Comcast SportsNet Chicago earned a 6.31 local rating for Sunday's Blackhawks-Red Wings game, marking the net's highest ever Blackhawks regular-season rating. That figure passes the previous record set just five days earlier for the Blackhawks home opener against the Blues on Jan. 22, which earned a 5.40 rating (CSN Chicago). Meanwhile, Rogers Sportsnet on Sunday recorded its largest audience ever for a Senators regional broadcast with an average of 441,000 viewers tuning in for the game against the Penguins. The audience passes the Senators' previous record audience of 335,000 viewers for a game against the Maple Leafs on Jan. 17, 2012. The record audience also is 72% above the current season Senators audience average of 257,000 (Sportsnet).
TOUGH TO SAY GOODBYE: In St. Louis, Don Reed notes coverage of the funeral for late Baseball HOFer Stan Musial on Saturday "did not translate into huge television ratings." The proceedings were shown "live on five local TV outlets, but the combined rating (12.7) was less than the number many marquee Cardinals regular-season games draw and even fell short of the lowest-rated Rams game (14.5) last year." Another "twist -- none of the individual stations that carried the services beat the 6.4 rating the Pro Bowl generated locally Sunday night" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/29).
HANG TEN: L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said the “competing” by the players in the NFL Pro Bowl was "enough for another solid TV rating.” Plaschke: “You know as many people watch the Pro Bowl as watch baseball’s World Series. So we all complain about it, (Roger) Goodell complains about it and says they need to play harder, but people watch the game” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 1/28). ESPN's Eamon McAnaney said, “As long as the network is going to show it the NFL is going to play” (“The Wheelhouse,” SportsNet N.Y., 1/28).
KAY WILL STAY: YES Network announced broadcaster Michael Kay has signed a multiyear extension with the net to remain its lead Yankees play-by-play voice. Kay joined YES in '02 (YES). NBCSPORTS.com's Craig Calcaterra wrote, "I know some people like to nitpick him, but (a) just about every broadcaster can be nitpicked; and (b) Kay, even if he isn't your cup of tea, has always seemed pretty solid to me." The key is "whether someone is actively assaulting," and Kay "is not that" (NBCSPORTS.com, 1/28).