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Saturday, May 3, 2008

NHL on Versus Sets Records

They managed to draw 1.2 million people

The NHL on Versus set a record with a 1.0 TV rating during Game 4 between the NY Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins. That apparently is their best rating ever. They also managed to draw 1.2 million people which is also a record, along with having the highest viewership among males 18-39 and 18-49 of all cable programs broadcast during that timeslot. They even managed to beat the competing Detroit Pistons - Philadelphia 76ers matchup on TNT in those demographics.

The game drew a 2.1 household rating in the NY market....

The game drew a 2.1 household rating in the NY market and a 15.3 household rating in the Pittsburgh market. That is also a record for NHL on Versus ratings in both markets. On top of all that, the telecast was the highest rated show on cable in New York and the most watched show on TV in the Pittsburgh.

This was a unique broadcast, as Versus had exclusivity.

This was a unique broadcast, as Versus had exclusivity. That means that no other American network (national or regional) could broadcast the game.Versus has exclusivity for their Tuesday regular season matchups (before the Super Bowl, and Monday matchups afterwards), two games per series during the Conference Semi-Finals, the Conference Finals and the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals. This goes to show you that Versus can draw respectable ratings given the appropriate matchups and exclusivity.

When I first saw this rating, I was stunned and in shock. Not because I didn't think the NHL could draw these numbers, but because of the horrid 1.2 rating they drew on NBC with Game 2 of the series. NBC has exclusivity for every game they broadcast, in the regular season and playoffs. I didn't think there was a hope in hell of them drawing anything close to this number. I expected that they would be in the 0.6-0.7 range. Was the Versus telecast that much better that people started to tune in? Or was it just the possibility of seeing an elimination that got the fans to come out? It just goes to show you, you never know what's going to happen.....Or maybe sports fans are just weird.

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