Your NHL TV Guide and Open Thread For Night Three of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs



This will appear every night to inform you of the TV networks and announcers that will be covering the games during the playoffs.  Enjoy all the local and national info, after the jump.

Hockey “A Rising Stock in a Dreary Economy”

Okay, then.  Media Life Magazine gives the NHL some credit for improving it’s marketing:

Hockey, mostly nationally televised games, pulled in more than $22 million from October through February, up 20 percent over the year-earlier period, according to ad-tracking firm TNS Media Intelligence.

Ad demand remains strong for post-season games, say buyers. NHL quarterfinals began on Wednesday and continue through the end of the month. The Stanley Cup will take place sometime in early June.

Versus has lined up sponsors like Anheuser-Busch, Verizon, McDonald’s, Bridgestone, and first-time advertisers Taco Bell and Domino’s, according to the network.

“In a down ad market the NHL is growing and, with some luck on the ice, will make some advertisers look very savvy,” says Becher. “They are a rising stock in a dreary economy.”

This is a point we’ve wanted to make on this blog for quite some time.  In Television, the ratings don’t matter so much as what the program is able to command for advertisements, because of the audience the program reaches.  “The Office” is a show that draws a fairly miniscule rating compared to what would be considered a massive “hit” show, but it does well in demographics that advertisers love.  Ditto the NHL, and that’s why there’s still demand for it, in addition to the sport being a bit of a bargain compared to the other three.


NBC Makes Lame Decision to Ruin Pens Fans Fun

From the Penguins Website:

The Penguins will not show Sunday’s Game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs on the outdoor screen in front of Mellon Arena because of a decision by NBC Sports.

Sunday’s game will be televised nationally by NBC. As a policy, NBC Sports does not allow teams to show their broadcasts on arena screens.

The Penguins will show Game 2 tonight on the outdoor screen, and will resume the screen for Game 4 Tuesday night. Both of those games will be broadcast locally by FSN Pittsburgh.

What is the point of this?  To get a few hundred more Penguins fans to go home and turn on their TV instead of watching it on a big screen with all the fans?  Pointlessly dumb decision by a network that doesn’t really care that much about hockey.

Bruins, Caps, Pens, Hawks Draw Big Game 1 Ratings

Two ratings reports today.  First has been seen before, from Washington via Comcast Sportsnet:

Comcast SportsNet’s coverage of last night’s Capitals-Rangers first-round Stanley Cup playoff game delivered a 3.3 household rating, reaching approximately 76,000 households, in the Washington, D.C. market, topping all other national and local cable sports networks for the evening including ESPN and MASN.  CSN’s Caps audience peaked during the 9:30-9:45 p.m. quarter hour when approximately 105,800 households (a 4.6 rating) tuned in. Last night’s game posted a 4.5 average household rating in the critical advertising demographic of men aged 18-49.

The Caps’ post-season ratings surge on CSN comes on the heels of a record-breaking ratings season, which delivered the highest-rated Caps season in the history of the network.  This season the Caps posted a 1.1 average (more than 25,000 households), which is a 65% season-over-season increase, and a 182% increase over two seasons.

Imagine if they started winning a few big games.  NBC’s Saturday ratings will be interesting to look at.  Now here’s one we got from NESN, H/T to Cornelius Hardenbergh:

Boston is a hockey town once again — and for everyone out there who still doesn’t believe it, there is statistical evidence.

NESN’s broadcast of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup between the Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens drew the third-highest rating of all Bruins games in the history of NESN. The game earned a 9.4 household rating in Boston, the best Game 1 rating in NESN’s 25-year history.

The only two games to earn higher ratings were Game 7 of the 2004 quarterfinals — which the Bruins lost to Montreal, 2-0 — and Game 7 of the 2008 quarterfinals, which the B’s also dropped to the Habs.

“For radio and local television, there’s no comparison to two years ago,” Bruins communications director Matt Chmura  told the Patriot Ledger prior to Game 1. “The daily newspapers have always been good to us, but the local magazines, the weeklies that cover our community events — everything is way, way up.”

Yowser, those are big numbers for Boston.  While it isn’t near the Red Sox home opener, which drew a 17 rating in Beantown, it’s still very encouraging.  As it is in most NHL markets.

UPDATE 2:04 PM ET: Add Pittsburgh to the list of big markets drawing big ratings.  According to the Pens website, the game drew a 14.7 rating, the ninth-highest rated game in Pens history on FSN.  The game beat out CSI: New York, American Idol, Criminal Minds and Bones in the Pittsburgh market, while the Pens post-game show on FSN did better than Law & Order with a 6.9

UPDATE 3:44 PM ET: From the Blackhawks website, the Hawks-Flames Game 1 drew a 4.4 in Chicago.  The ratings peaked at a 5.9 at 9:45 PM CT.  That sets a CSN Chicago record for all Blackhawks games, and is the most-watched Hawks playoff game since Game 5 of the 1994 Conference Quarters vs. Toronto.

Your Mid-Day YouTube Compulsory: Bruins, Wings, Ducks, Hawks All Take Game 1

Your Night One Stanley Cup Playoff Ratings

All ratings figures come from TV By the Numbers, and we’ll do it by network and by game:


Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh – 0.42 rating (up 5%), 316,896 households (up 9%), 442,791 viewers (up 23%).

St. Louis vs. Vancouver – 0.34 rating (up 10%), 257,092 households (up 13%), 344,295 viewers (up 31%).

Overall – 0.38 rating (up 6%), 286,290 households (up 10%), 392,384 viewers (up 25%).


Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh – 641,000 viewers.  Down 44% from last year, but only down 7% from Game 1 of the PHI-PIT ECF series in 2008.

St. Louis vs. Vancouver – 1.388 million viewers.  Up 55% from last year.

Overall – 1.011 million viewers.  Down 7,000 viewers from 2008.


NY Rangers vs. Washington – 521,000 viewers (up 92%).

Carolina vs. New Jersey (JIP) – 349,000 viewers (up 35%).

Overall – 504,000 viewers (up 91%).


Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh – 329,000 viewers.  Down 23% from 2008, but up 51% from Game 1 of PHI-PIT ECF series.

St. Louis vs. Vancouver – 105,000 viewers (down 50%).

Overall – 217,000 viewers (down 35%).

By Game, Total Number of Viewers Who Watched Each Game Nationally

Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh – 1.412 Million viewers (VERSUS/CBC/RDS).

St. Louis vs. Vancouver – 1.837 Million viewers (VERSUS/CBC/RDS).

NY Rangers vs. Washington – 521,000 viewers (TSN).

Carolina vs. New Jersey – 329,000 viewers (TSN).