attention and sold out rinks gives the tournament a lustre here that doesn't seem to be possible elsewhere.

With many Canadians in holiday mode over Christmas and New Years, the time is perfect for the tournament to dominate the TSN schedule which treats the event like a Stanley Cup final and receives those kind of audience numbers when the television ratings come out.

Since TSN took over the broadcasting of the tournament back in 1991 the brand has grown through the years, regularly delivering huge crowds to the network and its sponsors. Though there are hiccups that occassionaly lay waste to the best of plans.

Should Canada stumble and find itself eliminated from the Gold Medal game TSN will probably take a bath in the ratings, as Canada's bandwagon jumping hockey fans seek out other activities on January 5th. But if the Red and White is on the ice, the fans will be on the couch, sponsor's brands in hand and eyes glued to TSN ready to celebrate yet another gold for Canada's junior program.

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