More Good NHL Ratings News as San Jose-Detroit Game 2 is Most-Watch Round 2 Game in a Decade

NEW YORK (May 4, 2010) – After generating substantial growth across all TV partners for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, VERSUS and NBC Sports continued to see strong increases for the start of the Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals.

Through four days of the Conference Semis, VERSUS’ average viewership is up 91% over the same time period last year (1.314 million vs 689,000).  The network has also seen substantial viewership increases among all key male demos: Men 18-34 (up 78%), Men 18-49 (up 69%) and Men 25-54 (up 76%).  

This second-round success is highlighted by Sunday’s Game 2 of the Detroit/San Jose series, which averaged 1.772 million viewers — making it VERSUS’ most-watched Conference Semifinal game in network history and the most-watched second-round game on cable in a decade (Colorado/Detroit, May 1, 2000 on ESPN, 1.926 million).

         Both games on NBC Sports this past weekend registered 1.6 overnight ratings, resulting in the best second-round weekend ever on NBC (coverage began for the 2005-06 season). It was the first time a second-round on NBC featured two games with at least a 1.6 overnight rating.

COMBINED U.S. VIEWERSHIP HIGHEST IN A DECADE FOR FIRST ROUND
Combined NBC and VERSUS averaged 742,000 viewers per telecast, the most for the first round since ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 averaged 750,000 viewers in 2000 and a 24-percent increase over last year.

VERSUS EARNED BEST NHL POSTSEASON START ON CABLE IN 9 YEARS
VERSUS’ first-round coverage averaged a .7 HH rating and 595,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-watched first round on cable since 2001.  The HH rating and average viewership was up 75 percent and 35 percent, respectively, as compared to last year’s Conference Quarterfinals, leading to VERSUS its most-watched April primetime in network history.

NHL ON NBC VIEWERSHIP UP 18% FOR FIRST ROUND
Viewership for NBC Sports’ four Conference Quarterfinal broadcasts (1.72 million viewers) was up 18 percent compared to 2009 (1.46 million) and the highest since 2006.

DIGITAL STRATEGY PAYS DIVIDENDS
The NHL is engaging and connecting with more fans than ever on its digital platforms and the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs has continued that trend. Some highlights:
·        April finished as the most-trafficked month in NHL.com history with more than 17 million unique visitors
·        Video starts on NHL.com are up 148 percent over last year.
·        Unique visitors to NHL.com have increased by 35 percent
·        Page views on NHL.com are up 54 percent
·        Mobile page views are up 203 percent

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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

6 Responses to More Good NHL Ratings News as San Jose-Detroit Game 2 is Most-Watch Round 2 Game in a Decade

  1. kevin says:

    Maybe the Olympics had a positive effect on viewers afterall……..

    • Sean says:

      My thoughts exactly…looks like all of those negative articles about the NHL were a tad premature.

      I hope this keeps the NHL on Versus. Best ratings in a decade…you have to credit Versus for the simple fact they are so many games.

      • nosferatu says:

        I hope this means Versus and NBC come out with a more diverse schedule next year–how about a Montreal-San Jose game?? Ha ha.

  2. TommyG says:

    This has nothing to do with the Olympics and everything to do with the markets involved in the playoffs right now. If you had Edmonton, Calgary, Carolina, Tampa, and Atlanta for example playing right now instead of teams like Boston, Philly, Pittsburgh, Detroit, San Jose (which is a big TV market) and even a high profile and historic Canadian team like Montreal your ratings here in the US would be a lot lower Olympics or no Olympics. A Pitt-Det final will do better than a TB-Calgary final no mystery there.

  3. Patrick says:

    how about NBC going back to Saturday games that start in the afternoon instead of Sunday morning games. Nothing to compete against it besides NCAA Hoops which barely win in ratings. MLB Ratings continue to decline for Saturday afternoon. Golf doesnt do great until final round on Sundays. Saturday NHL games drew better on Saturdays (ABC days nearly 2.0). MLB only draws that when its SOX/Yankees.

  4. widi says:

    they can used world cup to get more consumer

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