2012 Year-End Summary: As New Data Shows 85% of Canadians Watch Sports Each Month, TSN Remains Canadian Sports Leader in Audience, Production, and Viewer Engagement

- Majority of Canadians watch a live sporting event every week -
- TSN is the #1 specialty channel in Canada and the top digital destination for sports fans -
- TSN set audience increases and record ratings for key properties including GREY CUP, NHL Playoffs, UEFA EURO 2012, and coverage of Canada's women's soccer team -

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TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - With new data from BBM Canada showing that the vast majority of Canadians watch sports on television each month, TSN wraps up a milestone 2012 with increased audiences for key properties, world-class production, and enhanced viewer engagement that further solidifies its position as Canada Sports Leader.

Led by its industry-leading coverage of the biggest events in sports and broad portfolio of multimedia sports assets, highlights for TSN in 2012 include the 100th GREY CUP, London 2012 Olympic Games, the IIHF World Junior Championship, UEFA EURO 2012, and the acclaimed documentary series ENGRAVED ON A NATION.

Sports Viewing in Canada
Overall, sports viewing remains one of the primary reasons Canadians watch television - with new audience data from BBM Canada confirming that more than two thirds of men, women, and children in Canada (22.6 million) watch a live sporting event on television in the average week, while 85% of all Canadians watch sports on television every single month. Over the course of a full year, more than 99% of the TV viewing population watches sports at some point. Meanwhile,

  • TSN is the most-watched specialty channel in Canada
  • TSN's overall audience is 62% higher than its closest competitor
  • TSN reached 30 million Canadians in 2012
  • TSN platforms delivered more than 5,000 hours of live sports programming in 2012
  • TSN has produced more than 2,500 hours of original Canadian programming

TSN Audience Highlights

  • TSN is the fourth most-watched channel on Canadian television following CTV, Global, and CBC
  • TSN2 is Canada's most-watched sports digital network and third most-watched sports channel
  • 100th GREY CUP - TSN's broadcast set an audience record with an average audience of 5.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched GREY CUP ever on English-language television, and marking a 26% increase over the previous year
  • Canada's women's soccer team - an average of 3.84 million Canadians watched Team Canada's dramatic semifinal game against the United States on TSN (2.35 million), CTV, and V during London 2012
  • CFL - regular season audiences on TSN were up 6% compared to 2011
  • CFL Playoffs - overall, more than 8.3 million Canadians tuned in to watch some of the 100th GREY CUP PLAYOFFS on TSN
  • MLS - debut of Montreal Impact against Vancouver Whitecaps FC was the most-watched MLS game ever in Canada with 500,000 viewers on TSN and RDS
  • NFL - audiences on TSN are up 8% compared to last season
  • NHL Playoffs - audiences on TSN were up 6% compared to last season
  • TRADECENTRE '12 - 2.7 million unique viewers tuned in at some point during the eight-hour TRADECENTRE '12 broadcast
  • UEFA EURO 2012 - an average of nearly 3 million Canadians watched the final of UEFA EURO 2012 on TSN and RDS, making it the most watched EURO final ever
  • U.S. OPEN - nearly 500,000 Canadians watched Canada's Milos Raonic take on Andy Murray in the 4th round, making it the most-watched U.S. OPEN match ever on TSN
  • Wimbledon - the historic Gentlemen's Championship on TSN was the most-watched final ever on Canadian television, up 20% compared to the previous high

TSN Acquisitions and Extensions

 MLSE properties - Bell officially acquired an ownership position in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) in August after receiving all regulatory and sports league approvals. As part of the transaction, TSN secures long term content rights for high profile professional sports teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors, Marlies, and Toronto FC, with:

  • 50% of regional Maple Leafs games - giving TSN approximately 16 more games per season than its current broadcast schedule
  • 50% of regular season Toronto Raptors games
  • 50% of regional Toronto FC games
  • TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto has live radio broadcast rights to half of all Toronto Maple Leafs games and will have broadcast rights to 50% of all Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, and Marlies games once current broadcast deals expire

AUSTRALIAN OPEN - TSN secured a multi-year rights extension that will see Canada's Sports Leader broadcast the season-opening Grand Slam through to 2021. TSN continues to be the home of all of tennis' marquee Grand Slam events including the FRENCH OPEN, WIMBLEDON and U.S. OPEN.

 BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE - TSN secured media rights to a comprehensive soccer package over the next three seasons that gives TSN media rights to half of all games through to the 2015-16 season. The deal begins in 2013-14 and includes almost 190 games per season - more than tripling the network's current Premier League package up from 50 games per season.

