Stanley Cup Playoffs Attract Largest Audience Ever; Caps Best Biz Year in NHL History

Categories: Network TV Press Releases,TV Sports Ratings & News

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June 14th, 2010

via NHL press release:

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS ATTRACT LARGEST AUDIENCE EVER;
CAPS BEST BIZ YEAR IN NHL HISTORY

NBC Sports Scores Most-Watched U.S. NHL Game in 36 Years; CBC Earns Highest
Audience for All-U.S. Final

Blackhawks Victory Fuels Sales Record for Shop.NHL.com; In-Arena Sales Up
129% For Final

Stanley Cup Snares Five Top 20 Searches on Google

"Right now the NHL can seemingly do no wrong…there's reason for The League
to be optimistic…The League is on a rise. More people are watching, more
people care.” – Philadelphia Daily News

NEW YORK (June 14, 2010) – After a regular season that saw
record-breaking business success, propelled in large part by the NHL’s
strategy of engaging fans through big events and robust digital offerings,
The League built on that momentum with unprecedented success during a
Stanley Cup Playoffs that attracted the largest audience across all
platforms in the history of the sport.

The landmark playoff run was highlighted by the most-watched NHL game in
the U.S. in 36 years; the highest audience for an all-U.S. Final in
Canadian television history; the most-watched first two rounds on U.S.
cable in history; the most-watched NHL game in TSN’s history; record TV
ratings in local markets such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and
Boston; television and digital growth in non-traditional markets like
Memphis, Kansas City, New Orleans and San Diego; another record year for
NHL.com unique visitors; the hottest of all hot markets in Chicago fueling
Shop.NHL.com one-day sales record; in-arena sales for the Final growing
by 129 percent; and measurable buzz on platforms like Google and Twitter.

"By whatever method of measurement you want to use -- be it ratings,
revenues, page views, video starts, sponsor activations or simply the
quality of play – the game, the players, the fans, our clubs and our
partners teamed up to make 2009-10 a season to remember," said NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman.

NHL COO John Collins said, “Our fans once again demonstrated their
insatiable appetite for NHL hockey, which they consumed in unprecedented
numbers across all of our platforms. These milestones spotlight the power
of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and its importance to hockey fans around the
world. It's a fitting cap to a season that saw record-breaking business
success for The League.”

Below are business highlights from the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

MEASURABLE BUZZ
·  On Wednesday, June 9, (Game 6) and the day preceding, five of the
top 20 searches on Google were Stanley Cup related.
·  For week one of the Stanley Cup Final search interest for the
Stanley Cup Final was up 23 percent over last year.
·  The Stanley Cup ranked as the number one trending topic worldwide
on Twitter through the end of Game 6 (June 9).

·  According to the Chicago Sun-Times, The City of Chicago estimated
that two million people attended the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley
Cup parade on Friday more than the estimated half-million that
watched the White Sox World Series parade in 2005 as well as any
victory parade for the Bulls in the 1980's and 90's.

·  According to Forbes.com, tickets for the Stanley Cup Final were
driving a higher price on the secondary market than for the NBA
Finals.

MERCHANDISE SALES UP SIGNIFICANTLY
·  Total in-venue sales for Stanley Cup Final were up 92 percent over
last year’s Final and gained 129 percent over the first six games
of the 2009 Final.
·  Total sales for the entire 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs were up 22
percent.
·  Shop.NHL.com recorded its best single day sales total on June 10,
surpassing the previous single day record (Holiday 2009 Cyber
Monday) by 25 percent and also eclipsed Penguins (Stanley Cup
2009) by over 50 percent.

“Sales in Chicago have been off the charts,” said Bryan Nosal of JC Penney.
“We sold out in many locations within hours. The fan support has been
tremendous.”

Jim Pasani of VF Licensed Sports Group, Majestic Athletic said, "Chicago's
commitment to the Cup is like nothing we've ever seen and demand for
Blackhawks apparel has exceeded our own high expectations. The Blackhawks
victory caps off what has been a winning NHL campaign with fans and
retailers appetites for NHL merchandise clearly on a strong upswing heading
into 2011."

