Best NHL Playoff Opening Night in NBC Sports Network History

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

April 12th, 2012

via press release:

Two NBC Sports Network Opening Night Games Up 29% vs. Last Year

 

Three-Game NBC Sports Network/CNBC Average Up 12% vs. Last Year

 

Flyers-Penguins is Most-Watched Opening Night Playoff Game in Net’s History & Best Opener in Decade

 

***

 

NHL regular season watched by 17% more viewers this year on NBC Sports Network; Exclusive Games Viewership Up 6%, Non-Exclusive Up 8%

 

NHL Game of the Week Viewership Up 13% on NBC

 

 

NEW YORK – April 12, 2012 – The NBC Sports Group’s opening night presentation of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday – featuring two games on NBC Sports Network and one on NBCUniversal’s business channel CNBC -- resulted in the following viewership records and milestones, according to official national ratings data released today by The Nielsen Company:

 

 

 

The most-watched NHL playoff opening night ever for the NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS)

 

 

 

A 29% average rating increase on NBC Sports Network vs. last year’s opening night

 

 

 

A 12% average rating increase for all three games on NBC Sports Network and CNBC compared to last year’s opening night

 

 

 

The most-watched opening night playoff game in NBC Sports Network history and the most-watched opening night playoff game in 10 years for Flyers-Penguins, won 4-3 in overtime by Philadelphia, who overcame a 3-0 deficit

 

 

 

“The opening night viewership exceeded our own high expectations,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “This new playoff format was part of the plan we brought to the NHL last year when constructed our new 10-year agreement. We are pleased with this early trend, and there is a lot of hockey still to be played. The playoffs are continuing the momentum we established during the regular-season, which saw a 17 percent increase in total audience. These results continue to demonstrate that the appetite for hockey is far from saturated.”

 

BEST OPENING NIGHT EVER: Yesterday’s two opening night games on NBC Sports Network – Flyers-Penguins and Kings-Canucks -- averaged a 0.44 rating, up 29% compared to last year’s opening night (0.34) and the best opening night in NBC Sports Network’s seven-year history (formerly VERSUS) of televising NHL playoff games. The viewership average was 656,000, up 23% compared to last year (534,000). All NBC Sports Network, CNBC and NHL Network first-round playoff games are blacked out in local markets.

 

Flyers-Penguins: The game posted a 0.55 rating, up 83% from last year’s comparable opening night game and making it the most-watched opening night playoff game in NBC Sports Network history, and the most-watched opening night playoff game in 10 years. The game peaked with a 0.75 rating in the 9:45 p.m. ET quarter-hour.

 

Kings-Canucks: The Kings 4-2 upset win over the top-seeded Canucks in the Western Conference, which began at 10:30 p.m. ET, earned a 0.34 rating, down from a 0.36 for last year’s late opening night game.

 

COMBINED AVERAGE UP 12%: Last night three games, including coverage on CNBC of the Predators 3-2 win over the Red Wings in Nashville, averaged 0.38 rating and 555,000 viewers, up 12% and 4%, respectively, vs. last year’s averages (0.40 and 534,000). The Predators-Red Wings game averaged 0.24 with no comparable coverage last year.

 

***

 

REGULAR-SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

 

More viewers watched the 2011-12 NHL regular season on the NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS) than any previous regular season since the channel began televising games in 2005-06. In addition, average viewership for both exclusive and non-exclusive games increased over last year, as did NHL Game of the Week broadcasts on NBC.

 

 

 

Two NBC Sports Network Opening Night Games Up 29% vs. Last Year

Three-Game NBC Sports Network/CNBC Average Up 12% vs. Last Year

Flyers-Penguins is Most-Watched Opening Night Playoff Game in Net’s History & Best Opener in Decade

***

NHL regular season watched by 17% more viewers this year on NBC Sports Network; Exclusive Games Viewership Up 6%, Non-Exclusive Up 8%

NHL Game of the Week Viewership Up 13% on NBC

NEW YORK – April 12, 2012 – The NBC Sports Group’s opening night presentation of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday – featuring two games on NBC Sports Network and one on NBCUniversal’s business channel CNBC -- resulted in the following viewership records and milestones, according to official national ratings data released today by The Nielsen Company:

  • The most-watched NHL playoff opening night ever for the NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS)
  • A 29% average rating increase on NBC Sports Network vs. last year’s opening night
  • A 12% average rating increase for all three games on NBC Sports Network and CNBC compared to last year’s opening night
  • The most-watched opening night playoff game in NBC Sports Network history and the most-watched opening night playoff game in 10 years for Flyers-Penguins, won 4-3 in overtime by Philadelphia, who overcame a 3-0 deficit

“The opening night viewership exceeded our own high expectations,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “This new playoff format was part of the plan we brought to the NHL last year when constructed our new 10-year agreement. We are pleased with this early trend, and there is a lot of hockey still to be played. The playoffs are continuing the momentum we established during the regular-season, which saw a 17 percent increase in total audience. These results continue to demonstrate that the appetite for hockey is far from saturated.”

