Ratings Extra: Phoenix-Boston Draws Even With Premiere Games Despite Competition

We seem to be getting ratings for VERSUS games more consistently this season, thanks to reader and friend of the blog Son of the Bronx. Ratings Extra will be a semi-regular post breaking down the latest ratings on the network.

VERSUS continued to put up tepid numbers for the NHL Premiere series, with live broadcasts of the league’s overseas excursion, but it saw some encouraging numbers from a game on Saturday, despite competition from a local regional sports network and an early timeslot for viewers in the other.

The network’s broadcast of the first Coyotes-Bruins game at Noon ET/10 AM AZT on Saturday drew an 0.1 HH rating and 116,000 viewers, ahead of all but one of VERSUS’ three other NHL Premiere telecasts (SJ/CBJ Friday – 120,000 viewers) but still fairly low, considering the game had the advantage of airing on a weekend when most were home and available to watch. The numbers may have been cannibalized by the fact that NESN in the New England region was allowed to produce their own local telecast, and that the game was airing in the early morning for much of the country, including the Phoenix market.

The game drew 64,000 viewers – about half – among the desired Adults 18-49 demographic, though only 8,000 among Women 18-49 – a demo the NHL has been doing pretty well with until now this season. Hockey Central airing until 3PM ET after the game drew 62,000 total viewers.

VERSUS had a full day of sports, with a UFL game and a Pac-10 game afterward. I know where you think I’m going with this … no, the UFL did not outdraw the NHL On VERSUS. The network’s telecast of Florida-Hartford at 3PM ET drew 48,000 total viewers, not even beating Hockey Central. The game drew 27,000 viewers among Adults 18-49 and 10,000 Women 18-49. The female total was more than the hockey game by 2,000.

The network did fare better than hockey with their telecast of Oregon St.-Arizona in college football Saturday night. The 7PM ET broadcast scored an 0.4 HH rating and 554,000 total viewers, which will go down as VERSUS’ second most-viewed show of the week behind the opening night game between the Penguins and Flyers. The game scored 191,000 viewers in the Adults 18-49 demo, with 58,000 of them women. The 18-49 numbers among adults and women were well below the Pens-Flyers game (446,000 A18-49; 148,000 W18-49) and even the Blackhawks-Avalanche game that followed (303,000 A18-49; 86,000 W18-49). Overall, VERSUS can say it had a pretty decent weekend, with three primetime programs drawing either decent total viewer numbers or solid demo performances. There should be some numbers on Colorado-Detroit last night either later today or tomorrow.

NHL On VERSUS Audience Levels For Opening Weekend

Thursday, October 7
Minnesota vs. Carolina – 80,000 (0.1)
7:00 Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh – 730,000 (0.4)
Chicago vs. Colorado – 430,000 (0.3)

Friday, October 8
Carolina vs. Minnesota – 95,000 (0.1)
Columbus vs. San Jose – 120,000 (0.1)

Saturday, October 9
Phoenix vs. Boston – 116,000 (0.1)

2009 VERSUS Opening Weekend Numbers

Thursday, October 1
Washington vs. Boston – 501,000
San Jose vs. Colorado – 332,000

Friday, October 2
Florida vs. Chicago – 100,000
St. Louis vs. Detroit – 278,000


NHL Net Announces AHL Slate For the Season

NEW YORK (October 13, 2010) – The NHL Network U.S. will put the developing talents of many of the game’s top young players on display this season when it broadcasts 10 American Hockey League games in partnership with the AHL. Beginning on Oct. 17, when the Toronto Marlies play host to the Binghamton Senators, the NHL Network will broadcast 10 Sunday afternoon games. The AHL is the sole primary development league for all 30 NHL Clubs and over 85 percent of current NHL players are AHL alumni – including 2010 Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres, who was 2005 AHL goaltender of the year for Rochester, and 2010 Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks, who played two AHL seasons with Norfolk. In addition to Toronto and Binghamton, future NHL Network broadcasts of AHL games will feature the Hamilton Bulldogs, Abbotsford Heat, Manitoba Moose and the inaugural edition of the Oklahoma City Barons. The NHL Network’s U.S. schedule of AHL broadcasts: Day Date Visiting Team Home Team Time (ET) Sun Oct. 17, 2010 Binghamton Toronto 1pm Sun Oct. 24, 2010 Oklahoma City Hamilton 1pm Sun Nov. 21, 2010 Hamilton Toronto 1pm Sun Dec. 12, 2010 Toronto Hamilton 1pm Sun Jan. 16, 2011 Toronto Abbotsford 2pm Sun Jan. 23, 2011 Abbotsford Manitoba 1pm Sun Feb. 27, 2011 Manitoba Toronto 1pm Sun Mar. 6, 2011 Hamilton Toronto TBD Sun Mar. 27, 2011 Abbotsford Manitoba 1pm Sun Apr. 3, 2011 Manitoba Toronto TBD