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TVA Sports announces encouraging ratings after first round

Pierre-Karl Péladeau must be pleased to see that his sports TV channel, TVA Sports, is posting rising figures following the series premiere. Since the launch of this specialized channel, the multi-millionaire has injected a lot of money into the project without really seeing any return on his investment. But if he hopes one day to obtain an NHL franchise in Quebec City, PKP seems to believe it’s worth the investment. But is it enough to make the chain profitable? Probably not.

We suspected that TVA Sports was a money pit for Quebecor, but now we have proof, thanks to La Presse Affaires. Last November, they revealed that the chain had assumed losses of $11 million for the 2020-2021 season, despite the Canadiens’ presence in the Stanley Cup final:

Imagine what the 2022 series could look like without the Habs as the driving force!

All this to say that since the publication of this article, you’re aware that Louis Jean has been tased and Dave Morissette has been shown the door, at least according to Réjean Tremblay. As I’m sure you’re aware, the network stopped airing post-game shows for clashes that didn’t include the Montreal Canadiens. In other words, these are, in my opinion, two rather blatant examples of the broadcaster’s desire to cut expenses. Usually, people don’t make cuts when things are going well!

But hey, maybe the good times are finally here at TVA Sports, with the big announcement that ratings are up for the first round of the playoffs.

A 20% increase over the 2022 series is a very nice leap in the right direction, and the peak of 686,000 listeners for Game #7 between the Maple Leafs and Lightning is pretty impressive too.

It remains to be seen whether people will continue to be interested in the playoffs with the good weather approaching, and if the Leafs get eliminated.

I say these are great numbers, but I should say they’re great numbers under the circumstances. And why is that? Because NHL ratings in general have been plummeting in recent years. To give you an idea, Dany Lavoie, who works in digital and relationship marketing at Bell Media, revealed one of his Facebook memories from 9 years ago. Let’s just say it’s pretty striking how much the media landscape has changed since then!

I’d be curious to know if the latter’s tweet is purely coincidental, or if there’s a connection with the TVA Sports one.

But as you can see, a peak of 2.5 million listeners is far superior to TVA Sports’ 700,000 (or thereabouts). I have a feeling that one day, sooner rather than later, both the broadcasters and the NHL are going to have to rethink the way they present field hockey to rekindle public interest. The public is changing, and the sport will probably have no choice but to change too.

Incidentally, as if this wasn’t already a big enough downer, in its tweet TVA Sports points out that this is a 20% increase over the 2022 series and not over the first series in 2022. For me, the nuance can be very important. Is it possible that the first round, which is seen as the most exciting of the lot, generates higher ratings than the following rounds, and that the average ends up falling over the subsequent rounds? I wonder, and unfortunately I don’t have the answer.

In brief

– Patrice Bergeron is still a finalist for the Trophée Patrice Bergeron Selke.

– Jack Hughes, Anze Kopitar and Brayden Point are finalists for the Lady Bing.

– Do you agree with Marc Denis’ analysis?

– Joel Embiid is named the NBA’s best player.

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