Pens/Flyers Blowout Hits Playoff High

The Pens and Flyers cracked a million viewers on NBC Sports Network last night, well ahead of when last year’s first round hit the million mark.

Game 4 between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia drew 1.03 million viewers on NBCSN Wednesday night, and tied for seventh on cable (with a lot of other things) for the night with an 0.5 among adults 18-49. This is up 66% from last year’s comparable telecast (WSH/NYR, Game 4: 619,000). It marks the first time since the All-Star Game that a hockey game on cable has topped a million viewers. It is also the most-watched game of the series on cable, after Game 3 drew 3.08 million viewers on NBC.

Meanwhile, NBC Sports Network benefited from having exclusivity in the Los Angeles market, drawing 748,000 viewers for a nationwide broadcast of Game 4 between the Canucks and Kings. It was actually down 1,000 viewers from Sunday’s Game 3, which wasn’t exclusive in Los Angeles. This was up 52% from last year’s comparable telecast (DET/PHX, Game 4: 491,000). So far, Penguins/Flyers and Kings/Canucks has accounted for six of the top eight most-watched playoff games on cable.

Top 10 Viewership Numbers for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Cable

1. Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 4 (4/18/12, NBCSN): 1,030,000
2. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, Game 1 (4/11/12, NBCSN):
847,000
3. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, Game 2 (4/13/12, NBCSN): 795,000
4. New Jersey vs. Florida, Game 2 (4/16/12, NBCSN): 768,000
5. Vancouver vs. Los Angeles, Game 3 (4/16/12, NBCSN): 749,000
6. Vancouver vs. Los Angeles, Game 4 (4/18/12, NBCSN): 748,000
7. Nashville vs. Detroit, Game 4 (4/17/12, NBCSN):
628,000
8. Los Angeles vs. Vancouver, Game 2 (4/14/12, NBCSN): 622,000
9. Washington vs. Boston, Game 1 (4/12/12, NBCSN): 576,000
10. Chicago vs. Phoenix, Game 1 (4/12/12, NBCSN): 499,000

(Source: TV By the Numbers)

Your Announcers and Open Thread for Night Nine of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Florida vs. New Jersey, Game 4, 7:00 p.m. ET

US National TV: NHL Network

Canada National TV: TSN2

Florida Local: FS Florida

New Jersey Local: MSG Plus

Boston vs. Washington, Game 4, 7:30 p.m. ET

US National TV: NBCSN
Play by Play: Mike Emrick
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

Canada National TV: CBC
Play by Play: Dean Brown
Color: Greg Millen

Boston Local: NESN

Washington Local: CSN Mid-Atlantic

Phoenix vs. Chicago, Game 4, 8:00 p.m. ET

US National TV: CNBC
Play by Play: John Forslund
Inside the Glass: Daryl Reaugh

Canada National TV: TSN

Play by Play: Gord Miller
Inside the Glass: Ray Ferraro

Phoenix Local: FS Arizona

Chicago Local: CSN Chicago

St. Louis vs. San Jose, Game 4, 10:30 p.m. ET

US National TV: NBCSN

Canada National TV: TSN
Play by Play: Chris Cuthbert
Inside the Glass: Mike Johnson

St. Louis Local: FS Midwest

San Jose Local: CSN California

Exclusivity Drives Devils/Panthers to Huge Numbers, Plus Some Other Selected NBC Ratings

We’re still waiting on numbers from Monday and Saturday, but Sunday and Tuesday proved very kind to the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the networks of NBC.

An exclusive broadcast in Florida on Sunday helped drive a still surprising 768,000 viewers to Game 2 of the Devils-Panthers series. Perhaps viewers were successfully driven from NBC’s doubleheader, which ended at around 6:15 p.m. ET, or the Panthers are just getting viewers interested in their post-season play. Meanwhile, the non-exclusive Canucks/Kings Game 3 that aired afterwords drew an equally surprising 749,000 viewers. The two games averaged 759,000 viewers, up 10% from last year’s broadcast of Canucks/Blackhawks Game 3.

On Tuesday, NBC Sports Network was up again year-to-year, when Predators/Red Wings Game 4 drew 628,000 viewers. This was up 2% from last year’s telecast, Game 4 of that very same Canucks/Blackhawks series. On CNBC, the controversial Coyotes/Blackhawks Game 3 drew 416,000 viewers, the highest numbers to date on CNBC.

I hope to fill in the blanks on Saturday and Monday shortly, but the Stanley Cup Playoffs remain on an upnote. Perhaps we’re finally giving the people what they want, in more ways than one?

Top 10 Viewership Numbers for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Cable

1. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, Game 1 (4/11/12, NBCSN): 847,000
2. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, Game 2 (4/13/12, NBCSN): 795,000
3. New Jersey vs. Florida, Game 2 (4/16/12, NBCSN): 768,000
4. Vancouver vs. Los Angeles, Game 3 (4/16/12, NBCSN): 749,000
5. Nashville vs. Detroit, Game 4 (4/17/12, NBCSN): 628,000
6. Los Angeles vs. Vancouver, Game 2 (4/14/12, NBCSN): 622,000
7. Washington vs. Boston, Game 1 (4/12/12, NBCSN): 576,000
8. Chicago vs. Phoenix, Game 1 (4/12/12, NBCSN): 499,000
9. Los Angeles vs. Vancouver, Game 1 (4/11/12, NBCSN): 467,000
10. Phoenix vs. Chicago, Game 3 (4/17/12, CNBC): 416,000

(Source: Son of the Bronx)

NHL Live Takes On the Torres Hit

Tonight, on the NBC pre-game show NHL Live, analysts Keith Jones and Mike Milbury sounded off on Raffi Torres’ vicious hit that knocked Marian Hossa out of Game 3 in the Coyotes-Blackhawks series. Here are some of the more notable comments:

Keith Jones: “Raffi Torres is a repeat offender. He’s a hit-first player, no question about that. But he’s a hit-high-first player, and that has to be removed from his game.”

Mike Milbury: “This one may be the one that says, ‘Hey, boys, we’re towing the line here. It’s time to get a little more serious about how we play this game.’”

Keith Jones: “It kind of falls into the Matt Cooke department where Matt Cooke has figured it out. This season he had a very good season, a very productive season, but hasn’t been running around taking people’s heads off. It took a substantial suspension to Matt Cooke last season. I think it was over 15 games. That’s what has to happen to Raffi Torres. In the point system, he’s way down on the list. He is in big trouble as far as suspension goes, and he should be. That type of hit and that type of player doesn’t need to be in the National Hockey League.”

Mike Milbury: “I think this one sends a statement. Why we got here is almost a tribute to players, in some ways, because they’re passionate. It’s also an indictment of them because they haven’t been able to control themselves to the point where they’re going to be suspended one game after another.”

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