More NHL Gloating

NEW YORK (April 22, 2010) – The 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues its strong start with double-digit ratings increases for its national telecasts on both NBC and VERSUS, along with triple-digit increases to video starts on and page views on NHL Mobile, further validating the NHL’s strategy of engaging its fans through the creation of an ever expanding hockey marketplace with multiple touch points.

These gains come on the heels of the announcement that the first week of the Playoffs on VERSUS were the highest-rated and most-watched on cable since the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs on ESPN/ESPN2. And the NHL’s broadcast partners in Canada – CBC, TSN and RDS — have all seen significant ratings increases for the postseason, as have the vast majority of the U.S. regional sports networks.

“This growth is a product of the passion of NHL fans and their insatiable appetite for great hockey content, fueled by our strategy of engaging with fans in ways we haven’t before, especially through our digital platforms and big events,”  said NHL COO John Collins.

Notably, the NHL has been a trailblazer in providing its loyal fans with new ways to access its content via multiple digital platforms as highlighted by two recent announcements. yesterday unveiled a new Facebook integration that takes advantage of popular Facebook features to make more open, interactive and shareable. was also one of the featured launch websites for Apple’s iPad.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBC showed a 10 percent increase for its first weekend broadcasts, earning a 1.1 national rating and 3 share for its Saturday and Sunday games (1.0/3 – 2009). The two-game average is the best opening Playoffs weekend for the Peacock since 2006. Saturday’s Boston-Buffalo game earned a 1.0/3, up 43 percent over 2009. Sunday’s Phoenix-Detroit matchup earned a 1.3/3, even with last year.

TSN and CBC are posting “boffo numbers in these playoffs – without Toronto in the
hunt,” according to the The Globe & Mail. The Stanley Cup Playoffs on TSN have averaged 945,000 viewers for 12 telecasts through April 20, a 103 percent increase over last year to date (465,000 viewers). Meanwhile, CBC is averaging 1.23 million for its 14 broadcasts through games of April 20, a 17 percent increase over last season (1.05 million).

Playoffs-to-date, RDS is averaging 459,000 viewers through 17 telecasts.  That’s up 3% from the 447,000 viewers that the network was averaging last season-to-date.

The NHL is engaging and connecting with more fans than ever on its digital platforms
and the first week of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs has continued that trend. Some highlights from the first eight days of the postseason compared to the same time period last year include:

· Video starts on increased by 128 percent
· Unique Visitors to are up 20 percent
· Page Views on are up 40 percent
· Mobile page views are up 181 percent

· Corporate sponsorship were up 20 percentNew League partners this season include Geico, Starwood Hotels, Enterprise Rent-A-Car,LG Electronics and Hershey’s CanadaAd spending on NHL media increased by 37 percent
· Revenue from big event platforms, led by the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, were up
22 percent over last season
· Unique visitors to surpassed last year’s record by 32 percent
· attracted a single-day record 1.6 million unique visitors on Sunday, April 11 – besting last season’s regular season final day by 54 percent
· NHL Game Center Live™ subscriptions were up 25 percent
· Sales at were up 12 percent from last year’s record
· Viewership for NBC’s Game of the Week telecasts were up 13 percent
· Ratings for exclusive telecasts on Versus were up 20 percent
· NHL Mobile™ reached 1.6 million page views, an increase of 233 percent over last season


Your Announcers and Open Thread For Night Nine of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Philadelphia vs. New Jersey, Game 5 (PHI Leads 3-1), 7:00 PM ET

National TV (Canada): TSN (HD)
Play by Play: Chris Cuthbert
Color: Ray Ferraro

Regional TV (Philadelphia): CSN Philadelphia (HD)
Play by Play: Jim Jackson
Color: Bill Clement
Reporter: Steve Coates

Regional TV (New Jersey): MSG Plus (HD)
Play by Play: Mike Emrick
Color: Chico Resch
Reporters: Steve Cangialosi and Stan Fischler

Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh, Game 5 (PIT Leads 3-1), 7:00 PM

National TV (US): VERSUS (HD)
Play by Play: John Forslund
Color: Darren Eliot
Reporter: Charissa Thompson

National TV (Canada): CBC (HD)
Play by Play: Bob Cole
Color: Gary Galley
Inside the Glass: Glenn Healy
Reporter: Elliot Friedman

Chicago vs. Nashville, Game 4 (NSH Leads 2-1), 8:30 PM ET

National TV (Canada): TSN 2 (HD)

Regional TV (Chicago): CSN Chicago (HD)
Play by Play: Pat Foley
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Reporter: Sarah Kustok

Regional TV (Nashville): FS Tennessee (HD)
Play by Play: Pete Weber
Color: Terry Crisp

