VERSUS VIEWERSHIP FOR FIRST TWO ROUNDS HIGHEST ON RECORD
TSN Sets Record for Flyers-Bruins Game 7
NEW YORK (May 18, 2010) – VERSUS’ coverage of the first two rounds of 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs was the most-watched first two rounds on cable on record with an average of 775,000 viewers for the 54 telecasts (Stanley Cup Playoff cable viewership became available by Nielsen for the 1994 playoffs). The average viewership (1.041 million) for VERSUS’ coverage of the Conference Semifinal round was also the highest on record, surpassing all prior playoff seasons dating back to at least 1994.
The 1.0 HH rating and average viewership (1.041 million) for the second round were up 25 percent and 28 percent, respectively, over last year’s Conference Semifinal (.8 HH rating and 816,000 viewers). Throughout the duration of the Conference Semifinal, VERSUS ranked as a top 10 cable network in primetime viewership (8-11 p.m.) among Adults 18-49 and 25-54 and was one of the top five most-watched cable networks among Men 18-49 and 25-54.
VERSUS’ second-round successes came on the heels of the highest-rated and most-watched Conference Quarterfinal round on cable since 2001 and the most-watched among Men 25-54 on cable since 2000. The first round averaged a .7 HH rating and 595,000 viewers, up 75 percent and 35 percent, respectively, as compared to last year’s Conference Quarterfinal (.4 HH rating and 442,000 viewers), and led to VERSUS earning its most-watched April in primetime in network history.
TSN’s audience (2.1 million viewers) for the Philadelphia Flyers-Boston Bruins historic Game 7 was the highest audience ever recorded for an NHL game on TSN not involving a Canadian team. It was also the most-watched program on Canadian television on Friday in all key advertising demographics. Audience levels peaked at 3.95 million viewers in the third period.
Overall, TSN’s coverage of the second round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs attracted an average audience of 1.1 million viewers, 61 percent higher than the last year (681,000).
TV MILESTONES IN THE 2010 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
- Game 1 of the Blackhawks-Sharks series on NBC earned an 11.2 rating in Chicago, beating the Cubs, White Sox and Boston-Orlando broadcasts combined.
- The Flyers Game 7 victory over the Bruins on Friday night was the most watched Flyers game in Comcast SportsNet history with an 11.7 rating and 345,000 households, topping the previous record set two days earlier.
- CBC’s coverage of Game 7 between the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins drew an average audience of 4.24 million viewers, ranking as the sixth largest Stanley Cup Playoff audience in CBC history.
- On French language RDS, the Canadiens-Penguins Game 7 was the most-viewed NHL telecast in the network’s history with 2.69 million viewers.
- The game also scored on FSN Pittsburgh averaging a 26.4 HH rating, the highest-rated game ever on the network. At one point 43 percent of all households in the Pittsburgh DMA were tuned into FSN.
- There were three major Boston-area sports events televised on May 7 and Game 4 of the Bruins-Flyers series scored the best numbers, earning an 8.3 local Nielsen rating (328,000 viewers) on Versus in the Boston metered market besting the Yankees-Red Sox matchup on NESN, which earned a 6.3 local rating (223,000 viewers) to finish in second, while Game Three of the Cavaliers-Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals earned a 4.1 local rating (142,000 viewers) on ESPN.
- On Thursday April 22, the Blackhawks, with 278,000 viewers in Chicago, prevailed over some tough local competition: Bulls (255,000 viewers, playoff game against Cleveland and LeBron James), NFL Draft (138,000) and the Chicago Cubs vs. NY Mets (137,000 viewers).
- Combined, NBC and VERSUS averaged 742,000 viewers per telecast, the most for the first round since ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 averaged 750,000 viewers in 2000 and a 24-percent increase over last year.
- VERSUS’ average viewership of 595,000 for the first round of the playoffs was the best for the NHL on U.S. cable in nine years (ESPN/ESPN 2, 608,000 in 2001).
- Game 2 of the Detroit/San Jose series averaged 1.772 million viewers, making it VERSUS’ most-watched Conference Semifinal game in network history and the most-watched second-round game on cable in a decade (Colorado/Detroit, May 1, 2000 on ESPN, 1.926 million).
- The Washington-Montreal Game 7 was the highest rated (1.2 HH rating) and most watched (1.2 million viewers) Conference Quarterfinal game ever on VERSUS, and the most watched Conference Quarterfinal game on U.S. cable since Minnesota-Colorado in 2003 on ESPN.
- TSN’s audience of 2.8 million for the Washington-Montreal Game 7 was the highest audience ever recorded for an NHL game on TSN and was the most-watched program on Canadian television Wednesday night in all key demographics.
- The Montreal-Washington series ranks as the most-watched playoff series ever on TSN (any round) with an average audience of 1.8 million viewers over seven games.
DIGITAL STRATEGY PAYS DIVIDENDS
The NHL is engaging and connecting with more fans than ever on its digital platforms and the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs has continued that trend. Some highlights:
- For the first 34 days of the playoffs, video starts on NHL.com are up 153 percent over last year
- Unique visitors to NHL.com are up 31 percent
- Page views on NHL.com are up 50 percent
- Mobile page views are up 185 percent
- April was the most trafficked month in the history of NHL.com in terms of unique visitors surpassing 17 million
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NHL’S RECORD-BREAKING BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2009-10
- Corporate sponsorship was up 20 percent
- New League partners this season include Geico, Starwood Hotels, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, LG Electronics and Hershey’s Canada
- Ad spending on NHL® media increased by 37 percent over last season
- NHL.com ad revenue is up 50 percent over last year
- Revenue from big event platforms, led by the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, are up 22 percent over last season
- Unique visitors to NHL.com surpassed last year’s record by 32 percent
- NHL Game Center Live™ subscriptions were up 25 percent
- NHL Network subscribers have increased by 104 percent
- Sales at SHOP.NHL.com were up 12 percent from last year’s record
- Viewership for NBC’s Game of the Week telecasts were up 13 percent
- Ratings for exclusive telecasts on Versus were up 20 percent
- NHL Mobile™ reached 1.6 million page views, an increase of 233 percent over last season
Source: Nielsen Media Research US and Nielsen Media Research Canada / BBM