SBD/Issue 149/Sports Media

Versus Sees 26.7% Growth For First-Round NHL Playoffs Coverage

Versus averaged a 362,958 viewers (0.4 coverage rating) for 26 games in its coverage of the NHL Playoffs first round, up 26.7% from last season's 23 opening-round games, which averaged 286,476 viewers (0.3 coverage area rating). The net also gains in male demos 18-34 (+66.8%), 18-49 (+65.6%) and 25-54 (+67.4%). Flyers-Capitals Game Seven Tuesday night was the net's most-viewed game, averaging 682,000 viewers and a 0.7 coverage rating. The following lists the top ten most-viewed games to date on Versus for the '08 NHL playoffs (THE DAILY).

DATE
DAY
START
GAME
COVERAGE RATING
VIEWERS
4/22
Tues.
7:00pm
Flyers-Capitals Game Seven
0.7
682,000
4/19
Sat.
7:00pm
Canadiens-Bruins Game Six
0.4
499,000
4/21
Mon.
7:00pm
Bruins-Canadiens Game Seven
0.5
457,000
4/18
Fri.
10:31pm
Stars-Ducks Game Five
0.4
432,000
4/19
Sat.
10:05pm
Wild-Avalanche Game Six
0.4
418,000
4/11
Fri.
9:38pm
Avalanche-Wild Game Two
0.3
411,000
4/18
Fri.
7:30pm
Predators-Red Wings Game Five
0.5
409,000
4/16
Wed.
9:43pm
Red Wings-Predators Game Four
0.4
403,000
4/22
Tues.
10:00pm
Flames-Sharks Game Seven
0.5
402,000
4/20
Sun.
9:00pm
Ducks-Stars Game Six
0.4
391,000

FLYING HIGH: Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic averaged a 3.5 HH rating with 81,000 HHs in the DC market and a 2.0 with 22,000 HHs in Baltimore for its seven-game coverage of the Flyers-Capitals series, including a record high 3.6 in Baltimore for Tuesday night's Game Seven. The net averaged a 1.6 HH rating in the DC market and a 1.0 HH rating in Baltimore for five telecasts of the '03 Lightning-Capitals first-round series, the last time the Caps were in the playoffs (THE DAILY). CSN Philadelphia's coverage of Flyers-Capitals Game Seven earned an 8.5 HH rating (252,000 HHs), making it the second-most watched program of the night in the Philadelphia market. The five games from the series which aired on the net averaged a 6.2 HH rating and 184,000 HHs (CSN Philadelphia).

SHARK BOYS: CSN Bay Area's telecast of Flames-Sharks Game Seven on Tuesday night registered a 4.6 HH rating (111,000 HHs), making it the net's highest-rated Sharks telecast since the Game Seven of the '02 Sharks-Avalanche Western Conference semifinals, which posted a 5.7 HH rating (137,000 HHs). For the entire Sharks-Flames series, CSN Bay Area averaged a 2.7 HH rating (65,000 HHs), up 35% from the '07 Sharks-Predators first round series, which averaged a 2.0 HH rating for four telecasts (CSN Bay Area).

The CBC's Viewers During First Round Of
Stanley Cup Playoffs Down 4% From Last Year
NET MINDERS: In Toronto, William Houston reports the CBC averaged 1.182 million viewers per game for its first-round coverage of the NHL playoffs, down 4% from '07. TSN's 399,000 viewers equaled its first-round average last year. Despite the ratings, Houston writes the league gave the CBC a "favourable playoff schedule in the first round," and the "good dates and times ... will continue into the second round." CBC Sports Exec Dir Scott Moore: "The NHL has been very responsive to us and worked hard to keep all Canadian games in prime time. They also have been great about having Saturday night games." With the Flames losing to the Sharks in the first round, the CBC "used its first-right option to take the [Rangers-Penguins] series as its No. 2 second-round property" behind Flyers-Canadiens (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/24). Meanwhile, the TORONTO STAR's Chris Zelkovich today profiles Moore as he is beginning his second year at the net (TORONTO STAR, 4/24).

NEW TECHNOLOGY: The NHL Network Online since its April 9 launch has attracted 75% more page views than NHL.TV, the league's legacy video platform, did in the two weeks prior to the launch. The NHL Network Online for the week of April 13 attracted 7 million page views, the highest weekly total at NHL.TV for the '07-08 season (NHL).

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