Stanley Cup Caps Best Business Year in NHL History

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS ATTRACT LARGEST AUDIENCE EVER;

CAPS BEST BIZ YEAR IN NHL HISTORY

NBC Sports Scores Most-Watched U.S. NHL Game in 36 Years; CBC Earns Highest

Audience for All-U.S. Final

Blackhawks Victory Fuels Sales Record for Shop.NHL.com; In-Arena Sales Up

129% For Final

Stanley Cup Snares Five Top 20 Searches on Google

“Right now the NHL can seemingly do no wrong…there’s reason for the league

to be optimistic…The league is on a rise. More people are watching, more

people care.” – Philadelphia Daily News

NEW YORK (June 14, 2010) – After a regular season that saw

record-breaking business success, propelled in large part by the NHL’s

strategy of engaging fans through big events and robust digital offerings,

the League built on that momentum with unprecedented success during a

Stanley Cup Playoffs that attracted the largest audience across all

platforms in the history of the sport.

The landmark playoff run was highlighted by the most-watched NHL game in

the U.S. in 36 years; the highest audience for an all-U.S. Final in

Canadian television history; the most-watched first two rounds on U.S.

cable in history; the most-watched NHL game in TSN’s history; record TV

ratings in local markets such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and

Boston; television and digital growth in non-traditional markets like

Memphis, Kansas City, New Orleans and San Diego; another record year for

NHL.com unique visitors; the hottest of all hot markets in Chicago fueling

a Shop.NHL.com one-day sales record; in-arena sales for the Final growing

by 129 percent; and measurable buzz on platforms like Google and Twitter.

“By whatever method of measurement you want to use — be it ratings,

revenues, page views, video starts, sponsor activations or simply the

quality of play – the game, the players, the fans, our clubs and our

partners teamed up to make 2009-10 a season to remember,” said NHL

Commissioner Gary Bettman.

NHL COO John Collins said, “Our fans once again demonstrated their

insatiable appetite for NHL hockey, which they consumed in unprecedented

numbers across all of our platforms. These milestones spotlight the power

of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and its importance to hockey fans around the

world. It’s a fitting cap to a season that saw record-breaking business

success for the League.”

Below are business highlights from the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

MEASURABLE BUZZ

· On Wednesday, June 9, (Game 6) and the day preceding, five of the

top 20 searches on Google were Stanley Cup related.

· For week one of the Stanley Cup Final search interest for the

Stanley Cup Final was up 23 percent over last year.

· The Stanley Cup ranked as the number one trending topic worldwide

on Twitter through the end of Game 6 (June 9).

· According to the Chicago Sun-Times, The City of Chicago estimated

that two million people attended the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley

Cup parade on Friday more than the estimated half-million that

watched the White Sox World Series parade in 2005 as well as any

victory parade for the Bulls in the 1980′s and 90′s.

· According to Forbes.com, tickets for the Stanley Cup Final were

driving a higher price on the secondary market than for the NBA

Finals.

MERCHANDISE SALES UP SIGNIFICANTLY

· Total in-venue sales for Stanley Cup Final were up 92 percent over

last year’s Final and gained 129 percent over the first six games

of the 2009 Final.

· Total sales for the entire 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs were up 22

percent.

· Shop.NHL.com recorded its best single day sales total on June 10,

surpassing the previous single day record (Holiday 2009 Cyber

Monday) by 25 percent and also eclipsed Penguins (Stanley Cup

2009) by over 50 percent.

“Sales in Chicago have been off the charts,” said Bryan Nosal of JC Penney.

“We sold out in many locations within hours. The fan support has been

tremendous.”

Jim Pasani of VF Licensed Sports Group, Majestic Athletic said, “Chicago’s

commitment to the Cup is like nothing we’ve ever seen and demand for

Blackhawks apparel has exceeded our own high expectations. The Blackhawks

victory caps off what has been a winning NHL campaign with fans and

retailers appetites for NHL merchandise clearly on a strong upswing heading

into 2011.”

NBC SPORTS EARNS HIGHEST GAME 6 AUDIENCE IN 36 YEARS

· Game 6 of the Final on NBC was the most-watched (8.28 million) and

highest-rated NHL game (4.7) on U.S. television in 36 years.

