VERSUS Celebrates Highest-Rated Conf. Semis Since 1997, Promotes Conf. Final Coverage
May 15, 2009 13 Comments
Also, yay for more Razor!
NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 15, 2009)-VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), will continue its wall-to-wall coverage of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs with exclusive coverage of the Conference Final round beginning Monday, May 18. The network begins its night of third-round action at 7:00 p.m. ET with Hockey Central followed by Game 1 in the Pittsburgh Penguins/Carolina Hurricanes series at 7:30 p.m. ET. All of VERSUS’ NHL games are produced and presented in HD where available.
The network’s coverage of the 2009 Conference Semifinals was the highest-rated second round on cable since 1997. VERSUS, which aired eight exclusive games and 16 non-exclusive games, posted significant increases in HH ratings (up 33%), total viewership (up 32%) and viewership across all key male demos, Men 18-34 (up 23%), Men 18-49 (up 33%) and Men 25-54 (up 42%) as compared to year-ago figures from the second postseason round. This second round growth follows a 21-percent increase in viewership during the regular season and 22-percent viewership growth in the Conference Quarterfinals.
VERSUS’ exclusive telecast of Game 3 in the Pittsburgh Penguins/Washington Capitals Conference Semifinal round series on May 6 garnered a 1.3 National HH Rating and averaged 1,488,952 total viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-watched Semifinals telecast on cable since 2002. VERSUS’ non-exclusive coverage of Game 7 in the same series made the network the highest-rated cable network in the country among Men 18-34 and Men 18-49.
“The 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs just get better and better with each round. Three series that went the full seven games, sudden-death overtimes and the historic Crosby/Ovechkin showdown led to VERSUS earning record-breaking ratings and viewership in the second round,” said Jamie Davis, President of VERSUS. “With the highest-rated Conference Semifinal round on cable in 12 years, we’ve proven that sports fans across the country know VERSUS is, without question, the television destination for the most complete coverage of NHL action.”
VERSUS’ coverage of the Conference Final round is exclusive and not subject to any local blackouts. Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Bob Harwood will serve as the in-arena announce team for the Western Conference Final games and Joe Beninati, Daryl Reaugh and Christine Simpson will call all the action for the Eastern Conference Final games. The network’s 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage will culminate with games three and four of the Stanley Cup Final. This is a change from the past three seasons as VERSUS previously aired games one and two of the Final. NBC will broadcast games one and two of the Final as well as games five, six and seven, if necessary.