Caps-Rangers Ties Season Low For NBC

According to Sports Business Daily (reg. required), Sunday’s Capitals/Rangers game on NBC drew a 1.0 overnight for the network. This number tied the season low, which was set on the day after Thanksgiving between the Red Wings and Bruins. It is also down a tick from the last NHL on NBC telecast (WSH/PIT, 1/22/12: 1.1).

On the good side, it is up 10% from the comparable match-up from last season (BOS/DET, 2/12/11: 0.9). There was no comparable match-up in 2010 due to the Olympics.

NBC is currently averaging a 1.3 for NHL coverage this season, down from a 1.4 at this point last year, though the network had only aired four telecasts by this date in 2011, compared to five through today in 2012. The network returns with it’s second annual Hockey Day in America doubleheader next Sunday.

NHL On NBC Overnights This Season
November 25 – Detroit vs. Boston: 
January 1 – NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia: 2.4
January 14 – Chicago vs. Detroit: 1.1
January 22 – Washington vs. Pittsburgh: 1.1
February 12 – Washington vs. NY Rangers: 1.0
Average: 1.3

NHL On NBC Overnights For 2010-11 Season
January 1 – Washington vs. Pittsburgh: 
January 23 – Philadelphia vs. Chicago:
February 6 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington: 
February 13 – Boston vs. Detroit: 
February 20 – Regional Coverage*: 
February 20 – Pittsburgh vs. Chicago*: 
March 6 – Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers: 0.9
March 13 – Chicago vs. Washington: 0.9
March 20 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh: 0.7
April 3 – NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia: 1.0
April 10 – Detroit vs. Chicago: 1.1
Season Average: 1.1

2011 Stanley Cup Playoff Overnights

Apr. 16 – Phoenix vs. Detroit, Game 2: 1.1 
Apr. 17 – Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 3: 
Apr. 23 – NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 5: 1.3
Apr. 24 – Philadelphia vs. Buffalo, Game 6: 1.6
Apr. 30 – Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 1: 1.5
May 1 – Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 2: 1.6
May 21 – Boston vs. Tampa Bay, Game 4: 1.5
May 22 – Vancouver vs. San Jose, Game 4: 1.3
Average To Date: 1.4

NHL on NBC Overnights for 2009-10 Season

Jan. 1, Philadelphia vs. Boston*: 2.6
Jan. 17, Chicago vs. Detroit: 
Jan. 24, Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia: 
Jan. 31, Detroit vs. Pittsburgh: 
Feb. 7, Pittsburgh vs. Washington: 
Mar. 7, Detroit vs. Chicago: 
Mar. 14, Washington vs. Chicago: 
Mar. 21, NY Rangers vs. Boston: 0.7
Apr. 4, Detroit vs. Philadelphia: 1.0
Apr. 11, Boston vs. Washington: 0.9
Season Average: 1.2

2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Overnights

Apr. 17 – Boston vs. Buffalo, Game 2: 1.2
Apr. 18 – Phoenix vs. Detroit, Game 3: 1.5
Apr. 24 – Nashville vs. Chicago, Game 5: 1.3
Apr. 25 – Phoenix vs. Detroit, Game 6: 1.3
May 1 – Philadelphia vs. Boston, Game 1: 1.6
May 2 – Montreal vs. Pittsburgh, Game 2: 1.6
May 16 – Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 1: 1.7
May 22 – Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 4: 1.6
May 23 – San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 4: 2.0
Playoff Average: 1.5

2009 Stanley Cup Playoff Overnights

Apr. 18 – NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 2: 1.0
Apr. 19 – Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 3: 1.7
Apr. 25 – Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 6: 1.2
Apr. 26 – Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 6: 1.0
May 2 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington, Game 1: 1.4
May 3 – Anaheim vs. Detroit, Game 2: 1.3
May 17 – Chicago vs. Detroit, Game 1: 2.0
May 24 – Detroit vs. Chicago, Game 4: 1.5
Playoff Average: 1.3


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4 Responses to Caps-Rangers Ties Season Low For NBC

  1. dyhrdmet says:

    I’m curious what ratings NBC would get it they didn’t always have the same 6 teams all the time and if they didn’t have such an early start time now that the NFL Playoffs are finished. If you want to help the league grow, show all 23 domestic teams and don’t start at a time when a certain portion of the league’s fan base is still eating breakfast.

  2. e says:

    I agree. Especially about the ridiculous 12:30 starting times. I kind of understand it when NBC is televising golf. But on Sunday they were showing action sports and rugby. Also NBC needs to realize that the rangers are not a ratings draw. No one in New York cares about hockey. You will never hear it discussed on sports radio and the local newspapers only have 1 beat writer to cover 3 teams. It actually hurts the ratings to show the Rangers.

