Extra Games Gives VERSUS Lower Numbers in October

While VERSUS was up from last year with it’s exclusive telecasts, showing extra NHL games kept the network from improving overall with viewers in October.

The network averaged 263,000 viewers in October for 12 telecasts, down 19% from 323,000 viewers per game for 11 games^ in October of 2009. The network broadcast six of the telecasts as what they refer to as “bonus” games – either in daytime or not exclusively in the two markets that were playing – which lowered the monthly average. VERSUS only aired two “bonus” games in October 2009.

In fact, with the exclusive games dropped, VERSUS actually saw an improvement over last season. Six exclusive telecasts averaged 383,000 viewers in the month, up 7% from 359,000 over nine exclusive telecasts in October 2009. Using this comparison, VERSUS can see some more positive growth for it’s NHL coverage. However, the bonus games – regardless of how much goodwill they build up with hockey fans – must be looked at as far as how they affect ratings in the future.

Five Most-Watched VERSUS games, October 2010

1. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, 10/7/10 – 730,000 viewers
2. Colorado vs. Detroit, 10/12/10 – 432,000
3. Chicago vs. Colorado, 10/7/10 – 430,000
4. Buffalo vs. Philadelphia, 10/26/10 – 347,000
5. NY Islanders vs. Washington*, 10/13/10 – 228,000

Five Least-Watched VERSUS games, October 2010

1. Minnesota vs. Carolina*, 10/7/10 – 80,000 viewers
2. Carolina vs. Minnesota*, 10/8/10 – 95,000
3. Phoenix vs. Boston*, 10/9/10 – 116,000
4. Columbus vs. San Jose*, 10/8/10 – 120,000
5. Los Angeles vs. Minnesota, 10/25/10 – 154,000

* – either aired in daytime or did not air exclusively in both team markets.
^ – ratings for 10/26/09, Minnesota-Chicago, were not available, affecting the October 2009 average

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