NHL Hypes Increased Attendance, TV Ratings (and For the Devils!)

NEW YORK (October 26, 2009) – The National Hockey League’s® strong business momentum from last season’s record-setting year continued through the first 100 games of the 2009-10 NHL® regular season. Fans are experiencing the NHL across League platforms in impressive numbers, with the League on-pace to set records in a number of areas.

· Through Oct. 21, attendance increased or remained even for 18 NHL teams compared to the same number of home games last season.

Teams with the largest gains in attendance included the Boston Bruins, Atlanta Thrashers, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets.
· VERSUS’ NHL ratings through Oct. 19 were up 33% and viewership was up 10% from the same point last season.
· In Canada, all NHL national and local rightsholders are reporting significant viewership increases under the new viewership-measurement system.
· For the week of Oct. 5-11, NHL games were four of the top six most-watched sports programs on English-language television in Canada. CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada early regional coverage Saturday, Oct. 10, was the most-watched sports program with over 1.68 million viewers.
· For the week of Oct. 5-11, NHL programming comprised the top six most-watched sports programs on French-language television in Canada.
· Television ratings for 19 of the 24 U.S. NHL teams through Oct. 18 were up or even compared to last season.
· The Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils reported triple-digit percentage increases in local ratings through the first two weeks of the season. One-third of the U.S. teams had a 50% increase or more.
· Comcast SportsNet Chicago delivered its highest Blackhawks regular-season rating ever on Wednesday, Oct. 14, for the Blackhawks’ home game against the Edmonton Oilers.

· Unique Visitors to NHL.com for the 2009-10 NHL regular season through Oct. 17 rose 25% compared to the same number of regular-season game days in 2008-09.
· Through the first 17 days of October, monthly Unique Visitors to NHL.com were up 36% compared to the same number of days of October in 2008.

· Video starts for NHL.com rose an incredible 139% during the first 17 days of October compared to the same number of the days of October 2008.

· The NHL has been successful in securing new corporate partnerships for the 2009-10 season, including deals with Compuware and Enterprise.

· Sales for Shop.NHL.com are up 32% in FY ’10 compared to the same point in FY ’09.

· Sales at the NHL Powered By Reebok store in New York City are up over 11% in
FY ’10 compared to the same point in FY ’09.

· Orders for NHL GameCenter LIVE™ are up 50% this season compared to the same the same point last season.

· Seven of the top 10 most-trafficked days all-time for NHL Mobile™, including the top three, have occurred during the 2009-10 season.
· Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009, is now the all-time top traffic day for NHL Mobile.
· The Pittsburgh Penguins this season launched an exclusive HD radio channel and are attracting record local radio audiences. The Penguins are one of the first major professional sports teams to launch such a channel.

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

10 Responses to NHL Hypes Increased Attendance, TV Ratings (and For the Devils!)

  1. Al says:

    The Devils w/ a triple-digit percentage increase in local TV ratings? So, what did they go from 0.00001 to 0.00002? Same for the Ducks or any hockey team in NY or LA w/ the AL Playoffs going on. We need Daryl Reaugh to debunk this “spin job” by the NHL like he did goal-scoring.

    http://blog.dallasstars.com/archives/2009/10/too_many_intern.html

    Here are my favorite rebuddals from Razor:

    (NHL)- Close Games, part 1. Teams have been tied or separated by one goal two thirds of the time (66.2%).

    (Razor)- Not only that, every game has started with the game tied and the team that has scored first has held a one-goal lead 100% of the time.

    (NHL)- Close Games, part 2. The margin of victory has been one goal for nearly half the games played to date (49 of 105, 47%). And, the team scoring more goals has ended up winning all 105 games to date.

    (Razor)- And, the team scoring more goals has ended up winning all 105 games to date.

    I’m sorry it’s too much fun to rip the NHL’s pr department. At least the NHL is making their league more competitve, unlike MLB,

    • stevelepore says:

      Well, uninformed moron, since you asked, here’s the numbers from a post from last year:

      While the Devils were 16th in local ratings with an 0.4 on MSG Plus, they were 9th in actual viewers with 30,000. Higher than such big markets as Washington, St. Louis, Colorado and Dallas

      So a triple digits increase would likely put the Devils over the 1.0 mark and over 100,000 viewers. In a crowded, baseball/football dominated New York market, thats massive for the Devs.

  2. stevelepore says:

    Sounds like someone’s own feelings got hurt.

  3. Al says:

    Okay, I was wrong to go off like that but I was being sarcastic about the NHL’s PR Department pumping up TV ratings which are increases but not big enough for the “mainstream media” to notice. With the Yankees getting double–digit ratings during the MLB playoffs, it’s logical there aren’t as many people watching other sports.

    The Caps are by far the more exciting and best pro team in D.C. but they’re usually talked about less and get lesser ratings than the Redskins.

    I’m just saying we shouldn’t go gung-ho over every NHL press release hyping increasing TV ratings when mos bumps are maybe thousands of people in a city (30,000 for the Devils in NY/NJ ) instead of millions (8 million for Game 7 Pens/Wings) nationally for the Winter Classic, Playoffs, etc…

    I was trying to add some perspective to the NHL’s rosey outlook. Good for the Devils, Pantherrs, Ducks, etc…on their improved TV audiences/game attendances.

  4. dyhrdmet says:

    Imagine the Devils ratings if they counted North Jersey as it’s own market (the part of the NYC TV market that’s in NJ). Imagine the ratings of all 3 teams in the NYC market if the NHL were smart and scheduled the Rangers, Devils, and Islanders mostly on different nights instead of bunching them all up on weekends and late-week games.

    • Al says:

      How about if the league not only schedule the NY locals, when not playing head-to-head, mostly on different nights but also don’t have 13-15 games on Thursdays and Saturdays and 3-4 games a night during the rest of the week while we’re doing imaginary scheduling?

  5. nash says:

    Has anyone ever properly explained why the Devils have no fans? Two/Three Cups and indifferent fan interest is pretty pathetic. I mean the NY Ranger sell out. Philly sells out. Yet the Devils situated half way between those two places have no fans.

    • dyhrdmet says:

      The Devils have fans. There’s a big fan base. Look at the rising attendance figures (especially since the new arena opened near mass transit). They’re mixed in the New York market where the Rangers are kings on ice, no matter how the 3 teams play, and in reality, the Devils fan base is only a portion of the market (in reality, only a portion of northern New Jersey). I consider them and the Islanders both as small market teams, but playing in a big market (that’s why I make comments about the TV ratings in the North Jersey TV market or the Islanders on the Long Island TV market). Part of it is marketing. When I was growing up and the Devils were a much newer franchise, their games in my area were exclusively on a premium cable channel (along with the Nets and Islanders) while the Knicks and Rangers weren’t. Since then, MSG has taken a monopoly on TV rights in New York and plays favorites with the Rangers over the Devils and Islanders, further hurting their market-share (another channel could promote them better, though it hasn’t worked well for the Nets, rather than being somewhat hidden on MSG’s networks). It’s not exactly the same type of split of the entire market that the Mets and Yankees have here.

  6. Hey bro, love the post – I write for USA Today.com and have my own blog http://www.jtbourne.com. I was thinking about doing a re-growth-of-hockey piece and want to use your stats, but need to make sure they’re all legit, of course. Can you contact me at jtbourne@gmail.com and let me know some of your sources?

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