One in four Cana­di­ans watched Sco­tia­bank Hockey Day in Canada


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, New­found­land. 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, On­tario, 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,” said Rob Corte, Vice-pres­i­dent, Sport­snet & NHL Productions. “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.”

The broad­cast in­cluded a se­ries of fea­ture sto­ries which fo­cussed on the theme of courage. Sto­ries in­cluded an in­spir­ing look back at the Swift Cur­rent Bron­cos team which over­came the tragedy of the 1986 bus crash to go to win the 1989 Me­mo­rial Cup. There was also an emo­tional trib­ute to first re­spon­ders, in­clud­ing those in­volved in the fa­tal 1986 Swift Cur­rent Bron­cos bus crash, and the tragic Hum­boldt Bron­cos tragedy last April.

Swift Cur­rent Mayor De­nis Per­rault re­flected that the four day cel­e­bra­tion of hockey was over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive for all of Swift Cur­rent.

“I want to thank you to all those that did just an in­cred­i­ble job of high­light­ing the word com­mu­nity. Our theme was courage, but I think not just courage came across. The word com­mu­nity and work­ing to­gether was some­thing that was shared across our coun­try. It def­i­nitely put Swift Cur­rent on the map. It’s def­i­nitely one of the high­lights I’ve had in this job and in this role as mayor. It’s some­thing that I’ll never for­get,” Per­rault said.

He saluted the Lo­cal Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee who took on large roles to make Hockey Day a re­al­ity, shored up by a large con­tin­gent of vol­un­teers.

“Quite frankly, I’d say it was an ab­so­lute suc­cess. All the vol­un­teers, our or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, all the busi­nesses, all the sup­port­ers, all the hockey play­ers, all the lit­tle kids that were out and about, it was just an in­cred­i­ble week of ab­so­lute fun for our com­mu­nity, so much fun.”

Per­rault noted there were 900 peo­ple at the Sco­tia­bank Hockey Day in Canada Banquet on Fe­bru­ary 7, mak­ing it the largest din­ner hosted in Swift Cur­rent his­tory. Hockey fans also turned out in large num­bers for the Alumni and Celebrity Clas­sic game last Fri­day.

The only damper on the four day event was the ex­treme cold which im­pacted at­ten­dance at the Out­door Fes­ti­val on Satur­day. But Mayor Per­rault noted there was ex­ten­sive work done by city crews to pre­pare the site for what could have been larger num­bers.

“They were out work­ing since 6:00 that morn­ing. And it was a lit­tle nippy out­side, that’s not a se­cret. It was push­ing 40 be­low at 6 in the morn­ing. They were out mak­ing sure ev­ery­thing was clean, ev­ery­thing was ready.”

He pointed out he re­ceived nu­mer­ous calls from peo­ple look­ing for tick­ets for all events once they re­al­ized the mag­ni­tude of Hockey Day in Canada.

“For any­body that didn’t get a chance to be a part of these last few days, I’m sorry. But we’ve got more ex­cit­ing events com­ing this year. And I would urge you to please go on our Western Canada Sum­mer Games web­site and please sign up now.”

“We’ve got a big sum­mer ahead, and I know you would be dis­ap­pointed if you weren’t a part of it. So I’m urg­ing the pub­lic to please con­sider it.”

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