Curling's TV numbers reach new heights

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:17 AM ET

Curling is an easy sport to ridicule. Even the curlers make fun of it.

But you can't ridicule this year's TV numbers.

The peak of 2.5 million and average of 1.6 million watching Kevin Koe win the Brier final was an all-time Brier record.

The final round-robin game Thursday night between Koe and Glenn Howard was 951,000 -- not only a record for a round robin game at the Brier but it beat last year's Brier final, which drew 873,000.

While a new method of determining TV audiences has resulted in somewhat larger numbers for most sports events this year, this was nothing on that order.

For Saturday's 3-4 Page playoff system game-- Koe against Brad Gushue of Newfoundland -- there were 823,000 viewers.

Koe's semifinal win against Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario drew an audience of 973,000.

Go back to the Roar of the Rings Olympic trials in Edmonton and 832,000 watched Cheryl Bernard win.

Then a TSN curling record 1.2 million, more than doubling the audience from the same event four years earlier, watched Kevin Martin win.

The especially impressive number was the average audience of all games in that event -- 496,000.

And, of course, there were the mother of all numbers during the Vancouver Olympics.

The top eight most-watched medal events and their averages: 1. Men's hockey gold, 16.6 million; 2. Women's hockey gold, 7.5 million; 3. Kevin Martin curling gold, 6.9 million; 4. Alex Bilodeau moguls gold, 6.82 million; 5. Cheryl Bernard curling silver, 6.8 million, 6. Jenn Heil moguls silver, 6.7 million; 7. Kristina Groves speedskating bronze, 5.2 million; 8. Joannie Rochette figure skating bronze, 4.4 million.


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