Pre-Season Debut on VERSUS Draws Predictably Non-Blockbuster Numbers on VERSUS

VERSUS entered into the business of televising pre-season NHL games this year, and – considering the lack of promotion and that it didn’t air in the two teams’ home markets – I guess you could say it wasn’t bad. I mean, I really don’t know. This sort of thing has never happened before.

The network’s broadcast of Maple Leafs-Flyers at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday drew 68,000 viewers. Based on recent numbers from various events, it was about equal to what the WNBA playoffs have drawn on NBA TV, CFL Football on NFL Network, and non-Premiere League matches on FOX Soccer. The last major sporting events VERSUS televised were a Mountain West football game (Texas Tech vs. New Mexico: 130,000 viewers) and Professional Bull Riders (226,000 viewers) on Saturday. The game also built from it’s lead-in, NBC Sports Talk, which scored 17,000 viewers.

Pre-season hockey returns to VERSUS on Monday with a Rangers-Flyers match-up. That will be interesting to track for two reasons: it won’t air in either home market, and it will be on the heels of what is expected to be a Rangers-Flyers Winter Classic showdown that afternoon at Citizens’ Bank Park. I’ll be curious as to what that draws.

(Source: Son of the Bronx)


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