While the temperature was dropping in host community Swift Current, ratings were going up for the 2019 Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada.
The 19th annual Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada broadcast from Swift Current reached a total of 9.6 million Canadians on Saturday, an increase from the 9.1 million viewers recorded during the 2018 broadcast from Corner Brook, NL. It marks the fourth consecutive year that Hockey Day in Canada viewership has increased, with 2019 drawing five per cent more viewers from the previous year. The Corner Brook broadcast was seven per cent higher than the 20178 edition in Kenora, ON, and up 21 per cent from the 2016 telecast from Kamloops.
The marquee matchup of the broadcast was an Original Six showdown between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. The game attracted an average minute audience of 2.2 million viewers and was the most watched program in Canada on Saturday. Conversely, in 2018 the most viewed game was the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Ottawa Senators, which drew an average minute audience of 1.54 million viewers.
The theme of the marathon 12.5-hour broadcast was courage, and the average minute audience for the Celebrating the Game pre-show was up 32 per cent year over year.
“Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada is one of the marquee events in the hockey calendar,” Rob Corte, Vice-President, Sportsnet & NHL Productions stated in a press release. “It has become a much-anticipated tradition for Canadians coast-to-coast, with this year’s broadcast being particularly emotional, focusing on the theme of courage. Sportsnet, along with our great partners at Scotiabank, could not be more thankful to the local organizing committee and the city of Swift Current. The community lives and breathes hockey and their support and passion was tremendous from start to finish. Swift Current offered the perfect setting to inspire Canadians who tuned in from across the nation.”