More NHL Gloating

NEW YORK (April 22, 2010) – The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues its strong start with double-digit ratings increases for its national telecasts on both NBC and VERSUS, along with triple-digit increases to video starts on NHL.com and page views on NHL Mobile, further validating the NHL’s strategy of engaging its fans through the creation of an ever expanding hockey marketplace with multiple touch points.

These gains come on the heels of the announcement that the first week of the Playoffs on VERSUS were the highest-rated and most-watched on cable since the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs on ESPN/ESPN2. And the NHL’s broadcast partners in Canada – CBC, TSN and RDS — have all seen significant ratings increases for the postseason, as have the vast majority of the U.S. regional sports networks.

“This growth is a product of the passion of NHL fans and their insatiable appetite for great hockey content, fueled by our strategy of engaging with fans in ways we haven’t before, especially through our digital platforms and big events,”  said NHL COO John Collins.

Notably, the NHL has been a trailblazer in providing its loyal fans with new ways to access its content via multiple digital platforms as highlighted by two recent announcements. NHL.com yesterday unveiled a new Facebook integration that takes advantage of popular Facebook features to make NHL.com more open, interactive and shareable. NHL.com was also one of the featured launch websites for Apple’s iPad.

NBC UP 10 PERCENT OVER FIRST WEEKEND OF 2009 PLAYOFFS
The Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBC showed a 10 percent increase for its first weekend broadcasts, earning a 1.1 national rating and 3 share for its Saturday and Sunday games (1.0/3 – 2009). The two-game average is the best opening Playoffs weekend for the Peacock since 2006. Saturday’s Boston-Buffalo game earned a 1.0/3, up 43 percent over 2009. Sunday’s Phoenix-Detroit matchup earned a 1.3/3, even with last year.

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS ON TSN AND CBC POSTING “BOFFO NUMBERS”
TSN and CBC are posting “boffo numbers in these playoffs – without Toronto in the
hunt,” according to the The Globe & Mail. The Stanley Cup Playoffs on TSN have averaged 945,000 viewers for 12 telecasts through April 20, a 103 percent increase over last year to date (465,000 viewers). Meanwhile, CBC is averaging 1.23 million for its 14 broadcasts through games of April 20, a 17 percent increase over last season (1.05 million).

NHL ON RDS UP 3%
Playoffs-to-date, RDS is averaging 459,000 viewers through 17 telecasts.  That’s up 3% from the 447,000 viewers that the network was averaging last season-to-date.

DIGITAL STRATEGY PAYS DIVIDENDS
The NHL is engaging and connecting with more fans than ever on its digital platforms
and the first week of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs has continued that trend. Some highlights from the first eight days of the postseason compared to the same time period last year include:

· Video starts on NHL.com increased by 128 percent
· Unique Visitors to NHL.com are up 20 percent
· Page Views on NHL.com are up 40 percent
· Mobile page views are up 181 percent

HIGHLIGHTS FROM NHL’S RECORD-BREAKING BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2009-10
· Corporate sponsorship were up 20 percentNew League partners this season include Geico, Starwood Hotels, Enterprise Rent-A-Car,LG Electronics and Hershey’s CanadaAd spending on NHL media increased by 37 percent
· Revenue from big event platforms, led by the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, were up
22 percent over last season
· Unique visitors to NHL.com surpassed last year’s record by 32 percent
· NHL.com attracted a single-day record 1.6 million unique visitors on Sunday, April 11 – besting last season’s regular season final day by 54 percent
· NHL Game Center Live™ subscriptions were up 25 percent
· Sales at SHOP.NHL.com were up 12 percent from last year’s record
· Viewership for NBC’s Game of the Week telecasts were up 13 percent
· Ratings for exclusive telecasts on Versus were up 20 percent
· NHL Mobile™ reached 1.6 million page views, an increase of 233 percent over last season

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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

3 Responses to More NHL Gloating

  1. Patrick says:

    blah blah blah…not impressed….when they get back to ratings of 94-97…then ill be. when they decide to improve the nhl network to help casual fans understand the game and teams/players…then ill be…

  2. Xavier says:

    Understand the game? I’ll take a wild stab and guess you are American. How hard is it to understand hockey…put the puck in the net. Are you telling me hockey it’s harder to understand than football and baseball? That ‘the infield fly rule’, ‘forward laterals’, ‘balks’, and ‘on-side kicks’ are simple to understand for the casual fan?

    Also how can you say when things get back to the ratings of ’94-’97 when there are a hundred other channels to watch now compared to then. It’s a different world.

  3. J.M. says:

    Anyone else think its funny that they used ‘boffo numbers’ in a press release?

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