Sabres Hit Records on Western Swing

BUFFALO, N.Y. (March 5, 2012) — The Buffalo Sabres’ West Coast road trip that included stops in Anaheim, San Jose and Vancouver from Feb. 29 to March 3 drew the highest average local television rating of any Western Conference road trip since the team began broadcasting games on MSG in 2005-06.

“Although it’s a bit of a cliché to say that hockey fans eat, sleep and breathe the sport, the extraordinary ratings for these late night games establish that that Sabres fans are certainly willing to give up sleep for their Sabres hockey, especially as the team fights for playoff contention,” said Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black. “Even after the clock struck midnight back in Buffalo, our fans stayed glued to their sets and we were all rewarded with some of our best hockey of the season.”

The three games, which averaged a 7.1 rating, each began at 10 p.m. or later locally in Buffalo. The 7.1 cumulative average rating indicates that an average of 7.1 percent of television-equipped households were tuned into each game at some point during the broadcasts. In the Buffalo market, that translates to approximately 46,000 households.

The highest-rated of the three games was Thursday’s matchup with San Jose, which drew an 8.0 rating and a 17 share. The game on Saturday night against Vancouver was close behind at 7.9 and a 15 share.

The ratings for the road trip actually peaked at 9.3 during the first period of Saturday night’s game, when approximately 60,000 households in Western New York tuned in.

The Sabres will wrap up their road trip tonight at 8 p.m. in Winnipeg, where they’ll have a chance to move into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a regulation victory.

New on Puck the Media: The Hockey Ratings Database

I’m sure you’ve noticed, readers, that after every NHL on NBC ratings post, I complete it with the numbers NBC’s drawn since around 2009. Well, with the help of Sports Business Daily and their immense, wonderful archives (seriously, thank you forever SBD), I was able to track down more NHL numbers, not only to the beginning of NBC’s coverage in 2006, but fairly consistently back to 1998-99, when FOX had the NHL rights.

I’ve compiled all the numbers in a handy little page you can find at the top of your screen – called The Hockey Ratings Database. It will be ever-evolving (we’ll get Stanley Cups and numbers further into the past up there eventually) and added to for as long as hockey is on network television. Please check it out if you ever need it for research, or just your own entertainment. Thanks, as always, for reading Puck the Media.

NBC Picks Up UMass-BC Quarterfinal Friday

Despite spending most of its season on WCHA and ECAC match-ups, NBC Sports Network goes pretty heavily into Hockey East as we head towards college hockey’s post-season, with the network picking up four games from the conference tournament leading up to the Championship, which it will broadcast outside the New England area.

NBCSN begins it’s Hockey East tourney coverage on Friday night, when they’ll have exclusive coverage of the UMass-Boston College quarterfinal game at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game should air in New England on NBCSN as well, which the rest of its tournament coverage will not. NESN will pick up the New Hampshire-Boston University game on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Network Hockey East Tourney Schedule

Friday, March 9
7:30 Quarterfinal: Massachusetts vs. Boston College

Friday, March 16
5:00 Semi-final*
8:00 Semi-final*

Saturday, March 17
8:00 Championship Game*

*-will not air on NBC Sports Network in the New England market.

Bruins-Rangers Draws 1.0 Overnight, Up 10% Year-to-Year

If NBC’s numbers remain unspectacular, they at least continue to be on the upswing, a trend that kept going with Sunday’s Bruins-Rangers telecast.

The game, which featured massive competition in both the New York and Boston markets (really? Putting Bruins-Rangers against Knicks-Celtics on ABC?) and nationally (Kentucky-Florida and the MVC Championship on CBS) drew a 1.0 overnight, up 10% from the comparable game in 2011 (PHI/NYR, 3/6/11: 0.9) though it was down 17% from the comparable game two years ago (DET/CHI, 3/7/10: 1.2).

The NHL on NBC returns this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET with the Bruins again traveling on the road, this time to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

NHL On NBC Overnights This Season
November 25 – Detroit vs. Boston: 
1.0
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
February 19 – Regional Coverage (SJ/DET, PIT/BUF, STL/CHI): 1.4
February 19 – Boston vs. Minnesota: 1.0
March 4 – Boston vs. NY Rangers: 1.0
Average: 1.2

NHL On NBC Overnights For 2010-11 Season
January 1 – Washington vs. Pittsburgh: 
2.8
January 23 – Philadelphia vs. Chicago:
 1.1
February 6 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington: 
1.0
February 13 – Boston vs. Detroit: 
0.9
February 20 – Regional Coverage (PHI/NYR, WSH/BUF, DET/MIN): 
1.2
February 20 – Pittsburgh vs. Chicago*: 
1.2
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: 
1.3
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: 
0.8
Jan. 24, Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia: 
1.3
Jan. 31, Detroit vs. Pittsburgh: 
1.2
Feb. 7, Pittsburgh vs. Washington: 
1.3
Mar. 7, Detroit vs. Chicago: 
1.2 
Mar. 14, Washington vs. Chicago: 
1.0
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

NHL On NBC Overnights for the 2008-09 Season

January 1 – Detroit vs. Chicago: 2.9
January 18 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh:
1.1
February 8 – Detroit vs. Pittsburgh:
1.1 
February 15 – Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers:
0.9
February 22 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington:
1.1
March 8 – Boston vs. NY Rangers:
1.0
March 15 – Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers:
1.1
March 22 – Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh:
1.0
April 5 – Minnesota vs. Detroit:
0.9
April 12 – Detroit vs. Chicago: 
0.6

