We’ve Been Really Sick Lately. Also Sick? VERSUS Drawing 3.4 Million Viewers For Game 4

NEW YORK, N.Y. (June 8, 2009)-VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), garnered a 2.8 national HH rating and averaged 3,448,431 viewers for its Game 4 telecast of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final on Thursday, June 4, when the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings at Mellon Arena to even the series 2-2.  The game, which peaked at a 3.4 HH rating between 10:15 and 10:30 p.m., was the highest-rated and most-watched Stanley Cup Final game on cable since 2002.  VERSUS, for the 8:00-10:45 p.m. time period, was the top-rated cable network in the country among all key male demos.  


VERSUS’ coverage of Game 4 was highest-rated and most-watched telecast ever in network history, beating the previous high set just two days earlier on Tuesday, June 2, for Game 3 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final (2.6 HH rating and 2,955,348 average viewers).  Compared to the average of VERSUS’ two Stanley Cup Final telecasts last year (1.9 HH rating and 2,479,977 average viewers for Games 1 & 2), the network saw 42-percent growth in HH ratings and a 30-percent increase in viewership for the two telecast average of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final (2.7 HH rating and 3,211,572 for Games 3 & 4).    


Locally, VERSUS garnered a 14.7 HH rating in Detroit and a 27.5 HH rating in Pittsburgh, making VERSUS the top-rated network (broadcast and cable) for the time period in both markets.  VERSUS was also a top 5 cable network for the time period in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, among others.        


VERSUS concluded its coverage of the 2008/09 NHL season with tremendous gains in ratings and viewership as compared to the 2007/08 season.  The network saw 27-percent growth in viewership for the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs overall after garnering more than 20-percent viewership growth during the regular season.  The 2009 Conference Finals were the highest-rated third round on cable since 1998, with HH ratings up 25 percent and average viewership up 30 percent from 2008, while the Conference Semifinals were the highest-rated second round on cable since 1997.

17 Responses to We’ve Been Really Sick Lately. Also Sick? VERSUS Drawing 3.4 Million Viewers For Game 4

  1. Wayne from AL says:

    One important point: in both Pittsburgh and Detroit, Comcast is the dominant cable system, and Comcast-owned Versus is on analog cable. However, if the Cup had involved other U.S. cities (like L.A.), their ratings would’ve been lower as Versus would’ve been found on channel 300-something.

    • Sean says:

      Wayne buddy, I think you’re just reaching now for reasons to hate on Versus. Pretty sure if your team is in the Stanley Cup final…you figure out where Versus is.

      “Oh my God, it’s on channel 300? I have to hit THREE numbers on my remote? No thank you.”

    • PJ says:

      Wayne, actually Versus just dropped off analog cable in many Comcast markets, and it will drop off all analog systems as Comcast swtiches all channels above 33 to digital (allegedly to save bandwidth). You will need a box to view them even though they are on a basic tier. I know, because the mini-tv in my office just lost Versus prior to game 3.

  2. Pingback: WCF Game 1 ratings. - Page 3 - MotownSports.com Message Board

  3. Joel says:

    Sean, you’re forgetting that tons of people just have analog not digital. Which can help explain why VS averaged 600,000 viewers during the 2007 SCF.

    • Sean says:

      And what does that have to do with 3.4 million people watching Game 4?

      Versus haters…its over. Versus is the best thing that has EVER happened to hockey. It’s getting better ratings than ESPN did. It’s shown more games than ESPN did. It’s had nothing but playoff hockey on for two months. Spend your life doing something else besides bitching and moaning about the only network in American television history that has set aside time to broadcast an NHL playoff game EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

      • Praveen says:

        Bullshit, ESPN/ESPN2 showed just as many NHL games in the 90s. Might I remind you Versus did not show a crucial Anaheim Red Wings game despite it being the marquee game of the day on one occasion?

        What about the numerous times, Versus has botched scheduling of doubleheaders and was unable to buy more than live lookin to a couple of other simultaneous games.

