GAME 1 RATINGS: Bruins-Lightning Up A Bit From Habs-Flyers, Sharks-Canucks Down With A Catch

VERSUS’ broadcasts of Game 1′s from the NHL Conference Finals averaged 1.25 million viewers over the weekend.

Game 1 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins on Saturday night in primetime drew 1.54 million viewers on VERSUS, up 3% from last year’s Game 1 broadcast of Canadiens-Flyers, which was on a Sunday night and drew 1.50 million viewers. The broadcast is down 11% from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2009, which drew 1.7 million viewers for Pittsburgh and Carolina.

Game 1 between the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks – which faced off against a blockbuster NBA playoff game on TNT and Yankees-Red Sox on ESPN – drew 1.0 million viewers, down from last year’s Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, but that was between Chicago and San Jose, and televised on NBC. Similarly, Game 1 of the Western Conference Final in 2009 between Detroit and Chicago was also on NBC.

San Jose/Vancouver is down 34% from VERSUS’ first Western Conference Final broadcast of 2010, Game 2 between Chicago and San Jose, which drew 1.5 million viewers. It was down 42% from Game 2 in 2009 – VERSUS’ first Western Final broadcast of that year – in which Detroit and Chicago pulled in 1.7 million viewers.

Overall, through two broadcasts, as previously mentioned, VERSUS is averaging 1.25 million viewers. This is down 8% from the network’s average through two broadcasts last season, though those were both Montreal-Philadelphia games. VERSUS’ coverage of the Conference Final round continues tonight, with Game 2 between Tampa Bay and Boston.

Top 10 in Viewers For 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs on VERSUS

1. Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (5/2/11) – 1,699,000 viewers
2. Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 5 (5/8/11) – 
1,627,000 viewers
3. Tampa Bay vs. Boston, Game 1 (5/14/11) – 1,541,000 viewers
4. Tampa Bay vs. Washington, Game 2 (5/1/11) – 1,261,000 viewers
5. Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 7 (5/12/11) – 1,251,000 viewers
6. Philadelphia vs. Boston, Game 3 (5/4/11) - 1,234,000 viewers
7. Vancouver vs. Chicago, Game 6 (4/24/11) – 1,157,000 viewers
8. Chicago vs. Vancouver, Game 7 (4/26/11) – 1,130,000 viewers
9. San Jose vs. Detroit, Game 6 (5/10/11) – 1,021,000 viewers

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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

7 Responses to GAME 1 RATINGS: Bruins-Lightning Up A Bit From Habs-Flyers, Sharks-Canucks Down With A Catch

  1. marv935 says:

    One of the best ways to insure that ratings will be high for the conference finals is for all the games to be decided by one goal and some overtime periods as well. The SJ-Detroit series had those dramatic close games and hopefully both these series will go long.

  2. kevin says:

    Tampa/Vancouver would not be a ratings grabber…….and it would be a short series too.

  3. Sean says:

    Why did the NHL schedule Game 1 of Canucks/Sharks directly opposite Heat/Bulls and Sox/Yanks? If they were playing every day, I’d understand. But there was an off day yesterday for the NBA….no Sox/Yanks….seems like it would’ve been a nobrainer to play Game 1 Monday night, right?

    I’ve been very confused by the NHL scheduling of the playoffs this year. They keep making head-scratching decisions that hurts ratings. I bet Sharks/Canucks does close to 1.5 million on Monday night with no sports competition. By putting it on Sunday…there goes 1/3 of the audience.

    And even if they keep Sharks/Canucks on Sunday….why not move Boston/Philly to Monday night w/ no competition??

    • Ryan says:

      Kid Rock had a concert in Vancouver’s arena Monday night.

      • Martin says:

        Another factor would be that playing on Sunday allowed a 8pm EST start time. I’m sure CBC preferred that over a 9pm start for the rest of the week.

      • nosferatu says:

        That dirty old man is stalking the Sharks. First hanging out at games during the last series in Detroit, now out there with them in Vancouver.

    • Martin says:

      That Monday was when Game 7 would’ve been played for the Celts. Don’t think the Bruins wanna compete with a potential game seven.

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