NBC SPORTS EARNS HIGHEST GAME 6 AUDIENCE IN 36 YEARS
·  Game 6 of the Final on NBC was the most-watched (8.28 million) and
highest-rated NHL game (4.7) on U.S. television in 36 years.
·  NBC Sports broadcast four of the series’ six games (1-2, 5-6).
Those four games averaged 6.1 million viewers, the best on network
TV in 13 years.
·  NBC Sports’ coverage of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final earned the
best overnight rating (4.1 rating and 7 share) for a Game 2 on
record (NHL overnight data prior to 1975 is unavailable).

CBC SETS MARK FOR ALL U.S. FINAL
·  Game 6 between Chicago and Philadelphia averaged 4.077 million
viewers, the highest audience ever for an all-U.S. Stanley Cup
Final on CBC.
·  Overall, the Stanley Cup Final on CBC averaged 3.107 million
viewers, the best in six years and a 44 percent increase over last
year.
·  For the entire playoffs, CBC averaged 2.102 million viewers, up 62
percent from 2009.

VERSUS SCORES MOST-WATCHED PLAYOFFS ON CABLE IN EIGHT YEARS
·  The 2010 Playoffs on VERSUS were the most-watched in network
history and the best on cable since 2002.
·  The Conference Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds were the
most-watched first two rounds on cable since NHL Playoff
viewership became available by Nielsen in the 1993/94 season (54
games, 775,000 viewers).
·  Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 2 was VERSUS’
highest-rated and most-watched telecast ever in network history
(3.1 HH rating and 3.6 million viewers) and made VERSUS the
most-watched cable network in the country that night.
·  Games 3 & 4 of the Stanley Cup Final averaged 3.369 million
viewers, up five percent over the 2009 average (3.212 million
viewers), making it the most-watched Final round on cable since
2002.

TSN SHOWS 70 PERCENT INCREASE
·  TSN averaged more than 1.11 million viewers for its playoff
coverage – 70 percent higher than its average playoff audience
last season.
·  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.
·  Overall, 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.

RDS UP 84 PERCENT
·  The NHL Playoffs on RDS averaged 759,000 viewers for 65 telecasts,
up 84 percent from last season.

·  The Canadiens-Penguins Game 7 was the most-viewed NHL telecast in
the network’s history with 2.69 million viewers.

DIGITAL PLATFORMS SHOW IMPRESSIVE GROWTH
·  Video starts on NHL.com finished up 161 percent over last year for
the entire playoffs.
·  The day after Game 6 of the Final recorded the highest number of
video starts in NHL.com history
·  Unique visitors to NHL.com were up 17 percent over last year’s
record number.
·  Page views were up 56 percent.
·  Mobile page views were up 181 percent.
·  For the Stanley Cup Final page views were up 88 percent and video
starts 225 percent.
·  April was the most trafficked month in the history of NHL.com in
terms of unique visitors surpassing 17 million.
·  NHL.com ranked as the number two site in terms of percentage
change in unique visitors from March to April according to
comScore.
·  The League's "History Will Be Made" campaign generated 3.2 million
video starts on NHL.com and Club sites, 1.4 million views on
YouTube and 5 million views on YouTube for fan-created versions.

REGIONAL SPORTS NETWORK HIGHLIGHTS
· 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.

· 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)

· The Flyers Game 7 victory over the Bruins 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.

· The Canadiens-Penguins Game 7 on FSN Pittsburgh averaged 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.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“NHL:  National Hot League” -- MediaWeek, 4/25/10

“Olympic hockey, playoffs making the NHL cool again…This year the NHL
hit the popularity jackpot…  The NHL is the hottest it's been since the
pre-lockout days.” -- Associated Press, 6/2/10

"It seems hockey is having its day." -- Los Angeles Times, 6/8/10

"It’s been a magical season for the NHL, from the Olympics to the
Cup-clinching goal." --
Toronto Star, 6/10/10

“The game has never been better. It has personality and star appeal.
And, for the first time in almost two decades, it has momentum.” --
Vancouver Province, 6/11/10

Source: Nielsen Media Research US and Nielsen Media Research Canada / BBM

 
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