CBC expects huge playoff ratings**

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/News/2006/11/03/2220114-sun.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/ ... 4-sun.html[/url]

Perspective, it’s often been said, can be a wonderful thing.

So it is that the folks who broadcast CFL games aren’t exactly ready to jump out of windows over the final regular-season ratings for the just-completed season, which show a decline from 2005.

On TSN, which airs the bulk of the CFL’s telecasts, the season average was 356,000 per game – an 8% drop from last year’s number (395,000). CBC recorded an average audience of 415,000, off 10% from 2005.

Now the positive spin, if you will.

The ratings decline was only the second for CFL games in the past decade. And last season’s figures represented the highest ever for the league. TSN’s numbers this season rate No. 2 in network history; CBC’s CFL audiences are its fourth-best since 2000.

Why the decline?

An excess of blowout games surely didn’t help the cause, as TSN’s lead CFL voice Chris Cuthbert noted in a conversation with the Sun during the summer.

The biggest hit came in Ontario, where TSN’s ratings were down 30%. Blame the demise of the Ottawa Renegades and a bad Hamilton Tiger-Cats team for that, in great part.

None of this has done anything to dampen enthusiasm for the playoffs, however, and the Grey Cup in particular. CBC raised its advertising rates for this year’s game in Winnipeg and has still done brisk business.

“We are in a strong revenue position this year,” said Brad Furtney, CBC’s director of national media sales and marketing. “(Ad) inventory is extremely tight. There’s (just) a handful of spots left on the network level for the Grey Cup. It’s sold extremely well for us.”

Then again, this is the Grey Cup we’re talking about a much-beloved piece of Canadiana that annually draws an audience of 3-4 million – one of the top numbers you’ll find for any single night in Canadian television.

“It’s just a massive show,” said CBC studio analyst Greg Frers. "That Grey Cup energy is celebrated by the fans across Canada.

“People want to be around a great event, and it’s been a great event historically, so people just keep coming back.”

PLAYOFF CHATTER: Nobody from the league office will say it for the record, but the CFL can’t be pleased with the CBC’s decision to broadcast just the West semi-final and final in high-definition format. The East playoff games the next two weekends will only get standard TV coverage. The fact the Grey Cup is in Winnipeg played into the decision to go west. “We wanted to get the truck out west,” said Trevor Pilling, CBC’s CFL executive producer. “That’s where our pre-game shows and a bit of our post-game show will originate from. It just allows us to give the most content that we can (each Sunday) through HD.” The CBC operates only one HD mobile at the moment … CBC will augment its Grey Cup coverage with 30 cameras, including the overhead Cable Cam … CFL on TSN: Countdown, the network’s one-hour playoff preview show, returns Sunday at 10 a.m. It bumps TSN The Reporters to a 9:30 a.m. start time the next three Sundays … CBC has two preview shows this weekend: Tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Didn' know that the CBC just has one mobile HD unit. Not much you can do I guess. Doesn't affect me since I just have regular TV but they will have to add to their compliment of HD equipment as more and more people make the switch to HD TV.

i have an HD tv, yet i dont have HD cable...i wonder what im missing.

According to some, a lot. But something to keep in mind I read the other day:

"Despite all the hype, there’s still no urgency to buy an HDTV set.

Analog signals are scheduled to end in the United States in 2009. But there is no date yet for Canada, and it’s a given that analog will be around here longer than that."

This is why I spent a couple thousand recently on new surround sound system but will stay with my 36" regular TV for a bit longer. That being said, the HD programs that do now exist, especially sports, are really neat to watch in HD for the pure clarity from what sports fans tell me.

if HD got us better CFL announcers, id sign up for the HDcable right away!...lol

I've heard the comparison of HD to analog as being similar to the difference between black&white and colour. And I see the point.
But the analogy I like is, if you wear glasses, or sunglasses, you know how they get dirty, but you don't really notice all the particles of dust on them until there are lots, or you take them off and look at them?
And then you clean them and realize, "geez, how was I even able to see through those?

That is the difference between HD and regular TV.

i think its dumb to have to get HD cable after getting an HD tv...why cant cable just be HD cable all the time?

I've got an HD-capable TV, 52" rear-projection, but the HD box Shaw is charging $400 for, and I am not willing to spend that much money just for a better TV signal.

62" samsung dlp projection tv with HDTV. After you see a game in HD, you'll never want to see one without.

More than just the clarity, the 16x9 screen ratio really tells much more of the story showing you everyone on the field from sideline to sideline, running back to safety. This instead of having recievers run off screen & having the QB launch one out to someone without knowing who its going to until the catch to or how they got there until the replay.

If you don't have the HD reciever(cable or satellite) there is no advantage to having a HD TV. I have a 50 inch Sony HDTV and the difference is night and day. With the 16 x 9 format you see more of the field and it is crystal clear.

It annoys the heck out of me to hear that not all the playoff games will be in HD

i have a 47" wide screen panasonic HDTV...and altho i dont get HD tv, it should look sick with the new HD playstation 3 ( i only ever play tiger woods..haha )

Mine is the 52" Samsung DLP.

How do you like the 62" over the 52"?

LETS HOPE THE CBC IS RIGHT!

This is really unfortunate that the east semi is only in upconverted standard def. It wouldn't have been that difficult, no matter how they try to spin it, to get the truck back to Toronto from Buffalo.

Too bad the CFL lacks the ability to mandate that all playoff games be in HD. :frowning: At least the west semi is in HD today so that's a major bonus.

The CBC operates only one HD mobile at the moment ...
Seems it can be in Buffalo on Saturday night and Calgary Sunday afternoon!

Lets hope 1 MILLION+ plus saw the ARGO/WINNIPEG classic on T.V.!

I hope they repeat 1 of the games today on the CBC AT 12AM!