        Might we remind you that Indy Car Racing trials have a higher priority on Versus.

        what does 3.4M viewers mean? It just means, that inspite of lack of enough reach of versus, that many people still wanted to watch the game.

        Explain to me why such a marquee matchup is lower rated than the 2002 finals despite the Pittsburgh market being such a highly rated local component? It’s because of the NHL’s boneheaded decisions like giving Versus exclusive rights., player lockouts that have killed off intererest in the league, that even such a great infusion of superstars merely has record ratings for the last few years , but are unable to dominate 2002 ratings. Look at all the numbers. It makes comparisons with caveats like “Since 2002”.

  4. kevin says:

    The fact that Versus does more viewers than CBC in Canada says all you need to know as to why the Coyotes are in Phoenix and not Winnipeg……..

    • Trizent says:

      You do realize that USA is 10 times larger than Canada, so the VS would have to draw about 18 million to equal the ratings on CBC for the game which involved no markets in Canada.

      Also just so you know, Phoenix Coyotes averaged less than 10,000 viewers per game on FSN Arizona this year.

      I could care less whether there is a team in Winnipeg or not and I have a second home in Phoenix and vacation there for the last 25 years and will for the next 25 and think Phoenix is the best city on the planet, so it has nothing to do with Phoenix or Winnipeg, just your logic or math or whatever is absent.

      • leafsfan1967 says:

        >>You do realize that USA is 10 times larger than Canada, so the VS would have to draw >>about 18 million to equal the ratings on CBC for the game which involved no markets in >>Canada.

        Now THIS is a makes sense. Whew, it’s good to see that logic has returned to Puck the Media… 🙂

  5. leafsfan1967 says:

    >>>The fact that Versus does more viewers than CBC in Canada says all you need to know as to why the Coyotes are in Phoenix and not Winnipeg……..

    OK I give up…. you are going to need to explain this one a little more…

  6. Pingback: Puck Headlines: Stress on Pens’ Fleury for Game 6; can playoff beards actually save modern masculinity? | Lancilo USA

  7. kevin says:

    There is no GROWTH in Canada for hockey. That is why the NHL is in the south and in Europe. Businesses like to grow…you could put a team in every Canadian outpost and you would still have 2 million viewers. I could care less if they have 18% of the market share. It ain’t growing….and last time I checked 3 million (Versus) was more than 2 million (CBC). If I’m an advertiser I’d rather reach 3 million with a potential for more than 2 million……And as far as 18% is concerned….when you only have one sport I really don’t think that is too impressive. I would like to compare that to the ratings for soccer in a European country to judge how “impressive” 18% really is…..

    • leafsfan1967 says:

      OK it’s wonderful people are watching hockey on NBC and on Versus, but ask yourself how many people would continue to do so if there were one or even two Canadian teams in the final? I dare say that the ratings in the States would be a lot less if this were the case. Sure the numbers are down in Canada this year but as a percentage of the total population watching the numbers are still pretty good.

  8. Colton says:

    CBC ratings for the Final are down 15% from last year and could be one of the least watched SCF in years.

    Nobody really knows why, but it probably has to do with no Canadian team being past the second round for second consecuative year. It really is a shame that Canadians are so patriotic that they won’t even watch the sport they created because their team isn’t in it.

    The hockey has been tremendous and there’s so many great players and drama in this series, yet Canadians are tired of it.

    It’s kind of pathetic if you think about it.

    • Praveen says:

      That is puzzling, isnt it. Pens have Crosby, overhyped in Canada. The Red Wings are probably the American team with a semi decent Canadian following(in neighboring towns). Both are marquee teams. I can understand if the current CBC ratings do not match up with a potential Toronto-RedWings or Pens-Calgary matchup. But for it to drop? Funny how Bettman doesnt use that to trump up his tenure. Very selective use of stats by Bettman.

  9. kevin says:

    It’s funny how so many Canadian writers love to harp on the bad US TV ratings for the NHL but they never discuss the Canadian CBC ratings which are generally not impressive

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: