Another shout out to my favorite Internet mogul, Ted Leonsis. Ted owns the NHL's Washington Capitals and he's very on the record about his reasons why the NHL will never be as popular on TV as NBA, NFL and MLB (loosely paraphrased: it's easy to play catch, toss the ball around or shoot some hoops, lacing up the skates is a real commitment!).
I agree with Ted 100% on that score. At the same time he, his management and the team have done a fantastic job building some real excitment for the Capitals in the Washington, D.C. area. Although I've lived in San Francisco for almost 10 years, I am a D.C. native and lived there for over 30 years. I'm impressed, happy and proud of Ted and the whole crew at the Washington Capitals for what they've been able to accomplish.
Below is a press release about local ratings in the DC and Philadelphia area for the games. Last night's game was the highest rated local broadcast of a Capitals game in five years (and the highest for the Fyers in 2 years)!
The "peak viewing" data is also very interesting. I wish we were able to get that from Nielsen for all shows, it's a very, very interesting data point. Before jumping to the press release, I encourage you to check out Ted's diary about the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the USA Today website. He's a great writer, he's honest and authentic and his line about "Ok Maximus -- sit down and take it easy..." had me laughing out loud. On to the data via press release:
COMCAST SPORTSNET ATTRACTS RECORD AUDIENCE FOR NHL PLAYOFFS
Flyers-Capitals Game Three Draws Combined Peak Audience of 357,500 Households in Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Baltimore
(April 16, 2008) - Last night's game three of the Flyers-Capitals playoff series, televised regionally on Comcast SportsNet's Philadelphia and Mid-Atlantic networks, drew a combined peak Comcast SportsNet audience of 357,500 households and averaged a combined audience of 234,000 households.
Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, home of the Flyers, covered the game in the Philadelphia market, and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, home of the Capitals, covered the game in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore markets.
Last night's telecast was the highest-rated Capitals game on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic in five seasons and the highest-rated Flyers game on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia in two seasons. Comcast SportsNet's post-season audience gains follow strong regular season ratings growth for both the Flyers and the Capitals. Capitals ratings on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic increased 75% over last season and Flyers coverage on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia increased 47% over last season.
The game drew a peak audience of 247,000 households (8.3 rating) and averaged 161,000 households (5.4 rating) on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, and on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, attracted a peak audience of 87,400 (3.8 rating) and an average viewership of 59,800 (2.6 rating) in Washington, D.C., and peaked at 23,100 households (2.1 rating) and averaged 13,200 households (1.2 rating) in Baltimore. The audience peaked in all three markets during the 9:30-9:45 quarter hour.
Comcast SportsNet operates 10 sports networks that cover more than 2,400 live sporting events annually and deliver comprehensive sports news and analysis to nearly 40 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast SportsNet's networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Comcast SportsNet West, SNY, The Mtn. - MountainWest Sports Network, and CSS. These networks provide live game coverage of 18 professional teams as well as college, minor league and other sports. For more information see ComcastSportsNet.com.