2008 Stanley Cup Playoff Overnights

April 12 – Nashville vs. Detroit, Game 2: 1.0
April 13 – Philadelphia vs. Washington, Game 2:
1.0
April 19 – Philadelphia vs. Washington, Game 5:
1.2
April 20 – Detroit vs. Nashville, Game 6:
1.3
April 26 – Colorado vs. Detroit, Game 2:
1.0
April 27 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh, Game 2:
1.2 
May 4 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh, Game 5:
1.5
May 17 – Dallas vs. Detroit, Game 5:
1.5
May 18 – Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, Game 5: 1.7

NHL On NBC Overnights for the 2007-08 Season

January 1 – Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo: 2.6
January 20 – Boston vs. NY Rangers: 1.1
February 3 – NY Rangers vs. Montreal:
0.8
February 10 – Anaheim vs. Detroit: 0.9
February 17 – Detroit vs. Dallas: 0.8
March 2 – Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers: 1.1
March 9 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington: 1.0
March 16 – Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh: 1.1
March 30 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh: 1.0
April 6 – Chicago vs. Detroit: 0.8

2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs Overnights

April 14 – Regional Coverage (PIT vs. OTT, NYR vs. ATL): 1.2
April 15 – Calgary vs. Detroit, Game 2:
1.4
April 21 – Calgary vs. Detroit, Game 5:
0.9
April 22 – New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay, Game 6:
1.1
April 28 – San Jose vs. Detroit, Game 2:
1.0
April 29 – Buffalo vs. NY Rangers, Game 3:
1.3
May 5 – San Jose vs. Detroit, Game 5:
1.4
May 6 – Buffalo vs. NY Rangers, Game 6:
1.4
May 19 – Ottawa vs. Buffalo, Game 5:
0.9
May 20 – Anaheim vs. Detroit, Game 5: 1.4

NHL On NBC Overnights for the 2006-07 Season

January 13 – Regional Coverage (PIT vs. PHI, BOS vs. NYR, LA vs. STL): 1.1
January 28 – Regional Coverage (COL vs. DET, DAL vs. ANA, PHI vs. ATL):
1.3
February 11 – Regional Coverage (COL vs. DAL, TB vs. NJ, CHI vs. CLB):
0.9
February 18 – Regional Coverage (WSH vs. PIT, CHI vs. NYR, SJ vs. DAL):
1.0
March 4 – Regional Coverage (COL vs. DET, PHI vs. PIT):
1.3
March 11 – Regional Coverage (BOS vs. DET, CAR vs. NYR):
1.0
March 25 – Regional Coverage (NYR vs. NYI, BOS vs. PIT):
1.1
April 1 – Regional Coverage (CLB vs. DET, LA vs. SJ):
1.0
April 8 – Regional Coverage (BUF vs. PHI, CHI vs. DAL):
0.9

2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs Overnights

April 22 – Regional Coverage (NYR vs. NJ, COL vs. DAL): 1.3
April 23 – Regional Coverage (EDM vs. DET, SJ vs. NSH):
1.5
April 29 – Regional Coverage (NJ vs. NYR, EDM vs. DET):
1.2
April 30 – Regional Coverage (PHI vs. BUF, COL vs. DAL):
1.5
May 6 – New Jersey vs. Carolina, Game 1:
1.1
May 7 – Colorado vs. Anaheim, Game 2:
0.9
May 13 – Carolina vs. New Jersey, Game 4:
1.0
May 20 – Buffalo vs. Carolina, Game 1:
1.2

NHL On NBC Overnights for the 2005-06 Season

January 14 – Regional Coverage (NYR vs. DET, COL vs. PHI, DAL vs. BOS): 1.5
January 21 – Regional Coverage (PHI vs. PIT, DET vs. COL, SJ vs. LA):
1.3
January 28 – Regional Coverage (PIT vs. NYR, TB vs. PHI, DET vs. DAL):
1.3
February 4 – Regional Coverage (DET vs. COL, NYI vs. PIT, DAL vs. STL):
1.2
April 8 – Regional Coverage (NYR vs. BOS, STL vs. COL, ANA vs. LA):
0.9
April 15 – Regional Coverage (NYR vs. PHI, MIN vs. DAL, BOS vs. ATL):
1.0

(Source: Sports Business Daily – reg. required)

Your NHL National TV Schedule for the Week of March 5

Monday, March 5

Buffalo vs. Winnipeg, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSp
Play by Play: Gord Miller
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

Tuesday, March 6

Minnesota vs. Colorado, 9:00 p.m. ET, NBCSp
Play by Play: Dave Strader
Inside the Glass: Brian Engblom

Wednesday, March 7

Toronto vs. Pittsburgh

National TV (US): NBCSp
Play by Play: Mike Emrick
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

National TV (Canada): TSN
Play by Play: Gord Miller
Inside the Glass: Ray Ferraro

Thursday, March 8

Tampa Bay vs. Washington, 7:00 p.m. ET, NHL Network

Friday, March 9

NY Rangers vs. Chicago, 8:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network

Saturday, March 10

Washington vs. Boston, 1:00 p.m. ET, NHL Network

Philadelphia vs. Toronto, 7:00 p.m. ET, CBC/NHL Network
Play by Play:
 Bob Cole
Color: Gary Galley 

Buffalo vs. Ottawa, 7:00 p.m. ET, CBC
Play by Play: 
Mark Lee
Color: Kevin Weekes
Reporter: Cassie Campbell

Montreal vs. Vancouver, 10:00 p.m. ET, CBC
Play by Play:
 Jim Hughson
Color: Craig Simpson
Inside the Glass: Glenn Healy
Reporter: Scott Oake 

Sunday, March 11

Boston vs. Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Play by Play: 
Mike Emrick
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

Los Angeles vs. Chicago, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSp
Play by Play:
 Dave Strader
Inside the Glass: Brian Engblom