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SBJ/Feb. 7-13, 2011/Media
NHL viewership trends tied to hockey tradition, Northern exposure
Published February 7, 2011, Page 4
|NHL teams’ RSN ratings|
|St. Louis||FS Midwest||3.29|
|Los Angeles||FS West||0.44|
|N.Y. Islanders||MSG Plus||0.3|
|Rating change from 2009-10|
|St. Louis||FS Midwest||41%|
|Tampa Bay||Sun Sports||27%|
|Los Angeles||FS West||26%|
|N.Y. Islanders||MSG Plus||-23%|
|San Jose||CSN California||-27%|
|Team||RSN||Avg. no. of HHs|
|Tampa Bay||Sun Sports||14,000|
|Note: Viewership data for Carolina, Nashville and the NHL's six Canadian teams was not available. * Information on Thrashers games on FS Atlanta for 2009-10 was not available. Compiled by John Ourand, David Broughton|
The biggest traditional U.S. hockey markets have seen strong growth and big audiences, but the sport still seems to be struggling on TV in the Sun Belt.
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The Penguins sit comfortably atop the ratings.
Conversely, teams in warm-weather markets dominate the bottom of the NHL's local TV chart. An average of 3,000 homes watch Panthers games on FS Florida, and an average of 6,000 homes watch Thrashers games on FS South and SportSouth.
One head-scratcher is in Tampa, where the Lightning on the ice went into the All-Star break as the second-place team in the Eastern Conference. On Sun Sports, the team has registered a 27 percent increase to a 0.79 rating, the league's fourth-highest jump, but the Lightning's average of 14,000 homes per game is the league's fifth lowest.
St. Louis games on FS Midwest are up a league-leading 41 percent to an average rating of 3.29. The biggest drop-off has come in Columbus, where Blue Jackets games on FS Ohio have dropped 41 percent.