Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final Hits Series High, Nearly Playoff High For VERSUS

While the Western Conference Final continued to slump along on VERSUS, their counterparts in the east managed to continue their rising viewer numbers.

The terrific Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final between Boston and Tampa Bay drew 1.68 million viewers, marking the best numbers of the series for VERSUS, and falling 18,000 viewers short of the network’s top viewership totals for the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs (1,681,000 viewers vs. 1,699,000 viewers for Game 2, BOS/PHI on 5/2/11). It was up 10% from the viewership numbers for VERSUS’ broadcast of Game 5 two nights prior (1,516,000 viewers on 5/23/11).

So far, through five broadcasts, VERSUS have averaged 1.54 million viewers for the Eastern Conference Final, well above the 862,000 for the Western Conference Final. All five games have placed in the Top 10 for VERSUS in viewership during these Stanley Cup Playoffs. VERSUS will televise Game 7 of the series on Friday night.

Eastern Conference (Tampa Bay vs. Boston)
Game 1 (5/14/11): 
1,540,000 viewers
Game 2 (5/17/11): 1,562,000 viewers
Game 3 (5/19/11): 1,405,000 viewers
Game 5 (5/23/11): 1,516,000 viewers
Game 6 (5/25/11): 1,681,000 viewers
Average : 
1,540,800 viewers

Top 10 in Viewers For 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs on VERSUS

1. Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (5/2/11) – 1,699,000 viewers
2. Boston vs. Tampa Bay, Game 6 (5/25/11) – 1,681,000 viewers
3. Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 5 (5/8/11) – 
1,627,000 viewers
4. Tampa Bay vs. Boston, Game 2 (5/17/11) – 1,562,000 viewers
5. Tampa Bay vs. Boston, Game 1 (5/14/11) – 1,541,000 viewers
6. Tampa Bay vs. Boston, Game 5 (5/23/11) – 1,516,000 viewers
7. Boston vs. Tampa Bay, Game 3 (5/19/11) – 1,405,000 viewers
8. Tampa Bay vs. Washington, Game 2 (5/1/11) – 
1,261,000 viewers
9. Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 7 (5/12/11) – 
1,251,000 viewers
10. Philadelphia vs. Boston, Game 3 (5/4/11) – 
1,234,000 viewers


Western Conference Final Finishes Up, But Below A Million

VERSUS’ coverage of the 2011 Western Conference Final ultimately ended up averaging under a million viewers, but the network got a slight boost from the deciding Game 5.

The network’s broadcast of the classic, double overtime Canucks clincher drew 879,000 viewers. This ended up being VERSUS’ second most-watched broadcast of the series, behind only Game 1, which drew 1 million viewers and was the only game on VERSUS to air in an earlier timeslot than 9 p.m. ET. This was up 19% from the series low Game 3 drew for VERSUS (714,000 viewers on 5/20/11).

Overall, VERSUS averaged 862,250 viewers for their four broadcasts from the Western Conference Final. None of the broadcasts will crack the top 10 in viewership for VERSUS during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and will likely be more than doubled by the numbers from the Eastern Conference Final.

VERSUS viewership numbers for the 2011 Western Conference Final, San Jose vs. Vancouver

Game 1 (5/15/11): 1,009,000 viewers
Game 2 (5/18/11): 847,000 viewers
Game 3 (5/20/11): 714,000 viewers
Game 5 (5/24/11): 879,000 viewers
Average: 862,250 viewers

Your 2011 Stanley Cup Final Schedule

Via an NBC listings release and a source who reported the dates to Puck the Media last night.

  • Game 1: Wednesday, June 1st (NBC/CBC)
  • Game 2: Saturday, June 4th (NBC/CBC)
  • Game 3: Monday, June 6th (VERSUS/CBC)
  • Game 4: Wednesday, June 8th (VERSUS/CBC)
  • Game 5: Friday, June 10th (NBC/CBC)
  • Game 6: Monday, June 13th (NBC/CBC)
  • Game 7: Wednesday, June 15th (NBC/CBC)
Update: From the NHL

NEW YORK (May 26, 2011) – The National Hockey League announced today the schedule for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final between the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks and the eventual Eastern Conference champion. The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are tied 3-3 in the Eastern Conference Final. Game 7 is Friday at 8 p.m. (VERSUS, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden in Boston to determine which team will face the Canucks for the Stanley Cup.

Based on their superior regular-season performance, the Canucks will host Games One and Two of the Stanley Cup Final, as well as Games Five and Seven, if necessary. Games Three and Four will be hosted by the Eastern Conference champion, as well as game Six, if necessary.

NBC will telecast Games One and Two and, if necessary, Games Five through Seven of the best-of-seven series in the U.S., while VERSUS will broadcast Games Three and Four. In Canada, CBC and RDS will provide coverage for the entire series. All games also will be carried on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

NHL Network, the League’s 24-hour, all-access pass to the most comprehensive hockey coverage, will feature special programming surrounding the Stanley Cup Final. will continue to provide extensive digital coverage.

Jeanneret, Neale to Cut Back in 11-12

Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black announced today that the broadcast team of Rick Jeanneret and Harry Neale will only work home games and a reduced road schedule of approximately 10-15 games next season. Their exact road schedule will be determined once the 2011-12 NHL regular season schedule is released.

“It’s no secret that the constant travel has been wearing on me over the years, and there were several times last season when I thought that it might be my last,” Jeanneret said. “That’s why I presented this arrangement to Sabres management. I think it’s the best of both worlds, and allows me to continue doing the job I love. I really want to thank the Sabres for accommodating my request.”

“I’m delighted to continue working with Rick, and am looking forward to the upcoming season,” said Neale.

“Rick and Harry have become part of the fabric of this organization,” said Black. “We really believe this plan will go a long way in prolonging their careers and continue their relationships with the Buffalo Sabres.”

Rob Ray will join Jeanneret and Neale in the booth for their road games, a role he has served in several times over the past two seasons.

The 2011-12 season will be Jeanneret’s 40th year with the Buffalo Sabres. He started with the team prior to the 1971-72 season, serving as the club’s radio voice and held that post until 1995. Jeanneret then became the television play-by-play announcer, beginning with the 1995-96 campaign.

This will be Neale’s fifth year in Buffalo, after joining the Sabres at the start of the 2007-08 season. He previously worked for more than 20 years as an analyst for Hockey Night in Canada, along with regional coverage of Toronto Maple Leafs games.

Four Million Canadians Watched The Canucks Win The Campbell Bowl

Millions of Canadian hockey fans tuned into CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA Tuesday night to watch the Canucks earn their spot in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Game Five between the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks drew an average audience of 4.03 million viewers*, only to be surpassed by Game 7 in the Toronto/Los Angeles series in 1993, which drew 4.24 million viewers.

The audience for Tuesday’s Vancouver-San Jose nail-biter peaked at 10.7 million viewers.

* Source: BBM Canada, Total Canada, Overnight, Ind. 2+, AMA, Share, Reach, May 24/11