Sabres Local Ratings Are Good … Scary Good

BUFFALO, N.Y. (April 25, 2011) — A sold-out HSBC Arena crowd of 18,690 along with 6,000 hearty fans watching outside at the Party in the Plaza didn’t prevent the Buffalo Sabres from posting their highest TV ratings in almost four years yesterday, averaging a season-high 24.0 Neilsen rating on NBC for Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals series yesterday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

“It really says a lot about our fan base when we can attract ratings like this, with another sell-out crowd in the arena and another 6,000 watching the big screens outside in less than ideal weather conditions,” says Sabres President Ted Black. “We can only hope for a positive result tomorrow night to give them more to cheer about.”

The game averaged a 24.0 rating and 52 share locally, surpassing this season’s previous high of 19.2 set last Friday during Game 5 on MSG. Each Nielsen ratings point is equal to 6,363 homes in Buffalo, and that translates to 152,712 homes in the area tuning into watch the game. Yesterday’s game peaked during the overtime period at 28.2/57 (180,000 homes) between 6:15-6:30 p.m.

This was Buffalo’s highest-rated game since recording a 26.8/57 on May 19, 2007, in the deciding Game 5 of the Conference Finals against Ottawa on NBC. The 2007 playoffs also saw the Sabres post their highest-rated game ever, a 32.6/60 on NBC during a double-OT loss at the New York Rangers in Game 3 of the Conference Semifinals.

Yesterday’s game nearly tripled Buffalo’s only other NBC telecast this season on Sunday, February 20 against Washington. That game averaged a 9.0 rating and 19 share locally.

Ratings for Buffalo’s first five playoff games on MSG have averaged 18.4, with the Game 5 rating of 19.2 being the highest. There have also been two games of 18.9 (Games 1/4), 17.7 (Game 2) and 17.3 (Game 3).

About Steve Lepore
Contact me at stevemlepore@gmail.com

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