CBC Draws Big Game 7 Numbers Too

From James Mirtle on Twitter:

Game 7 drew average audience of 4.239 million viewers on HNIC, the sixth largest playoff audience in history on CBC.

More from Doc Mirtle:

Combined Canadian audience for the game last night was 6.69 million people… pretty impressive. About 20% of country was watching.

That means RDS drew 2.2 million or so viewers.

More Outrageous Sadism: FS Pittsburgh Draws 26.4 Rating For Game 7

FSN Pittsburgh, the exclusive rights-holder for Pittsburgh Penguins regional telecasts, concluded the 2009-10 Penguins telecast season with its highest rated game, highest rated playoff series and highest rated playoff year – following its highest rated regular season of all time.

* Last night’s final FSN Penguins telecast of the season averaged a 26.45 HH rating for Game 7 of the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals and was watched by over 760,400 viewers in the Pittsburgh DMA.  The telecast was the highest rated live game ever on the regional sports network.  At one point during the telecast, 43% of all households in Pittsburgh DMA were tuned into FSN for last night’s game.

* The three games which FSN telecasted in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Montreal Canadiens capped off the highest rated NHL Playoff series on FSN Pittsburgh ever with an average 23.35 HH rating.

The NHL Confirms It: Both Game 1’s on Sunday

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced that the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final, featuring the San Jose Sharks vs. the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Eastern Conference Final, featuring the Montreal Canadiens vs. the winner of the Boston Bruins-Philadelphia Flyers Conference Semifinal series will begin Sunday, May 16.

The Sharks will host the Blackhawks at 3 p.m., ET in Game #1 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday.  The game will be televised nationally on NBC in the U.S. and TSN and RDS in Canada.

Meanwhile, either the Bruins or the Flyers will host the Canadiens Sunday at 7 p.m., ET.  That game will be televised nationally by VERSUS in the U.S. and by CBC and RDS in Canada. Every playoff game also can be heard on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Sharks and Bruins: Dueling Game 1’s Sunday

From the Sharks official Twitter:

The #Sharks and Blackhawks will open the Western Conference Finals on Sunday, May 16 at Noon (Pacific) on NBC.

And from the always reliable Boston writer James Murphy:

If Bruins can pull off their own miracle and not blow the series for good, they would open Eastern Conference Finals @ TD Garden Sunday 7 pm

REPORT: Probably Fake Conf. Final Schedule is Probably Fake

Come on guys, even the NHL’s not stupid enough to have two Game 6’s at the same time… are they?  Right, guys?  Anyway, just speculate upon this REPORT by RDS:

From reader Jeremy:

Canadiens series:
Game 1 – Sunday 7 pm
Game 2 – Tuesday 7 pm
Game 3 – Friday 7 pm
Game 4 – Sunday 3 pm (NBC)
Game 5 – Tuesday 7 pm
Game 6 – Wednesday 7 pm
Game 7 – Friday 7 pm

West Series:
Game 1 – Sunday 3 pm (NBC)
Game 2 – Tuesday 10 pm
Game 3 – Thursday 8 pm
Game 4 – Saturday 3 pm (NBC)
Game 5 – Monday 10 pm
Game 6 – Wednesday 8 pm
Game 7 – Saturday 8 pm

Also, I don’t by the idea that the NHL would schedule 10PM games in the Conf. Finals.  They’ll likely be moved to 9PM.  Some of this is likely true, but I’m waiting on the NHL to flat out deny this.  It’s really just here for speculation.

A Ton of Sadistic Bostonians Watched Game 6

BOSTON, MA – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, earned a 10.3 household rating in the Boston DMA for last night’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Philadelphia Flyers. This is the third highest Bruins game rating in NESN’s 26 year history covering the team behind only last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinal Game 7 (14.2) and the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Game 7 (11.2).

NESN’s ratings in the key demographic categories are also impressive, including a 10.8 for Men 25-54 and an 8.0 for Adults 25-54. The Men 25-54 demo rating was #1 in the Boston DMA on Tuesday night while the Adults 25-54 demo rating was second in the market only to American Idol.

NESN will deliver regionally exclusive coverage of game 7 from TD Garden on Friday, May 14 at 7:00 PM. Jack Edwards (play-by-play) and Andy Brickley (color analyst) will handle the call with Naoko Funayama serving as NESN’s rinkside reporter. NESN’s coverage begins at 6:30 PM with Bruins Face-Off LIVE hosted by Kathryn Tappen who will be joined by Bruins studio analyst Gord Kluzak.

