Penguins/Canucks Down From Last Year, Overall Doubleheader Up From 2010

While the opening night game between the Bruins and Flyers produced the best numbers ever for VERSUS in the regular season, the game that followed it up lagged a bit.

VERSUS’ 10 p.m. ET broadcast of Pittsburgh and Vancouver drew an average of 342,000 viewers. This was down 21% from last year’s second game of the opening night doubleheader, which featured then-Stanley Cup champion Chicago and Colorado (430,000). Of course, much of the game was facing the late innings of a highly-rated MLB Division Series game, and the Canadian teams are – as always – a bit of hindrance on numbers.

Overall, according to VERSUS, “Opening Night of the 2011/12 NHL season on VERSUS delivered 601,000 average viewers, +5% from last year’s Opening Night (574,000).”

VERSUS Opening Night viewership since 2003

2011 (VERSUS)
Philadelphia vs. Boston – 874,000 viewers
Pittsburgh vs. Vancouver – 342,000 viewers

2010 (VERSUS)
Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh – 730,000 viewers
Chicago vs. Colorado – 430,000 viewers

2009 (VERSUS)
Washington vs. Boston – 501,000 viewers
10:00 San Jose vs. Colorado – 330,000 viewers

2008 (VERSUS)
Toronto vs. Detroit – 573,000 viewers
Boston vs. Colorado – 361,000 viewers

2007 (VERSUS)
Anaheim vs. Detroit – 421,000 viewers
Dallas vs. Colorado – 289,000 viewers

2006 (VERSUS)
Buffalo vs. Carolina – 337,000 viewers
Dallas vs. Colorado – 301,000 viewers

2005 (OLN)
NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia – 353,000 viewers

2003 (ESPN)
New Jersey vs. Boston OR Chicago vs. Minnesota OR Anaheim vs. Dallas – 476,000 viewers

(Sources: 2004, 2005/2006, 2007, 2008, 2009-2011 from PTM archives)


2 Responses to Penguins/Canucks Down From Last Year, Overall Doubleheader Up From 2010

  1. Fred says:

    Jim Williams: NHL Network broadens its reach
    By: Jim Williams | 10/06/11 8:05 PM
    Sports Columnist Follow Him @Wordmandc
    Earlier this year the NHL announced it had struck a 10-year, $1.9 billion deal with the NBC Sports Group that finally will allow hockey fans to see every Stanley Cup playoff game live and in its entirety.
    The deal will offer fans more than 100 live games on the NBC Sports Network (currently Versus) and NBC during the 2011-2012 regular season. Also adding to the coverage will be a stronger NHL Network, which will add another 78 games to the mix. NHL Network executive producer Mark Preisler said there is plenty more for fans to look forward to in 2011-2012.

    Explain how the NHL Network and the NBC Sports Group will be working together?

    Preisler » We will share a brand new, state-of-the-art broadcast complex together. You will see our talent on their air, and we will have NBC Sports Group talent on our shows. It is two separate networks working together to serve the viewers in the best way we can.

    What will be new on the NHL Network this season?

    Preisler » Our new set in New York overlooking Sixth Avenue will be a great backdrop for our “NHL Live” show, which can be seen weeknights from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m. We have added an “Arena Cam” that will be in at least 15 buildings with more being added. That will allow us to watch skate around as well as talk to players both before and after the games. That instant access feature will help all of our studio shows.

    What about your signature show, “NHL on the Fly”?

    Preisler » We open at 7 p.m., and of course it does not end till the final game of the night is over. … The success of the show has been our ability to break down games while they are being played as well as give instant analysis after the games end. We could not accomplish this goal without our great relationships with the regional sports networks around the country and in Canada. They give us a huge talent base, and we see them as our partners. For instance, we will go to CSN Mid-Atlantic after a Caps win and show nationally their interview with the star of the game or a postgame press conference. That kind of access to all the game broadcasts leaguewide enhances our coverage.

  2. Joe M says:

    The new NBC on Versus look and quality was very good. It reaffirms that the league is in good hands for the next decade. It is time to let the thoughts that the NHL should be on ESPN go and be a thing of the past. NBC/ Comcast obviously promotes and covers the league more seriously than any other broadcast partner in the past.

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