Gee, What a Convenient Time For NBC To Have a Caps Game Coming Up

From Dan Steinberg:

In case there was any doubt that Caps fever is ramping up to previously unseen levels….

* Tuesday night’s Comcast SportsNet broadcast of the Caps-Bruins game, in which Washington won 11 straight for the first time in franchise history, received a 3.24 average rating in the D.C. market, which translates into about 76,000 households. That was the second-best rating for a regular-season game in the network’s history, behind only the 3.3 for the Pittsburgh game in late January. The third-highest came at the end of the 2008 season, and the fourth-highest was Sunday’s home game against the Lightning, which scored a 2.5.

* That means in the last two weeks, CSN has recorded three of the four highest regular-season Caps ratings ever.

* And also bear in mind that the beginning of Tuesday’s game was going against American Idol, and the end of Tuesday’s game was going against the season premiere of Lost.

NHL Net to Air AHL Games, Including Outdoor Game

NEW YORK (February 3, 2010) – NHL Network today announced that it will broadcast six regular-season American Hockey League games in February and March. As the playoff races heat up and Calder Cup contenders emerge, hockey fans will have to opportunity to follow their favorite AHL clubs on national television.
The Mirabito Outdoor Classic, the American Hockey League’s first-ever outdoor game, will be the first game on NHL Network’s AHL schedule. The Syracuse Crunch will host the Binghamton Senators in HD on February 20 at 1:00 p.m. ET at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
Subsequent NHL Network broadcasts will give fans a chance to see two clubs who are playing in their inaugural AHL seasons — theAbbotsford Heat and Texas Stars. NHL Network will be on hand on March 21,when Abbotsford plays at the Toronto Marlies and on March 28, when the Chicago Wolves play host to Texas. The Lake Erie Monsters will play twice on NHL Network — at home against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Feb. 27 and then at Chicago on March 7. The Griffins also take on their North Division rivals, the Rochester Americans, in an afternoon match on March 14.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 NHL Clubs. This season, 85 percent of all NHL players are AHL graduates — including Boston Bruins teammates Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara, winners of the 2008-09 Vezina and Norris Trophies, respectively, and Marc-Andre Fleury from the 2009 Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Through the years, the American Hockey League has been the proving ground for some of the greatest players in the game’s history. There are 135 AHL alumni set to play in the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver this month, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame — including players, coaches, executives and officials — have been affiliated with the AHL during their careers.
AHL on NHL Network Broadcast Schedule
Date                           Away                 Home            Time
Saturday, Feb. 20        Binghamton         Syracuse       1:00 ET (at New York State Fairgrounds)
Saturday, Feb. 27        Grand Rapids      Lake Erie       7:00 ET
Sunday, Mar. 7            Lake Erie            Chicago         4:00 ET
Sunday, Mar. 14          Grand Rapids      Rochester      3:00 ET
Sunday, Mar. 21          Abbotsford          Toronto          1:00 ET (US only)
Sunday, Mar. 28          Texas                 Chicago         4:00 ET

HDIC Ratings

From William Houston:

The CBC drew 283,000 viewers for the opening two hours of of its Hockey Day In Canada telecast,noon to 2 p.m. ET. That’s up from last year’s 269,000. Montreal Canadiens-Ottawa Senators at 2 p.m. was watched by 1.032 million.

The second part of Hockey Day, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., drew 464,000. The 6:30 pre-game show pulled in 948,000. That’s a big audience.

Vancouver Canucks-Toronto Maple Leafs, 2.173 million.  Third game, Edmonton Oilers-Calgary Flames, 1.036 million.

Have The Wings Turned Into a Ratings Drag?

Look, I know I’m going to get killed for this among the Wings fans and perhaps deservedly so, but it’s not unfair to wonder about this theory.  The Wings/Hawks game drawing an 0.8 rating can be easily thrown off based on the NFL Conference Championships going on at the same time.  But a Pens/Flyers game drawing higher rating than a Penguins/Red Wings game?  Is the average hockey fan finally suffering from Red Wings fatigue.

In every NHL national TV schedule since the league returned to broadcast TV in 1994, the Red Wings have appeared close to or at the maximum amount of times.  Ditto the league’s various cable contracts.  I wonder about the average hockey fan because, according to this data from, the Detroit market is clearly as into the Wings as Pittsburgh fans are into the Pens:

            away           home
            #11   DET      #23   PIT
 Time       DET   #HH      PIT   #HH
12:30     4.9/11:  93    8.6/19:  99
12:45     5.6/13: 106   10.6/23: 122
 1:00     6.7/15: 127   11.3/24: 131
 1:15     5.7/13: 108    8.3/17:  96
 1:30     7.1/16: 134   10.3/21: 119
 1:45     7.3/17: 138   11.4/23: 132
 2:00     5.7/13: 108   10.7/21: 124
 2:15     6.3/15: 119   11.8/24: 136
 2:30     8.0/18: 151   13.0/25: 150
 2:45     9.6/21: 181   14.0/26: 162
 3:00     9.8/20: 175   15.3/29: 176

Those numbers show that Wings fans are still tuning in, but this – as well as low ratings for Chicago games this year, and in April of 2009 – might suggest that people are still in to watching Crosby and the black and gold, while not being down quite as much with the Winged Wheel.  What do you folks think?