NBC Down Slightly Saturday, Even On Sunday

The NHL On NBC mostly held steady for Conference semi-final action over the weekend, according to Austin Karp from Sports Business Daily on Twitter.

Saturday’s broadcast of Game 1 between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers drew a 1.5 overnight rating. This was down 7% from last year’s NBC broadcast of the very same match-up in a different location (PHI/BOS, Game 1, 5/1/10: 1.6). It is still up 7% from the two year’s ago broadcast of Penguins/Capitals (PIT/WSH, Game 1, 5/2/09: 1.4). I wonder if NBC will continue showing Game 1′s on Saturday or try something different next season.

Sunday’s telecast of Game 2 between the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks topped Saturday, drawing a 1.6 overnight. This was even with the comparable broadcast last year (MTL/PIT, Game 2, 5/2/10: 1.6) and up 19% from the comparable broadcast two years ago (ANA/DET, Game 2, 5/3/09: 1.3). A game featuring a team from California out-drawing Philly-Boston and up against highly-rated NBA programming on ABC? Put a feather in the cap for the folks who think NBC needs to expand their choice of teams next season.

To date, NBC has averaged a 1.4 overnight rating over six playoff broadcasts, even with what the network was doing at the same time during last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, and up 15% from this date during the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Next week, NBC forces hockey back into the 12:30 p.m. ET timeslot with an if necessary Game 5 between Tampa Bay and Washington, with whichever of the two other all-American semi-finals (currently Boston/Philadelphia) playing a Game 5 at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

NHL On NBC Overnights This Season
January 1 – Washington vs. Pittsburgh: 
2.8
January 23 – Philadelphia vs. Chicago:
 1.1
February 6 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington: 
1.0
February 13 – Boston vs. Detroit: 
0.9
February 20 – Regional Coverage*: 
1.2
February 20 – Pittsburgh vs. Chicago*: 
1.2
March 6 – Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers: 0.9
March 13 – Chicago vs. Washington: 0.9
March 20 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh: 0.7
April 3 – NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia: 1.0
April 10 – Detroit vs. Chicago: 1.1
Season Average: 1.1

2011 Stanley Cup Playoff Overnights

Apr. 16 – Phoenix vs. Detroit, Game 2: 1.1 
Apr. 17 – Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 3: 
1.3
Apr. 23 – NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 5: 1.3
Apr. 24 – Philadelphia vs. Buffalo, Game 6: 1.6
Apr. 30 – Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 1: 1.5
May 1 – Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 2: 1.6
Average To Date: 1.4

NHL on NBC Overnights for 2009-10 Season

Jan. 1, Philadelphia vs. Boston*: 2.6
Jan. 17, Chicago vs. Detroit: 
0.8
Jan. 24, Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia: 
1.3
Jan. 31, Detroit vs. Pittsburgh: 
1.2
Feb. 7, Pittsburgh vs. Washington: 
1.3
Mar. 7, Detroit vs. Chicago: 
1.2 
Mar. 14, Washington vs. Chicago: 
1.0
Mar. 21, NY Rangers vs. Boston: 0.7
Apr. 4, Detroit vs. Philadelphia: 1.0
Apr. 11, Boston vs. Washington: 0.9
Season Average: 1.2

2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Overnights

Apr. 17 – Boston vs. Buffalo, Game 2: 1.2
Apr. 18 – Phoenix vs. Detroit, Game 3: 1.5
Apr. 24 – Nashville vs. Chicago, Game 5: 1.3
Apr. 25 – Phoenix vs. Detroit, Game 6: 1.3
May 1 – Philadelphia vs. Boston, Game 1: 1.6
May 2 – Montreal vs. Pittsburgh, Game 2: 1.6
May 16 – Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 1: 1.7
May 22 – Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 4: 1.6
May 23 – San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 4: 2.0
Playoff Average: 1.5

