VERSUS Has Largest Second Round Cable Audience in HISTORY

NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 18, 2010)-VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, averaged a 1.0 HH rating and 1.041 million viewers for its 2010 Conference Semifinal coverage, making it cable’s most-watched second round on record.  The average viewership surpasses the entire second round cable average of all prior Playoff seasons through 1994, which is the first Playoff season with available Nielsen electronic ratings and viewership history for the NHL on cable.

The HH rating and average viewership for the second round was up 25 percent and 28 percent, respectively, as compared to last year’s Conference Semifinals (.8 HH rating and 816,000 viewers).  Throughout the duration of the 2010 Semifinals, VERSUS also ranked as a top ten cable network in primetime viewership (8-11p.m.) among Adults 18-49 and 25-54 and was one of the top five most-watched cable networks among Men 18-49 and 25-54.

VERSUS’ first two rounds of 2010 Playoffs coverage, which featured 54 games, averaged 775,000 viewers making it the most-watched first two rounds on cable since NHL Playoff viewership became available by Nielsen in the 1993/94 season.  In the Conference Quarterfinal round the network’s coverage was non-exclusive and blacked out in local team markets and in the Conference Semifinals, VERSUS aired 10 games exclusively while the rest were blacked out locally.

VERSUS’ second-round successes came on the heels of the highest-rated and most-watched Conference Quarterfinal round on cable since 2001 and the most-watched among Men 25-54 on cable since 2000.  The first round averaged a .7 HH rating and 595,000 viewers which was up 75 percent and 35 percent, respectively, as compared to last year’s Conference Quarterfinals (.4 HH rating and 442,000 viewers), and led to VERSUS earning its most-watched April in primetime in network history.

VERSUS.com, the online destination for extensive information about the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, also continues to experience double-digit growth.  Since the start of the 2010 Playoffs, to date, as compared to the same time period last year, visitor’s average time on the site increased 35 percent, page views per visitor showed 15-percent growth and there has been a 20-percent spike in overall page views.

VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD).  Now in more than 75 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Bull Riders (PBR).  VERSUS also airs NASCAR, NBA, UFC, college football and college basketball programming.  The network is home to the best outdoor programming on television and airs original programs not available anywhere else, including The Daily Line, Sports Soup and Sports Jobs with Junior Seau.  VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

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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

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