Insights

SPORTS WRAP NHL Teams On Ratings Power Play
Article

SPORTS WRAP NHL Teams On Ratings Power Play

Analysis of local ratings for the start of the NHL season shows 12 U.S. teams with double-digit percentage increases in viewership compared to the same time period a year ago. The Buffalo Sabres remain the highest-rated NHL team with an 8.9 average household rating in their market –and boast a 14% increase in viewership from 2007 as well.  The Pittsburgh Penguins are in the number two slot, with a 5.7 local rating, a 21% increase over last season.

NHL Local Ratings Box Score

• The Washington Capitals‘ ratings are up 140% compared to a year ago, thanks in part to reigning NHL MVP, Alex Ovechkin, continuing his great play and leading the Caps to first place in the Southeast division.

• The Chicago Blackhawks are televising all of their regular season home games for the first time, and viewers are responding to their exciting young team with a 71% boost in average ratings from last season.

• Not only are the San Jose Sharks on top of their division, they also have an impressive 50% increase over last season’s ratings in the SF-SJ-OAK Market..

• While economic conditions may be slowing Colorado Avalanche attendance, it may be helping the ratings: The Avs’ viewership is up 36% in Denver.

• The New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, who skate in the nation’s two largest markets, are also outperforming last season, both with 33% increases in local viewership.

Top US Local Ratings 2008-09 Season
NHL Teams Avg. Local HH Rating
Buffalo Sabres 8.9
Pittsburgh Penguins 5.7
Detroit Red Wings 3.3
Minnesota Wild 2.6
Philadelphia Flyers 2.1
Colorado Avalanche 1.9
St. Louis Blues 1.9
Boston Bruins 1.6
Columbus Blue Jackets 1.3
Washington Capitals 1.2
Chicago Blackhawks 1.2
San Jose Sharks 1.2
NY Rangers 1.2
Source: 2008 The Nielsen Company

2008-09 Season vs. 2007-08 Season Ratings

% Change

NHL Teams % Change YOY
Washington Capitals 140%
Chicago Blackhawks 71%
San Jose Sharks 50%
Colorado Avalanche 36%
LA Kings 33%
Phoenix Coyotes 33%
NY Rangers 33%
Columbus Blue Jackets 30%
Tampa Bay Lightning 25%
Pittsburgh Penguins 21%
Boston Bruins 14%
Buffalo Sabres 14%
Source: 2008 The Nielsen Company

Read coverage of Nielsen’s findings in The Washington Post, the Washington Business Journal and The Mercury News (Silicon Valley).