Blog Entry

2009 playoffs review, ratings

Posted on: April 27, 2009 8:09 pm
So far, so good for reviews and ratings.

Ross McKeon of Yahoo! Sports:
While this can sometimes be a convenient time to complain about what’s wrong with the NHL and the Stanley Cup playoffs, we’re here to tell you there’s a whole lot right about the postseason, especially this season’s version.
Yes, it may still be early, but there are a number of positive trends that can’t be ignored, and several annoying habits that have not surfaced this playoff season.

He goes on to explain how there are plenty of top 20 scorers in the playoffs, big market teams, less whining about officiating, less diving, exciting games, etc. It's worth reading the whole article in my opinion.

Also two journalists reported higher TV ratings this season.

Craig Custance of Sporting News:
The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is winding down, and if the ratings are any indication, fans have enjoyed the matchups.
While in Columbus to be a part of the first Blue Jackets playoff game, commissioner Gary Bettman got ratings updates straight from the networks on his Blackberry.
He shook his head while leaning over to show a reporter the numbers. They were impressive.
Versus reported ratings increases of nearly 50 percent. According to the New York Times, the MSG Network reported its highest ratings for hockey in 12 years. The Times also reported that hockey viewership in Washington is up 121 percent over last year.
The oft-criticized television deal between Versus and the NHL is gaining serious traction this postseason.
"Our willingness to do things differently with NBC or particularly now with Versus, in some respects, it makes us a trailblazer,"Bettman told Sporting News.

Jeff Z. Klein of The New York Times:
The N.H.L. post-season is still young, but initial ratings reports show a big increase in TV viewership in the United States.
According to figures released by Versus, the network’s first 10 games of 2009 playoff coverage drew an average of 434,382 viewers per telecast, up some 50 percent over last year’s figure, 290,551.
Meanwhile on the MSG Network, the telecasts of Games 3 and 4 of the Rangers-Capitals series on Monday and Wednesday nights drew the highest ratings for hockey on the network in almost 12 years.

Additionally a Detroit Red Wings blog reported higher ratings too.
Per FSDetroit -- Tuesday night’s Game 3 of the Red Wings-Columbus series on FOX Sports Detroit averaged a 12.0 household rating in metro Detroit (approx. 231,240 households), according to Nielsen Media Research data. That’s the highest rated Red Wings telecast onFSD since the 2004 playoffs. The rating for Tuesday’s game peaked at 13.4 from 8:30-8:45 (258,218 households).
The first three games of the Red Wings-Columbus series are averaging a 10.4 rating. Last year’s playoff coverage on FSD (5 games in rounds 1 & 2) averaged a 9.1 rating.
1 ratings point equals approximately 19,270 households in metro Detroit.

It's great to read all this good news isn't it? I also really enjoyed reading this from the NYT article.
The Versus playoff spike comes after a regular season in which N.H.L. games on the network showed an increase of 21 percent in average viewership over last season (329,794 vs. 272,417).
“It’s been exciting,” said Jamie Davis, president of Versus, in a phone conversation with this blog on Wednesday. “We really worked hard in the regular season, working with the league. We started with opening night early in October, that game was our highest-rated regular-season game ever.”
Now in the playoffs, hockey viewership on Versus is really taking off, according to Davis. In Washington, viewership is up 121 percent over last year, he said, and up 20 percent in New York.
“We want to be able to say that at this time of year, we are providing the hockey fan and sports fan with in-depth coverage of hockey like they can find nowhere else. Some nights we’ll have double- and even tripleheaders.”

Davis is right. Nowhere else on TV.
Category: NHL
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