BEST OPENING NIGHT EVER: Yesterday’s two opening night games on NBC Sports Network – Flyers-Penguins and Kings-Canucks -- averaged a 0.44 rating, up 29% compared to last year’s opening night (0.34) and the best opening night in NBC Sports Network’s seven-year history (formerly VERSUS) of televising NHL playoff games. The viewership average was 656,000, up 23% compared to last year (534,000). All NBC Sports Network, CNBC and NHL Network first-round playoff games are blacked out in local markets.

Flyers-Penguins: The game posted a 0.55 rating, up 83% from last year’s comparable opening night game and making it the most-watched opening night playoff game in NBC Sports Network history, and the most-watched opening night playoff game in 10 years. The game peaked with a 0.75 rating in the 9:45 p.m. ET quarter-hour.

Kings-Canucks: The Kings 4-2 upset win over the top-seeded Canucks in the Western Conference, which began at 10:30 p.m. ET, earned a 0.34 rating, down from a 0.36 for last year’s late opening night game.

COMBINED AVERAGE UP 12%: Last night three games, including coverage on CNBC of the Predators 3-2 win over the Red Wings in Nashville, averaged 0.38 rating and 555,000 viewers, up 12% and 4%, respectively, vs. last year’s averages (0.40 and 534,000). The Predators-Red Wings game averaged 0.24 with no comparable coverage last year.

***

REGULAR-SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

More viewers watched the 2011-12 NHL regular season on the NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS) than any previous regular season since the channel began televising games in 2005-06. In addition, average viewership for both exclusive and non-exclusive games increased over last year, as did NHL Game of the Week broadcasts on NBC.

 
  • Rabbit

    Good for the NBC Sports Network. Hopefully it keeps up for them.

    It looks to be a good year for the network, what with the Tour de France and the Summer Olympics in the summer. Eventually when the TV rights for some of the major sports come up again, they’ll be bidding for it.

  • Spurer

    This is a great start for NBC as the NHL has a lot ratings draws in the playoffs this year and there’s some buzz in the sports community about last night’s games which will help even more.

    This is good for the NBCSN which can start growing as a competitive network with the Olympics coming in the summertime.

    NBCSN needs to grab the rights to both MLB and NBA over the enxt few years.

  • The Original J

    Good to see ratings uptick for Flyers-Pens game 1. GO FLYERS!

  • Brian

    GO SENS GO!!!!! GO SENS GO!!!!!! GO SENS GO!!!!!!

  • Blackhawks 4 LIFE

    LETS GO HAWKS! LETS GO HAWKS! LETS GO HAWKS!

  • Ultima

    LET’S GO HAWKS!!! LET’S GO HAWKS!!! LET’S GO HAWKS!!!

  • Matt

    Rabbit, the NHL is a major sport…

  • Rabbit

    Matt: Yes, but compared to the MLB, NBA and NFL, its lower than them. I mean, yeah, NBC Sports Network treats the NHL like gold(since its their main draw right now), but lets not kid ourselves. Otherwise, ESPN wouldn’t have dropped the NHL from their network.

  • Matt

    Obviously unaware of the facts. ESPN gave the NHL a crap offer that the NHL turned down for the simple reason that NBC DOES treat them like gold.

    It’s better to be the big fish in a small pond. The NHL locked up 10 years of 100 guaranteed games plus all playoff games so the idea that another sport will be signed and they’ll be bumped isn’t even possible. Another sport can certainly be signed, but the NHL is locked into that coverage for another nine years.

    And considering it’s already on the heels of the NBA despite being on an inferior network, the difference isn’t all that great.

  • marc

    Hockey is such a great sport, and it is a shame the U.S. has not captured it like Baseball or Football. Going to a Hockey game beats any other sporting event, hands down for excitement and energy.

    Go Rangers!!!!

  • Rabbit

    Matt: My point isn’t that the NHL will be bumped if the NBC Sports Network gets another major sport. I’m talking about having more sports on their network outside of the NHL. Right now, they have the NHL, MLS, Tour de France, the Olympics in the summer and college football and basketball in the Fall/Spring. It looks like a lot, but they don’t get the major pickings from the college football and basketball games. Plus, a lot of the times, if they don’t have a sport playing that day, they air movies, which if you want to be a premiere sports network, isn’t something they should do frequently.

    This will change as the years go on. NBC is happy they have their own sports cable network now.

  • Diane Atherton

    I am very disappointed in the coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. NBCSHD picture quality is horrible. Boxes all over the place, cutting in and out. Have Brighthouse Cable and they say it is the feed from your channel. I am going to be very, very upset if it is like this tomorrow for the Detroit Red Wings game. Brighthouse says they cannot fix, problem is on your end.!!!! PLEASE FIX, THANK YOU.

  • Ray Jones

    The last complete hockey game I watched until this year’s playoffs were Devil’s playoff games because I am a Devils fan. I have watched this years playoffs because of their intensity. My opinion is a lot of us who grew up on hockey in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s have been watching the 2012 playoffs because of this. I stopped watching hockey when it became a European game; helmets, visors and the god awful shootout. Now the NHL despite of increased ratings is bent on taking the intensity out. You watch the ratings sink like the Titanic going forward.

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