Canucks vs Leafs @ 4 PM – Stop Whining!

 

The Vancouver Canucks host the hated and dreadful Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow at GM Place at 4 PM Pacific. Before you start complaining about the early start time, shut up. I don’t want to hear it, because you’re wrong.

And here’s why.

The start time for the Canucks game against the Maple Leafs has NOTHING to do with a Toronto-centric and Toronto-loving CBC. They are not starting the game at 4 PM PT because they are trying to appease the Toronto hockey market.

They are starting the game at 4 PM PT for one reason and one reason only – MONEY.

The fact is that starting the game at 7 PM ET provides a combined Canucks and Maple Leafs market that will bring the CBC the most money and most viewership possible. PERIOD. They can guarantee that the Eastern market will watch that game because it is in their prime-time game, and therefore viewership will be sky-high.

Is there any chance that an Eastern market (Toronto or otherwise) would START watching a hockey game that started at 10 PM ET? No, except for maybe the most loyal and dedicated fans. But that would significantly reduce the number of viewers watching the game. And that would drastically decrease marketing revenues.

So for all those Canucks fans out there crying "Poor us! The CBC never thinks about Vancouver! They only care about the Toronto Maple Leafs!" No, no they don’t. They only care about money.

And a 4 PM PT start is the best means to that end. When the Canucks’ fans’ dollars start outweighing the Leafs’ fans’ dollars, only then will you see a 7 PM PT start time when the Leafs come to town.

But don’t count on that happening any time soon.

  • Rod says …
    "It makes me wonder, though, what the CBC would do if the Leafs were playing here in Vancouver on a Saturday night, and the Habs were hosting the Bruins at the same time."

    That's EXACTLY what's happening today!

    TOR @ VAN is the national game, while the MON and OTT games are being showing regionally on local CBC feeds.

    And again, I'm not saying that some Leafs fans don't and wouldn't stay up until 1 AM ET to finish watching a Leafs game.
    What I am saying is that the CBC knows how to maximize ad revenue – and the way to do that is to maximize viewership. The way to max out viewership is show the Leafs in primetime on a Saturday night, which is why the game starts at 7 PM ET.

    If this game was on a Tuesday, it would start at 7 PM PT.

  • @Cam,

    Hey, if I'm wrong, by all means, disagree with me. 🙂

    Couldn't agree more that TSN doesn't have the pull that the CBC does, and most likely never will.

    But the point that I was making that even if it's just regional coverage, eastern fans definitely do have to put up with late start times when their teams play here in the west.

    It makes me wonder, though, what the CBC would do if the Leafs were playing here in Vancouver on a Saturday night, and the Habs were hosting the Bruins at the same time.

    You're probably right – they'd go with the money (although I don't think the Quebec market should be discounted) and show the Canadiens in Quebec and the Maritimes, and the Leafs in the rest of the country.

    I guess like my most Canucks fans, we want to believe that it's the Toronto-centric CBC, but after thinking about it more, you're probably right about it all coming down to cash.

  • Scuba Steve

    Quote: "Is there any chance that an Eastern market (Toronto or otherwise) would START watching a hockey game that started at 10 PM ET?"

    Why yes, yes there is.

    Oct. 26 – Maple Leafs at Ducks · 10:00 PM ET

    It would be the same for the Kings or Sharks. And games against the Avs or Coyotes would start at 9pm in Toronto. Televised or not.

    • Hi Rod,

      I hate to disagree with you, but this is the whole point of my article.

      By sheer numbers alone, the amount of viewers that the CBC would have for a 7 PM ET start on a Saturday vs a 10 PM ET would be night and day. I would venture a guess and say that a 7 PM start would garner them 5 times more viewers than a 10 PM ET start.

      The game you mentioned is a weeknight game, and CBC wouldn't have that game, so they wouldn't care about nationwide viewership. That is a game that would be carried regional coverage locally, or by TSN. And frankly TSN doesn't have the clout or pull that CBC does.

  • Scuba Steve

    The worst part about all of that? The leafs will get their first win on Saturday, and at least one of the cream-puff Vancouver forwards will be injured.

  • Scuba Steve

    nice rant cam.

    when vancouver has the same population as toronto (or bc has the same pop as the rest of ontario) *then* you'll see the cbc shifting its viewing times.

    regardless i predict the canucks will trounce the leafs 3-0.