Teams: Toronto FC, Fiorentina, Barça
Toronto Star, October 7/03:
Canadian women rule the airwaves
by CHRIS ZELKOVICH
On a day that featured some of the best the sports world has to offer, women's soccer ruled the airwaves.
Sunday's women's World Cup semifinal between Canada and Sweden was watched by an average audience of 703,000, according to Nielsen Media Research overnight ratings.
That 2-1 Swedish victory was the most-watched event on a day that included three baseball playoff games, the NFL, a PGA tournament with Tiger Woods and a CFL game between the league's top two teams.
Despite a 10:30 p.m. EDT start, the women's game produced the second-highest rating in Sportsnet's five-year history. The largest, 914,000, was recorded during the final of the 2002 women's under-19 soccer tournament. That game was between Canada and the U.S.
``We were expecting something in the 400,000 range considering it was a 10:30 start," said Canadian Soccer Association vice-president Les Wilkinson. ``This is great news."
One reason it is great news is that the CSA should benefit financially from its television success.
``We don't make a great deal of money from TV," Wilkinson said, explaining that the association is paid a nominal fee for each televised game. ``We expect to do better next time."
Interestingly, the game was seen by more adult men (212,000) than women (147,000.)
While games featuring Canada against the world traditionally attract large audiences, even Sportsnet was surprised at the size of the audience for the other semifinal soccer game. An audience of 350,000 tuned in to the U.S.-Germany contest at 7:30 p.m., [EDT]almost 100,000 more than the Cleveland-Pittsburgh NFL game attracted to TSN at 8:30 p.m.[EDT].