· NBC Sports broadcast four of the series’ six games (1-2, 5-6).

Those four games averaged 6.1 million viewers, the best on network

TV in 13 years.

· NBC Sports’ coverage of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final earned the

best overnight rating (4.1 rating and 7 share) for a Game 2 on

record (NHL overnight data prior to 1975 is unavailable).

CBC SETS MARK FOR ALL U.S. FINAL

· Game 6 between Chicago and Philadelphia averaged 4.077 million

viewers, the highest audience ever for an all-U.S. Stanley Cup

Final on CBC.

· Overall, the Stanley Cup Final on CBC averaged 3.107 million

viewers, the best in six years and a 44 percent increase over last

year.

· For the entire playoffs, CBC averaged 2.102 million viewers, up 62

percent from 2009.

VERSUS SCORES MOST-WATCHED PLAYOFFS ON CABLE IN EIGHT YEARS

· The 2010 Playoffs on VERSUS were the most-watched in network

history and the best on cable since 2002.

· The Conference Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds were the

most-watched first two rounds on cable since NHL Playoff

viewership became available by Nielsen in the 1993/94 season (54

games, 775,000 viewers).

· Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 2 was VERSUS’

highest-rated and most-watched telecast ever in network history

(3.1 HH rating and 3.6 million viewers) and made VERSUS the

most-watched cable network in the country that night.

· Games 3 & 4 of the Stanley Cup Final averaged 3.369 million

viewers, up five percent over the 2009 average (3.212 million

viewers), making it the most-watched Final round on cable since

2002.

TSN SHOWS 70 PERCENT INCREASE

· TSN averaged more than 1.11 million viewers for its playoff

coverage – 70 percent higher than its average playoff audience

last season.

· 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.

· Overall, 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.

RDS UP 84 PERCENT

· The NHL Playoffs on RDS averaged 759,000 viewers for 65 telecasts,

up 84 percent from last season.

· The Canadiens-Penguins Game 7 was the most-viewed NHL telecast in

the network’s history with 2.69 million viewers.

DIGITAL PLATFORMS SHOW IMPRESSIVE GROWTH

· Video starts on NHL.com finished up 161 percent over last year for

the entire playoffs.

· The day after Game 6 of the Final recorded the highest number of

video starts in NHL.com history

· Unique visitors to NHL.com were up 17 percent over last year’s

record number.

· Page views were up 56 percent.

· Mobile page views were up 181 percent.

· For the Stanley Cup Final page views were up 88 percent and video

starts 225 percent.

· April was the most trafficked month in the history of NHL.com in

terms of unique visitors surpassing 17 million.

· NHL.com ranked as the number two site in terms of percentage

change in unique visitors from March to April according to

comScore.

· The League’s “History Will Be Made” campaign generated 3.2 million

video starts on NHL.com and Club sites, 1.4 million views on

YouTube and 5 million views on YouTube for fan-created versions.

REGIONAL SPORTS NETWORK HIGHLIGHTS

· Game 1 of the Blackhawks-Sharks series on NBC earned an 11.2

rating in Chicago, beating the Cubs, White Sox and Boston-Orlando

broadcasts combined.

· 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)

· The Flyers Game 7 victory over the Bruins was the most watched

Flyers game in Comcast SportsNet history with an 11.7 rating and

345,000 households, topping the previous record set two days

earlier.

· The Canadiens-Penguins Game 7 on FSN Pittsburgh averaged a 26.4 HH

rating, the highest-rated game ever on the network. At one point

43 percent of all households in the Pittsburgh DMA were tuned into

FSN.

· There were three major Boston-area sports events televised on May

7 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.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

“NHL: National Hot League” — MediaWeek, 4/25/10

“Olympic hockey, playoffs making the NHL cool again…This year the NHL

hit the popularity jackpot… The NHL is the hottest it’s been since the

pre-lockout days.” — Associated Press, 6/2/10

“It seems hockey is having its day.” — Los Angeles Times, 6/8/10

“It’s been a magical season for the NHL, from the Olympics to the

Cup-clinching goal.” –

Toronto Star, 6/10/10

“The game has never been better. It has personality and star appeal.

And, for the first time in almost two decades, it has momentum.” –

Vancouver Province, 6/11/10

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

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