NHL Continues Major Ratings/Traffic Upswing

NOTE: Announcer Thread moving to 5:30 to give this a little time to breathe.

NHL SEEING SUBSTANTIAL GAINS IN ALL AREAS OF BUSINESS DURING PLAYOFFS

“As far as perspiration-based entertainment goes, it’s pretty hard to top what the National Hockey League has offered up this spring.” – Toronto Star

“The National Hockey League is a big-time deal again… people are definitely talking about, and more importantly, watching, the NHL again.” – AOL Fanhouse

NEW YORK (May 12, 2010) – “As far as perspiration-based entertainment goes, it’s pretty hard to top what the National Hockey League has offered up this spring,” says the Toronto Star. And Milton Kent of AOL Fanhouse adds, “the National Hockey League is a big-time deal again… people are definitely talking about, and more importantly, watching, the NHL again.”

As the Eastern Conference Semifinals near their conclusion with Game 6 and Game 7 tonight, the compelling action on the ice is helping to fuel substantial business success off the ice. All North American TV partners are showing strong increases in viewership, the NHL’s digital platforms are experiencing explosive growth, and attendance is averaging above capacity.

“Against the backdrop of terrific competition, our strategy to activate NHL fans through big events like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and across traditional and digital media, is delivering tremendous business results,” said NHL COO John Collins. “The demand for NHL hockey has never been greater, and serving fans on multiple platforms is highlighting the true audience for our game.”

TV MILESTONES IN THE 2010 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

  • There were three major Boston-area sports events televised on Friday night, and Game 4 of the Bruins-Flyers series scored the best numbers, earning an 8.3 local Nielsen rating (328,000 viewers) on Versus in the Boston metered market besting the Yankees-Red Sox matchup on NESN, which earned a 6.3 local rating (223,000 viewers) to finish in second, while Game Three of the Cavaliers-Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals earned a 4.1 local rating (142,000 viewers) on ESPN.
  • On Thursday April 22, the Blackhawks, with 278,000 viewers in Chicago, prevailed over some tough local competition: Bulls (255,000 viewers, playoff game against Cleveland and LeBron James), NFL Draft (138,000) and the Chicago Cubs vs. NY Mets (137,000 viewers).
  • 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’ average viewership of 595,000 for the first round of the playoffs was the best for the NHL on U.S. cable in nine years (ESPN/ESPN 2, 608,000 in 2001).
  • Game 2 of the Detroit/San Jose series 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).
  • The Washington-Montreal Game 7 was the highest rated (1.2 HH rating) and most watched (1.2 million viewers) Conference Quarterfinal game ever on VERSUS, and the most watched Conference Quarterfinal game on U.S. cable since Minnesota-Colorado in 2003 on ESPN.
  • TSN’s audience of 2.8 million for the Washington-Montreal Game 7 was the highest audience ever recorded for an NHL game on TSN and was the most-watched program on Canadian television Wednesday night in all key demographics.
  • The Montreal-Washington series ranks as the most-watched playoff series ever on TSN (any round) with an average audience of 1.8 million viewers over seven games.

VERSUS GROWS SECOND-ROUND VIEWERSHIP BY MORE THAN 30%

Through Monday night’s games VERSUS’ Conference Semifinal round coverage has averaged a 1.0 HH rating and 1.055 million viewers, which is up 25 percent and 31 percent, respectively, as compared the same time period last year (.8 HH rating and 806,000 viewers).

NHL ON NBC VIEWERSHIP UP 4%

NBC Sports’  six playoff broadcasts are averaging 1.71 million viewers, up four percent compared to 2009 (1.64 million).

TSN VIEWERSHIP UP 82%

Through 33 telecasts, TSN has averaged 1.07 million viewers, 92 percent higher than its average audience to date last year (587,000 viewers).

CBC VIEWERSHIP UP 58%

Through its first 35 telecasts of the playoffs, CBC has averaged 1.77 million viewers, a 58 percent increase over last year (1.1 million viewers).

NHL ON RDS UP 82%

Through its first 48 telecasts, RDS has averaged 650,000 viewers, up 82 percent over last year (357,000).

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:

  • For the first 28 days of the playoffs, video starts on NHL.com are up 143 percent last year
  • Unique visitors to NHL.com are up 31 percent
  • Page views on NHL.com are up 49 percent
  • Mobile page views are up 189 percent
  • April was the most trafficked month in the history of NHL.com in terms of unique visitors surpassing 17 million

FULL HOUSES

The NHL has played to more than 100 percent capacity during these playoffs.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NHL’S RECORD-BREAKING BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2009-10

  • Corporate sponsorship was up 20 percent
  • New League partners this season include Geico, Starwood Hotels, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, LG Electronics and Hershey’s Canada
  • Ad spending on NHL® media increased by 37 percent over last season
  • NHL.com ad revenue is up 50 percent over last year
  • Revenue from big event platforms, led by the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, are up 22 percent over last season
  • Unique visitors to NHL.com surpassed last year’s record by 32 percent
  • NHL Game Center Live™ subscriptions were up 25 percent
  • NHL Network subscribers have increased by 104 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

Source: Nielsen Media Research US and Nielsen Media Research Canada / BBM

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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

One Response to NHL Continues Major Ratings/Traffic Upswing

  1. Pingback: Ratings, Winnipeg, and RussellBlog « The Jacketsblog

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