TV Ratings Cavalcade: Washington, Chicago Up, Buffalo Still Strong

The TV Ratings Cavalcade is a semi-regular feature that we hope to have appearing monthly here at Puck the Media.  It’s simply a compilation of local and national television ratings for the NHL’s 30 teams.  We’ll do our best to put these numbers in realistic terms for you, the reader.

Mostly positive news from the NHL’s 30 teams so far through the first month.  Read post-jump for some great articles from various news sources throughout the league.

The Washington Caps have been one of the league’s big “buzz” franchises since this Summer.  These ratings figures from the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg prove that the team is ready to be a major player in the “Non-Redskins” category of Washington-area sports:

And now here’s another measure, perhaps not unexpected but still fairly remarkable. The team’s first four television broadcasts on Comcast SportsyNet have drawn a rating 100 percent higher than the first four games a year ago, according to the network. The station is currently averaging a 1.3 rating for Caps games in the D.C. market, which translates to about 30,000 household per game. 

That number would be about 45 percent higher than the Wiz drew on CSN last year. It’s also 67 percent higher than the Caps’ overall average for last year, which included the late-season surge.

Put in more easily digestible terms, more D.C. households have been turning into each Caps game than would typically turn into three Nats games combined.

Them’s some fightin’ words there, and a case to make that, when the Redskins finish in January, the Caps will have the market to themselves, should they hold up their end of the bargain.

The Chicago Blackhawks are another big “buzz” club going into this year, and their own website is doing the PR pump-up about larger TV ratings this season:

Comcast SportsNet’s Blackhawks ratings averaged a 1.0 household average rating in October (approx. 35,000 households watching per game) — a 150% increase over last October’s 0.4 average.

The key advertiser demos of Men 25-54 and Adults 25-54 also received massive ratings increases compared to last season. For Men 25-54, October monthly ratings were up 333% (1.3 in Oct. ’08, compared to a 0.3 in Oct. ’07). For Adults 25-54, October monthly ratings increased 300% (0.8 in Oct. ’08, compared to a 0.2 in Oct. ’07).

In addition to its game ratings increases, Comcast SportsNet’s Chevy Blackhawks Pre-Game Live household ratings are up 33% compared to last October, while Smirnoff Vodka Blackhawks Post Game Live ratings have increased 63%. Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research overnights.

Unlike the Caps, the Hawks are still trailing behind other Chicago sports teams in local TV ratings, but it’s a start.  Also, the Hawks pre-game shows are brought to us by Smirnoff?  Was this before or after Savard was fired?

The Buffalo Sabres have always been a ratings sacred cow, and this season has been no different, featuring the Slugs conquering some of the larger local competition, as per the Buffalo News, via Sabre Rattling

Tampa Bay’s 4-2 win in Game Two — which aired opposite the Buffalo Sabres’ overtime win in Minnesota — slipped to a 5.7 here. The Sabres game averaged a 10.1 rating.

Once again, the Buffalo supporters show why they’re some of the most loyal fans in the league.

Finally, this major tidbit from NHL.com on all TV Ratings:

Hockey Night in Canada’s October schedule of games saw a 12-percent increase in ratings, while TSN’s ratings were up five percent.

With the Montreal Canadiens celebrating their 100th anniversary, RDS ratings skyrocketed this October. When it was all said and done, the French-Canadian network’s ratings increased by 23 percent. 

VERSUS, the League’s cable network in the United States, also saw a boost in ratings, which increased by 5 percent as opposed to October of 2007. Of the 30 NHL teams, 21 had local ratings that were up from, or on par with, a year ago.

While this is good news, sure makes you wonder who the down clubs are.  Enjoy your hockey tonight, folks.  This has been a good day for the blog.

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