nhl-logoRogers $5.2 billion gamble on the NHL paid its first dividend Wednesday night as over two million Canadians watched the Leafs home opener on Sportsnet.

That made it the most-watched show of the night on any channel in Canada. Sportsnet’s 2,010,000 overnight, estimated take beat everything that night on CTV, Global, CIty or CBC.

An even one million stuck around to watch Game Two featuring the Canucks and the Flames.

Global’s Survivor came closest to the Toronto-Montreal tilt, pulling an overnight, estimated 1,948,000 viewers. That will likely beat the live sports broadcast once the final totals are in. The hockey game likely dented CTV’s season premiere of Arrow at 8 (1,337,000), with Criminal Minds (1,844,000) still strong but down from the week before at 9. City’s top draw was Hell’s Kitchen at 8 (724,000). With Arrow back, CTV booted rookie drama The Mysteries of Laura  over to CTV2, where it fell to 532,000 in simulcast with NBC.

Over on TSN? The Houston/Toronto MLS match drew 88,000.


The 2M+ opener was the biggest audience in Sportsnet history, blowing past the 2013 Blue Jays home opener (1.44M). The Rogers-owned sports network also won the night across Canada in the F18-34 demo. On the digital side, 1.8M page viewers swamped Sportsnet.ca.

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