Ratings Roundup: Blackhawks, Bruins Post Record Playoff Numbers on RSNs
On the heels of a new multibillion-dollar rights deal with NBC Sports Group, the NHL has experienced solid ratings increases during the playoffs. On a local scale, multiple RSNs have posted record or near-record ratings during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:
Comcast SportsNet Chicago delivered its highest Blackhawks rating ever on April 24, a 12.45 household rating, during the team’s overtime win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 6 of their first-round series. The 12.45 rating shatters the previous all-time record set on April 21 for the Blackhawks’ first-round, Game 5 win at Vancouver (10.58). In addition, CSN Chicago posted record ratings for its pre- (3.43) and post-game (5.32) shows. The regional sports network (RSN) attracted approximately 436,074 households for the entire game and scored a massive 16.9 peak rating during the 9:45 p.m. quarter-hour (approximately 592,000 households). Comcast SportsNet was also the highest-rated television network in the Chicago market in households and every key male and adult demographic for the entire length of the game (6:30-10:00 p.m.). Household ratings for the first round are up 35% (8.13 vs. 6.02) over the Blackhawks’ first-round series against Nashville last year.
NESN’s coverage of the Bruins’ double-overtime win over Montreal in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on April 23 was the third-highest-rated Bruins playoff game in network history, earning a 13.0 household rating in the Boston market. The last three games have all set records as the top three non-Game 7 playoff ratings in network history (Game 4 earned a 10.8, Game 3 a 10.7)…
…The NBA Playoffs have also seen huge ratings gains throughout the first round of the playoffs, both nationally and in selected regions of the country:
TNT’s Orlando Magic–Atlanta Hawks/Los Angeles Lakers–New Orleans Hornets doubleheader Sunday averaged a 3.9 rating, up 50% from last year’s comparable coverage. In addition, TNT’s 2.7 for its Chicago Bulls–Indiana Pacers/Dallas Mavericks–Portland Trail Blazers doubleheader Saturday was also up 50%. Five of ABC/ESPN’s weekend games were up, including ABC’s Miami Heat–Philadelphia 76ers game Sunday, which was up 29% from a Boston Celtics–Miami game last year.
Despite being eliminated by the Boston Celtics on Sunday, the New York Knicks nearly doubled their ratings on MSG Network since their previous playoff appearance seven years ago. MSG Network averaged a 2.96 household rating over three games in the New York market (the fourth contest aired exclusively on ABC), a 96% jump over the 2004 playoffs, when the RSN notched a 1.51 mark over four games. Each game — Game 1 (3.29 household rating), Game 2 (2.44), Game 3 (2.95) — continued on the team’s regular-season success. MSG Network averaged a 1.82 household rating, an increase of 100% compared with the 2009-10 regular season (0.91 household rating).