NBC Sees Overnight Ratings Boost For Opening Weekend Of Stanley Cup Playoffs
NBC saw an uptick for its first three telecasts of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs this past weekend compared to the comparable first-round games last season, which aired on the first weekend in May due to the lockout-shortened season. Yesterday’s Red Wings-Bruins game led the way with a 1.8 overnight rating in the late afternoon window, up 20% from a 1.5 rating for Blackhawks-Wild Game 3 last year. NBC earned a 1.6 overnight for Flyers-Rangers Game 2 in the early afternoon window yesterday, up 14% from a 1.4 rating for Penguins-Islanders Game 3 last season. The NHL telecasts on the comparable Sunday last season had competition from two NBA Playoff games (only one game yesterday) and a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. On Saturday, NBC drew a 1.6 overnight for Blackhawks-Blues Game 2, up 33% from a 1.3 rating for Capitals-Rangers Game 2 last year (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
KEEN EYES: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes NBC during Saturday's Blackhawks-Blues Game 2 telecast "unilaterally improved on [viewing the game] with some neat tape-work and commentary." The net "gave an extra-high overview that showed a Blues shift-change to be tardy, allowing undefended ice" late in the first period. Broadcasters Dave Strader and Ed Olcyzk added that "unless the Blues fix that, they’ll pay for two reasons: Chicago’s the best at 'stretch-passes' -- long, down-ice passes to line-hangers -- and in the second period, with teams changing directions, the Blues’ bench will be even further from their goalie." Mushnick: "Good stuff, worth looking for" (N.Y. POST, 4/21).
RAISING THE BAR: In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes under the header, "Altitude's Production Peaking In Playoffs." Avalanche radio analyst Marc Moser on Thursday and Saturday "lifted his solo 'homer' assistance to a new level" during the team's playoff wins over the Wild at Pepsi Center. However, TV "was the location to be" for the games. The Altitude camera crew, aided by broadcasters Peter McNab and Mike Haynes, "developed a 'you are there' feeling for armchair fans." McNab and Haynes when time allows "occasionally are hockey educators" (DENVER POST, 4/21).