2009 Stanley Cup Playoff Overnights

Apr. 18 – NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 2: 1.0
Apr. 19 – Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 3: 1.7
Apr. 25 – Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 6: 1.2
Apr. 26 – Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 6: 1.0
May 2 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington, Game 1: 1.4
May 3 – Anaheim vs. Detroit, Game 2: 1.3
May 17 – Chicago vs. Detroit, Game 1: 2.0
May 24 – Detroit vs. Chicago, Game 4: 1.5
Playoff Average: 1.3

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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

8 Responses to NBC Down Slightly Saturday, Even On Sunday

  1. Jack says:

    The Philly/Boston game probably took a hit due to it being a blowout. You’re not going draw viewers in when they see that the score is 5-1 in the 2nd period. So a 1.5 overnight seems pretty solid to me.

    That said, NBC/Vs can’t be happy to see Detroit and Washington down 0-2 since they are two of the remaining marquee NHL teams left in the playoffs. One of the main reasons ratings have been much better these last 3-4 years was due the higher profile teams (Chicago, Philly, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston) going deeper into the playoffs.

    • Kevin says:

      I think having none of the “NBC 7″ in the Stanley Cup Finals will be a great measuring stick for how those teams fair in terms of ratings. I would love to see Nashville versus Tampa Bay because those are two Sun Belt teams that are rarely on Versus and never on NBC.

  2. Rindu Muncie says:

    ” A game featuring a team from California out-drawing Philly-Boston and up against highly-rated NBA programming on ABC? Put a feather in the cap for the folks who think NBC needs to expand their choice of teams next season.”

    Thank you. Since NBC is going to have games for the next decade, it’s about time NBC expand its teams that it shows. After all, if the next NFL season the Jaguars go 16-0, the following season they will get the max national TV appearances. The same doesn’t apply for the NHL currently, but it should and everyone knows it. Pimp the good teams in your league, not just the ones in a certain part of the country.

    • Kevin says:

      Much kudos to you. That is why I have been saying now for the last two years. NBC needs to look past the “NBC 7″ and see that there are so many great teams and stars to promote. The reason why ratings are so low in certain markets nationally is because of the fact that the “NBC7″ dominate. ABC/ESPN recognize that when a team is hot to put them on. Two examples: Detroit was hot for 4 years so they were on ABC quite a bit, but now that they stink they aren’t on ABC anymore and Miami was not on ABC when it was just Wade on the team, but now that they are hot and have stars they are on practically every week. I think the ratings for the regular season say it all. When there are new and different match-ups then I think we will see where this league really stands.

  3. Sean says:

    “Put a feather in the cap for the folks who think NBC needs to expand their choice of teams next season.”

    Huh? How did you come to that conclusion?

    All that rating proves is that the Red Wings are the league’s second-best draw, behind a Crosby-led Penguins team. If anything, it’s just more proof that the NBC needs to stay with the proven draws no matter what.

    • Mike in Idaho says:

      I would think Chicago/Vancouver’s great ratings and the fact SJ/DET was even with last year’s Montreal/Pit shows that people will watch good matchups if they are from teams that people have heard of. I think a lot of Americans have heard of the Montreal Canadians and Chi/Van was a great series. I do however think that the Nashville/TB final someone alluded to above would draw disastrous ratings similar to Ottawa/Anaheim in ’07.

  4. Jack says:

    Yes, a Nashville/Tampa SCF would a ratings nightmare for NBC. To be quite honest, aside from Chicago and Detroit, there no real marquee teams in the Western Conference that can draw casual viewers. Perhaps San Jose is getting there, and maybe LA & St. Louis could down the road, but for the most part the big name teams and players are confined the Eastern Conference.

    Though, I think a San Jose vs Washington/Philly/Boston SCF would do okay ratings wise. Better than Chicago/Philly? Most likely not. But I’d think it would be on par with the two Detroit/Pittsburgh series.

  5. kevin says:

    San Jose did a 4.1 locally.. Detroit did a 14…… Boston did an 11..That is why you don’t see SJ on NBC. I bet Nashville did better locally……

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