    • Kevin says:

      No one in New York cares about hockey? Bullshit. No one likes the Islanders and Devils, but that’s not true about the Rangers. What are you basing that on?

      Sports Radio? Do people even listen to the radio anymore? It’s 2012. Only older, 40+ year old people listen to that shit. That’s why they talk about baseball all the time. It’s what their audience (Old people) listens to. If young people listened to Sports Radio, they would be talking about football and basketball all day, definitely no baseball.

      Newspaper? Again, it’s 2012, just read my response to sports radio…

      I’m not saying it’s the biggest hockey market in the world, but it’s better then most in the U.S.. The team has been bad or mediocre for over 10 years now. They finally have a really good team this year, and you can see the difference in support now that there’s a good team to cheer for.

  3. Another E says:


    First off, if no one in ny cared about hockey then the region wouldn’t be supporting three NHL teams better than some cities can even support a single one. The Rangers routinely sell out MSG, at one point they had a streak of over 150 games sold out. Attendance can be iffy because of the large number of corporate purchased tickets (same problem the NY Yankees have with tickets sold v. attendance) but generally the building is close to cap. The Devils ticket sales and attendance is less substantial, but since moving to the new building in Newark they are routinely 80% cap. The Isles struggle more because of the location, the failing quality of the building and the perennial losing streak they’ve been on. Still, even with this trifecta working against them the last numbers I saw when they were discussing building renovations last year were near 75% cap weeknights.

    Second, the NHL competes with two pro football teams, two pro baseball teams, two pro mens basketball teams, a pro womens basketball team, and a pro soccer team, a large number of minor league and college teams in the city, North Jersey, lower Upstate NY and Western CT. Furthermore, it’s only 99 miles to Philly from midtown. With the NJ fanbase split between NY area and Philly teams that increases the level of competition. Find another city in North America with even close to that level of sports competition. You can’t, because there isn’t one. Even with all the competition, NHL teams continue to draw.

    Third, if hockey were such a bad draw the MSG Network and Fox Sports NY wouldn’t both be successful properties, both of which combine broadcast the vast majority of local games as their centerpiece programming (barring NBC Blackouts, TWNY cable blackouts, etc). There’s never any talk of poor advertising in regards to the games, or discouraging ratings that would either pull advertisers away or have networks seek alternative programming. There was a bidding war at one point between the two for coverage, similar to the one with the YES Network when they used to carry Devils games and subsequently lost them (in part because of changes in ownership and in part because of higher FSNY bids).

    Fourth, only one beat writer between the three teams at what news paper? You do realize there are The Post, Newsday, the Times, WSJ and Star Ledger covering all three teams, right? And that there are about 20 other rags in NY and North Jersey that cover them as well. If one paper decided that a single writer was fine for three teams, that’s there prerogative, but being I live in NY and see the paper every day, the Rangers get their fair share of back page coverage on the Post compared to other sports and every game is written up in print and on line for every paper (and, no they aren’t just carrying the AP Newswire version of the story). Apart from the traditional media coverage I know of at least 10 Rangers specific and 5 Devils specific blogs offhand and when I referenced them in Alexa for unique visitors their coverage is quite impressive, particularly when I look up the blogs for other teams that are linked from Yahoo! Sports. None of them seem to have any problem getting advertisers either.

    Fifth local radio coverage does include hockey. Games are broadcast on AM for the Devils and the Rangers (I don’t know about the Isles, but I’d assume so too) and the two local sports talk stations do bring up the three local teams quite often. Bigger news in Lin on the Nicks right now and Pitchers & Catchers reporting to spring training than the status of the Rangers standings, but that’s in part because of who calls in to talk sports. Let’s face it, most Rangers fans aren’t calling into a radio station as much as a Yankees fan would.

    Sixth, Rangers merch is among the top selling merch for pro sports in the tri-state. The last time Modells put out team info that I could find it had Rangers sales #4 (behind the Giants, Yankees and Jets). Since team gear is seasonal and very player driven, it is sure to fluctuate and Mos doesn’t cover most of Jersey or Long Island so it’s numbers are skewed a bit to city purchases which don’t help the Nets, Devils or Isles. I’m sure you could look up overall regional sales for some other distributers and then compare that to regional sales of other cities and find that all three hockey teams probably rank in the top half of the league, easily.

    Sooooooo, the question isn’t if the Rangers are a draw, the question is what is NBC doing wrong? Perhaps it is because of the start time. Perhaps it is because of the lack of promotion regarding the game. Perhaps it is because fans are tired of seeing the same six teams always playing the Sunday telecast. Perhaps it is because the numbers being used in comparison aren’t as poor as the headline wants you to believe, but outragous headlines get pageviews and pageviews display ads which drives revenue. So get your panties out of a ruffle, do some research and think before you type.

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