Flyers Draw 10.1 on CSN For Game 6

PHILADELPHIA- (May 13, 2010) – Last night’s Flyers-Bruins contest on Comcast SportsNet delivered the largest-ever Flyers audience for the network. This breaks the previous high, set on May 9, 2000 when with Brian Boucher in goal, the Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. Last night’s defeat of the Bruins, to force a Game 7, averaged a 10.1 rating (300,000 households) and peaked at a 14 rating (417,000 HHs) at 10:30 p.m.

Last night’s record-setting rating bumps up the Flyers 2010 playoff average on Comcast SportsNet to a 6.3 rating (187,000 HHs) a  186% increase over the regular season average rating of 2.2.

Flyers Postgame Live also scored a 4.2 rating (125,000 HHs), increasing the playoff average to a 2.2 rating (65,000 households), a 100% increase over the regular season rating of 1.1.

Hawks Score in Last CSN Telecast of The Year

From Phil Rosenthal:

Moving on to a conference final match-up against the San Jose Sharks, the Chicago Blackhawks leave behind more than just Vancouver. Tuesday’s Game 6 second-round playoff victory also takes them away from Comcast SportsNet Chicago, which has enjoyed an unprecedented surge in hockey-fueled viewership.

Tuesday’s 5-1 clincher against the Canucks was the Hawks’ second-highest rated game ever on the team’s cable home, which is partly owned by the Blackhawks, Cubs, Sox and Bulls. It averaged a 9.93 household rating, which translates to roughly 347,600 homes, surpassed only by the 10.14 household rating for Game 3 of the Hawks-Canucks series six nights earlier.
More impressive, perhaps, is the fact that the Blackhawks’ last five games on CSN, dating back to the first-round clincher against Nashville on April 26, now account for the five most-watched programs in the channel’s 5 1/2 year history, ahead of anything featuring the Cubs, White Sox or Bulls.

Game 7 Softens Blow of Less Star-Laden Final Four

The NHL’s had some fantastic luck with regards to matchups in the playoffs the last few years.  The Red Wings/Penguins two consecutive classic finals is only the tip of the iceberg.  In 2008, a Philadelphia/Pittsburgh Conference Final drew big ratings, as well as the rematch in 2009, the Penguins/Capitals series in 2009, and both Conference Final series (PIT/CAR and DET/CHI) that same year.

This season, regardless of who wins, the prestige and outside attention for hockey’s final four will be a little lower without the game’s biggest star in Sidney Crosby, or the game’s biggest draw in Detroit.  Montreal will draw some attention, but it doesn’t have the allure of the American Original Six teams.  San Jose hasn’t developed into a hockey hotbed beyond the insanely devoted cult that gathers around the Shark Tank.  It remains to be see if a Sharks game can draw 300-400K viewers on NBC, which will likely be tested this Sunday.  If I were NBC, I wouldn’t start this game until 3:30, to try and see if you can get as much ratings from the Bay Area as possible.

That said, there is still chance for a blockbuster Stanley Cup Final, which leads me to talking about how ridiculous Game 7 of the Flyers/Bruins series will be.  These are two massive hockey markets that are in love with the sport.  They draw good numbers outside of their home markets, too.  Most of all, there is history in the making here.  Most of all, there’s just a ton of hatred and schaudenfruade for both these teams.  There will be tons watching to see if Boston gets the karmic bitchslap from the Red Sox 2004 win over the Yankees, tons watching to see Philly get its’ hopes up, only to be knocked right back down again.  I think VERSUS, even without the home markets, could draw 2 Million viewers for this.  The NBA has the night off, and MLB is mired in regular season, with Bruins/Flyers, it can be done.

Regardless of who wins, the TV folks will likely be rooting for them to make the finals.  Imagine if the Bruins could hang on, and then take down their rival Canadiens in the Eastern Final.  There would be mass hysteria in the city.  A Boston victory and an advance to the Stanley Cup Final could draw interesting storylines either way.  A Bruins-Blackhawks (or Canadiens-Blackhawks) final would be the first Original 6 Stanley Cup battle since 1979.  A lot of people would tune in just for the allure of those franchises.

That said, a Bruins-Sharks Stanley Cup could be sold on the heels of one man: Joe Thornton.  A Montreal vs. anyone final could be sold on the pageantry of the team.  A Flyers-Chicago final would be a battle of two tough, black and blue, diehard hockey cities.  In fact, when you look at it from most angles, you can see that… maybe the NHL is lucky this year.  They get to expose a couple of new teams to the spotlight, but it helps that those teams are just as hockey nuts as Pittsburgh or Detroit, if not more in Montreal, Boston or Philly’s case.

So now we wait.  Game 7, Friday night, 7PM, VERSUS/TSN/CSN Philly/NESN.  Should be wonderful.