Colorado vs. San Jose, Game 5 (Series Tied 2-2), 10:30 PM ET

National TV (Canada): CBC (HD)
Play by Play: Mark Lee
Color: Kevin Weekes

Regional TV (Colorado): Altitude (HD)
Play by Play: Mike Haynes
Color: Peter McNab
Reporter: Kyle Keefe

Regional TV (San Jose): CSN California (HD)
Play by Play: Randy Hahn
Color: Drew Remenda
Reporter: Brodie Brazil

Capitals Playoff Ratings Continue to Be… Well, You Know


  • Game 4 of the Capitals first-round playoff series against Montreal on April 21 delivered a 5.3 average household rating in the Washington television market, which is equivalent to approximately 125,000 households, the highest rating of the postseason. Combined with the 1.8 average household rating earned in the Baltimore market, the game drew an average combined audience of approximately 147,000 households.
  • After four first-round games, Comcast SportsNet’s coverage of the Capitals playoffs has earned a 5.0 average household rating in Washington, which is an increase of 79 percent compared to the first four games of last season’s playoff coverage on the network. In the Baltimore market, the first four games have seen an increase in average household viewership of more than 42 percent compared to last season. For the series, Comcast SportsNet has delivered a combined average audience of approximately 144,000 households in the Washington and Baltimore markets.
  • Four of the ten highest-rated Capitals playoff games in Comcast SportsNet history have been the first four games of this year’s first-round match-up versus Montreal. Game 4 tied for the second-highest rated Capitals playoff game in network history and the highest rated non-Game 7.
  •’s coverage of the Capitals has also earned increased viewers since the beginning of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Since Game 1 (April 15) of the first-round series against the Canadiens, the site has earned an increase of more than 36 percent in unique visitors, with overall visitors and page-views up more than 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively, compared the previous week (April 7 to 14). Compared to the same time-period last year, the network’s website has generated a 251 percent growth in unique visitors and a 180 percent jump in page-views.
  • During the 2009-10 NHL regular season, the Capitals delivered their highest-rated season in Comcast SportsNet history and their third consecutive season of double-digit ratings growth on the network, earning a 1.6 average household rating in the Washington market, which is equal to approximately 37,000 households. Combined with the Baltimore DMA, the Capitals attracted an average audience of approximately 45,000 households this season. Since 2006-07, Capitals ratings on Comcast SportsNet have increased more than 300 percent, the largest increase of any NHL team during that span.


Game                  WSH HH              PEAK              M 25-54             A 25-54          BAL HH             PEAK

Game 1                     5.1                    7.4                   5.9                    4.1                  2.1                  3.2

Game 2                     4.4                    6.1                   4.7                    3.4                  2.3                  3.2

Game 3                     5.1                    6.4                   5.3                    4.3                  1.7                  2.9

Game 4                     5.3                    7.0                   6.2                    4.4                  1.8                  2.7

AVG.                        5.0                      –                     5.5                    4.1                  2.0                    –

2009 ROUND ONE (NYR)                                   2008 ROUND ONE (PHI)

Game*                WSH HH                                Game*              WSH HH

Game 1                    3.3                                     Game 1                  2.3

Game 2                    2.6                                     Game 2                  2.6

Game 3                    2.8                                     Game 3                  3.3

Game 4                    2.3                                     Game 4                  3.8

AVG.                       2.8                                     AVG.                     3.0

*First Four Games on Comcast SportsNet


1.)        5.5        MAY 13, 2009               GAME 7 VS. PIT           EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

2.)        5.3        APRIL 21, 2010             GAME 4 VS. MTL          EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

5.3        MAY 11, 2009               GAME 6 VS. PIT           EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

5.3        APRIL 22, 2008             GAME 7 VS. PHI           EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

6.)        5.1        APRIL 19, 2010             GAME 3 VS. MTL          EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

5.1        APRIL 15, 2010             GAME 1 VS. MTL          EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

8.)        4.7        MAY 9, 2009                 GAME 5 VS. PIT           EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS

9.)        4.4        APRIL 17, 2010             GAME 2 VS. MTL          EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

10.)       4.0        APRIL 28, 2009             GAME 7 VS. NYR         EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS

More VERSUS Playoff Viewership Numbers

From Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek:

Meanwhile, in other playoff news, Versus scored with the first five games of its NHL postseason coverage, as the Comcast-owned net averaged 543,000 total viewers, up 22 percent from last year (447,000).

Versus’ deliveries were the highest for a cable network since the first five games of the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Moreover, the net is seeing improvement among the key male demos, including men 25-54 (up 18 percent), men 18-49 (up 8 percent) and men 18-34 (up 6 percent).

