Devils/Rangers Game 2 Up From Game 1, Still Down Year-to-Year

The Devils evening their series with the New York Rangers will hopefully turn around the ratings fortunes of the Conference Finals. While Game 2 of the Western Final went down, Game 2 of the Eastern Final went up.

Game 2 between New Jersey and New York drew 1.34 million viewers, up slightly from Game 1’s 1.28 million, but still down 16% from Game 2 of last year’s Eastern Conference Final between Tampa Bay and Boston, which drew 1.56 million viewers.

The Eastern Conference Final has averaged 1.31 million viewers through two games, down 18% from the two-game average for the 2011 East Final (1.55 million) through two games.

2012 Eastern Conference Final on NBC Sports Network

Game 1 (5/14/12): 1.28 million
Game 2 (5/16/12): 1.34 million

Games Drawing Over One Million Viewers During the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Cable

1. NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 3 (5/2/12, NBCSN): 1.85 million
2. Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 7 (5/12/12, NBCSN):
1.68 million
3. Philadelphia vs. New Jersey, Game 3 (5/3/12, NBCSN): 1.66 million
t4. Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 5 (5/7/12, NBCSN):
1.65 million
t4. NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 6 (5/9/12, NBCSN):
1.65 million
6. Philadelphia vs. New Jersey, Game 4 (5/6/12, NBCSN):
1.63 million
7. Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 2 (4/30/12, NBCSN): 
1.53 million
8. New Jersey vs. NY Rangers, Game 2 (5/16/12, NBCSN): 1.34 million
9. Washington vs. Boston, Game 7 (4/25/12, NBCSN): 
1.32 million
10. New Jersey vs. Philadelphia, Game 5 (5/8/12, NBCSN): 1.31 million
11. New Jersey vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (5/1/12, NBCSN): 
1.29 million
12. New Jersey vs. NY Rangers, Game 1 (5/14/12, NBCSN): 1.28 million
13. Los Angeles vs. Phoenix, Game 1 (5/13/12, NBCSN):
1.10 million
14. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, Game 5 (4/20/12, NBCSN): 
1.07 million
15. Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 4 (4/18/12, NBCSN): 1.03 million

(Source: TV By the Numbers)

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Your Announcers and Open Thread for Night 35 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Phoenix vs. Los Angeles, Game 3, 9:00 p.m. ET

US National TV: NBC Sports Network
Play by Play: Dave Strader
Color: Darren Pang
Inside the Glass: Brian Engblom

Canada National TV: TSN
Play by Play: Chris Cuthbert
Inside the Glass: Ray Ferraro

Buccigross to Call Frozen Four as Part of New ESPN Deal

The Frozen Four has a new voice behind the mic starting with the 2013 tournament in Pittsburgh, and televised NHL action remains without one of the best studio hosts it has ever had for at least five more years.

SportsCenter host John Buccigross will remain with ESPN for at least the next five years. During that tenure, he will continue to host SportsCenter and write his hockey column for ESPN.com. In addition to that, Buccigross will take over as the play-by-play voice for ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Frozen Four hockey championships.

Buccigross had previously done NCAA regionals since 2006, while Gary Thorne had called the Frozen Four. Buccigross hosted NHL2Night from 1998-2004, during which the show was nominated for an Emmy. He currently hosts three hours of the mid-day SportsCenter.