TSN Digital Platforms  

  • TSN.ca and its mobile platforms will register more than 2.3 billion page views in 2012
  • The TSN Play of the Year: Hockey Edition received over 1.5 million votes to help crown Ondrej Pavelec's stunning save as the TSN Play of the Year
  • TSN added four new and improved Fantasy Sports that attracted more than 250,000 players across Canada
  • The TSN Windows 8 App launched in November
  • The TSN Xtra App debuted on Bell Fibe TV in November
  • The popular JAY & DAN PODCAST is currently the #1 sports audio podcast in iTunes after debuting in September

TSN Social Media

  • On Twitter, TSN's Bob McKenzie has close to 450,000 followers - more than any other media personality in Canada. TSN's Darren Dreger is a close second with 354,200.
  • TSN's Facebook Page has more than 420,000 'Likes' - a 56% increase in 'Likes' compared to 2011 - and nearly double the combined 'Likes' of its closest competitors
  • In 2012, TSN's Facebook Page reached an average of 1.1 million fans each week, peaking at more than 4.1 million fans during the London 2012 Olympic Games

TSN Radio

  • TSN Radio 1050 becomes home to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Marlies, with broadcast rights to half of all Maple Leafs and Marlies games
  • National radio broadcaster for UEFA EURO 2012, BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE, and the 100th GREY CUP
  • TSN Radio in Montreal moved to 690 on AM dial for improved transmission

TSN Brand Partnerships and Events

  • The Dominion All-Star Curling Skins Game - The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company became title sponsor of TSN's annual curling skins event in a new multi-year curling partnership
  • Hockey Hall of Fame - TSN is once again the official TV and radio broadcast partner of the Hockey Hall of Fame through to 2022, as part of a new 10-year sponsorship agreement
  • Kraft Celebration Tour - The annual summer tour has become a yearly highlight as SPORTSCENTRE broadcasts live from 10 Canadian communities in 10 days
  • Kraft Hockey Goes On - Kraft and TSN reached an exclusive media partnership for Kraft Hockey Goes On, a program announced in November that will recognize volunteers in the hockey community. The program awards $1 million in prizes and donations to Hockey Canada affiliated minor hockey associations across the country.
  • Purolator Tackles Hunger - returned to TSN for its 10th season with Chris Schultz as spokesperson. The program exceeded its goal of helping to collect the equivalent of one million pounds of food.
  • Wendy's Kick for a Million - The popular integrated CFL promotion returned for an eighth successful year generating more than 14 million online entries

TSN's acclaimed eight-part original documentary series ENGRAVED ON A NATION celebrating the history of the Grey Cup was directed by some of Canada's most accomplished and award-winning filmmakers. In total, 8.75 million Canadians watched some of ENGRAVED ON A NATION on Bell Media networks. Commissioned by Bell Media, TSN's ambitious original documentary series demonstrated how one of the oldest trophies in professional sport has played an intrinsic role in shaping Canada's history and national identity.

Industry Recognition

Impact of NHL Lockout
Audiences on TSN were down slightly in the Fall due to the lack of NHL programming on TSN. Fortunately the depth and breadth of TSN's broadcast schedule allowed the network to capitalize on additional programming opportunities that drove audiences for viewers and advertisers. Even without NHL games, TSN delivered a strong fall schedule that included NASCAR Sprint for the Cup, NFL Monday and Sunday night games, and CFL playoff games. TSN complemented its schedule with new programming that included expanded coverage of the MLS Playoffs, CANADA CUP OF CURLING, VANIER CUP, NCAA Football, and ESPN programming, including prime time broadcasts of the acclaimed 30 For 30 documentary series.

About TSN
TSN is Canada's Sports Leader and #1 specialty network. With a broad portfolio of multimedia sports assets, TSN delivers world-class content across industry-leading platforms including TSN2, TSN.ca, TSN Radio and TSN Mobile TV. Official broadcaster of the Grey Cup, IIHF World Junior Championship and FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015, TSN's slate of live sports coverage includes NHL, CFL, NFL, NBA, MLS, Season of Champions Curling, UEFA Euro 2016, MLB Sunday Night Baseball, Barclays Premier League, Golf's Majors, NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, F1, Grand Slam Tennis, NCAA March Madness, and Skate Canada events. TSN is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company.

Sources: BBM Canada and Omniture


For further information:

Greg McIsaac, (w) 416.384.5180, (c) 416.458.3591, greg.mcisaac@bellmedia.ca
Chobi Liang, (w) 416.384.7584, (c) 416.859.4738, chobi.liang@bellmedia.ca
Renee Rouse, (w) 416.384.7599, (c) 416.428.4807, renee.rouse@bellmedia.ca

Twitter: @TSN_PR


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