Thus far, Versus’ biggest draw has been Game 2 of the Canadiens-Capitals series, which drew 731,000 viewers Saturday night. The game surpassed the previous high set by Game 7 of a Flyers-Caps set that drew 682,000 viewers on April 22, 2008.

Quoting Bill Simmons Makes Me Feel Like a Real-Life Sports Blogger

From the omnipresent man’s Twitter, in response to a question about getting the NHL back when he takes over ESPN:

ESPN has wanted it back for 2 yrs.  It’s Bettman that won’t do it.

NBA vs. NHL: Attendance and Ratings In Markets Where Teams Compete

Editor’s Note: A lot of posts have been done as far as local ratings and comparing teams in markets.  We’re going to look at ratings and attendance (in terms of %capacity filled) in markets where two or more teams compete.  For our purposes, New Jersey will be separated from New York, though New Jersey operates under the New York television market.  Capacity is different from attendance, so take it with a grain of salt.

New York

Knicks  –
Rangers – 0.89

Rangers – 99.3% Capacity
Knicks –
98.7% Capacity

New Jersey

Devils –
Nets – 0.29

Devils –
88.2% capacity
Nets – 69.1% capacity

Los Angeles

Lakers –
Kings – 0.48
Clippers – 0.44

Lakers –
99.7% capacity
Kings – 93.6% capacity
Clippers – 85.7% capacity


Blackhawks – 2.45
Bulls – 2.35

Blackhawks – 108.3% capacity
Bulls – 99.1% capacity


Flyers – 2.18
76ers – 1.24

Flyers – 100.2% capacity
76ers – 70.0% capacity


Mavericks – 2.41
Stars – 0.74

Mavericks – 104.1% capacity
Stars – 92.9% capacity

Bay Area

Warriors – 1.35
Sharks – 1.11

Sharks – 100.4%
Warriors – 92.0%


Celtics – 3.11
Bruins – 2.18

Bruins – 99.0%
Celtics – 97.6%


Hawks – 1.93/1.66
Thrashers – 0.33

Hawks – 88.3% capacity
Thrashers – 73.4% capacity


Capitals –
Wizards – 1.18

Capitals –
Wizards – 80.3%


Red Wings –
Pistons – 1.98

Red Wings –
97.4% capacity
Pistons – 84.9% capacity


Suns –
Coyotes – 0.62

Suns –
95.8% capacity
Coyotes – 68.5% capacity

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Wild –
Timberwolves – 0.75

Wild –
101.9% capacity
Timberwolves – 78.0% capacity


Nuggets –
Avalanche – 1.56

Nuggets –
93.9% capacity
Avalanche – 77.5% capacity


Heat –
Panthers – 0.25

Heat –
Panthers – 78.7%

Markets Where Hockey Defeats Basketball
Ratings: 6
Attendance: 9

Games 2-4 of Sharks-Avs Series Up in the Bay Area

You’ll see the local numbers for the Sharks on CSN California one more time at Noon, but here’s how Team Teal has done for the network against the Avs on CSN this season vs. their series against the Ducks last year, via Sharkspage:

2009-10 Western Conference Quarterfinal ratings vs. Colorado:

Game One – 3.85
Game Two – 4.40
Game Three – 3.70
Game Four – 4.70

2008-09 Western Conference Quarterfinal ratings vs Anaheim:

Game One – 4.16
Game Two – 3.75
Game Three – 3.15
Game Four – 3.70

source: CSN California

CBC Made Wrong Choice With Pens-Sens

I’d been predicting all the way down the stretchrun of the NHL regular season that CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada would take any series involving Sidney Crosby vs. a Canadian Team over almost anything.  Readers disagreed vehemently with this sentiment, stating that the network would go with the beloved Montreal Canadiens over Sid the Kid vs. Ottawa, which is what turned out to be.  I, and presumably CBC, felt that Crosby would drive ratings with any Canadian audience to a certain high.

Well, while that may be true, and ratings for the Pittsburgh-Ottawa series are quite good, grabbing ratings that average the regular season 7PM HNIC game, when TSN draws 2.1 million viewers for Game 2 and is in much fewer homes than CBC… we both screwed this up.  Who knows how big an audience a Washington-Montreal series would draw.  With the Canucks and Kings doing 2.1 million, with the assist of a Saturday night timeslot, 2.5 million-3 million isn’t out of the question, outrageous even for Canada and a first-round series.

So, mea culpa… you all were right and I and the CBC turned out to be wrong.  It looks as if people are tuning out to the series as Penguin dominance continues, as Game 3 dropped a couple hundred thousand viewers, and one would have to imagine Game 4 did too.  Whereas the controversy and buzz generated by the Caps and Habs would’ve likely sustained what has been, beyond Game 1, a pretty listless Penguins-Senators series.