SBD/Issue 142/The Back of the Book

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  • NHL National, Regional Nets See Year-Over-Year Ratings Gains

    By Austin Karp, Research Associate

    Ratings for the NHL on its national broadcast partners were up this regular season, as NBC and Versus both saw gains. NBC, which was buoyed by a 2.2 final Nielsen rating for the Amp Energy Winter Classic on New Year's Day, saw ratings for its 10 NHL telecasts average a 1.0, up slightly from a 0.9 for nine telecasts last year, and even with '05-06. Outside of the New Year's Day game, no NHL telecast on the net cracked a 1.0 rating. On Versus, the net averaged a 0.3 coverage area rating, up from a 0.2 for each of the two prior seasons. Versus also saw year-over-year gains in HHs (+20.3%) and viewers (+28.3%). The network saw its most-viewed regular-season game on March 31 for Rangers-Penguins, which drew 358,925 HHs and 527,985 viewers.

    '08 NHL ON NBC
    SEASON
    GMS
    AVG. RATING
    '08
    10
    1.0
    '07
    9
    0.9
    '06
    6
    1.0
    '07-08 NHL ON VERSUS
    SEASON
    GMS
    COVERAGE AREA RATING
    HHs
    VIEWERS
    '07-08
    58
    0.3
    192,675
    272,417
    '06-07
    56
    0.2
    160,134
    212,366
    '05-06
    58
    0.2
    116,852
    162,161

    On the RSN side, 15 NHL teams saw increases in HH ratings from last season. FSN North saw the biggest gains among all RSNs, jumping 158.6% for its Wild telecasts, while the Blues also saw healthy gains, up 68.3% on FSN Midwest. CSN, which has the rights to four NHL teams, saw its average ratings jump 31% as three of its four teams made the playoffs. The Capitals and LW Alex Ovechkin led the way for CSN as the team jumped 75% in HH ratings on CSN Mid-Atlantic. The four teams on MSG and MSG Plus -- Rangers, Islanders, Sabres and Devils -- also saw an increase in ratings this season, with each of the franchises ranking in the top 10 among U.S. teams in ratings gains from last season. Nine teams saw RSN ratings declines this season. Despite last season's first playoff appearance for the Thrashers, the club saw the biggest decline, down 58.8%, as the team failed to reach the postseason this year. Despite qualifying for the playoffs, the Bruins, Avalanche, Predators and Stars all saw RSN declines. The following lists RSN ratings for each NHL team based in the U.S.

    '07-08 NHL RSN RATINGS
    TEAM
    RSN
    GMS
    AVG. HH RATING
    '07-08
    AVG. HH RATING
    '06-07
    % +/-
    Wild
    FSN North
    45
    2.87
    1.11
    158.6%
    Rangers
    MSG
    57
    1.16
    0.62
    87.1%
    Islanders
    MSG Plus
    62
    0.23
    0.13
    76.9%
    Capitals
    CSN Mid-Atlantic
    75
    0.70
    0.40
    75.0%
    Blues FSN Midwest
    40
    2.07
    1.23
    68.3%
    Sabres MSG
    74
    8.50
    5.10
    66.7%
    Panthers FSN Florida
    70
    0.29
    0.19
    52.6%
    Devils MSG Plus
    66
    0.33
    0.23
    43.5%
    Flyers CSN Philadelphia
    62
    2.30
    1.70
    35.3%
    Red Wings FSN Detroit
    70
    4.74
    3.55
    33.5%
    Hurricanes FSN South
    55
    1.30
    1.00
    30.0%
    Ducks FSN Prime Ticket
    65
    0.31
    0.25
    24.0%
    Blue Jackets FSN Ohio
    75
    1.15
    0.95
    21.1%
    Penguins FSN Pittsburgh
    70
    5.99
    5.22
    14.8%
    Sharks CSN Bay Area
    60
    0.90
    0.80
    12.5%
    Coyotes FSN Arizona
    40
    0.31
    0.32
    -3.1%
    Kings FSN West
    70
    0.29
    0.30
    -3.3%
    Bruins NESN
    74
    1.50
    1.60
    -6.3%
    Avalanche Altitude
    66
    1.50
    1.70
    -11.8%
    Blackhawks CSN Chicago
    48
    0.60
    0.80
    -25.0%
    Lightning Sun Sports
    69
    0.65
    0.89
    -27.0%
    Predators FSN South
    55
    0.70
    1.00
    -30.0%
    Stars FSN Southwest
    41
    0.41
    0.59
    -30.5%
    Thrashers SportSouth
    60
    0.14
    0.34
    -58.8%

    NOTES: *  = The Ducks had 41 telecasts on FSN Prime Ticket and 24 on FSN West, while the Kings had 61 telecasts on FSN West and 9 telecasts on FSN Prime Ticket. Ratings listed for each team is the combined rating for the two nets.

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