According to figures from Numeris, Canada’s broadcast measurement firm, Hockey Night in Canada took an immediate hit in the wake of Cherry’s firing and has never recovered.
According to the Toronto Sun, on Cherry’s last broadcast on November 9 when the game featured the Leafs playing the Philadelphia Flyers the average minute audience stood at 1.027 million.
Cherry was fired as host of Coach’s Corner on November 11 in a move that was met with outrage in some corners and cheers in others.
Yet in the two weeks following Cherry’s dismissal the eastern broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada failed to make the Top 30 TV shows ranked by Numeris.
Cherry was fired after 35 years on Coach’s Corner after comments about people not wearing poppies on Remembrance Day that some claimed were racist.
Speaking about how he sees fewer people wearing poppies in the lead up to Remembrance Day, Cherry went on a rant.
“You people that come here, whatever it is, you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you could pay a couple of bucks for a poppy. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada,” Cherry said.
By Jon Sorensen