The NHL and hockey in general are seeing some improved ratings this year according to a handful of articles. It’s not surprising that Canadian numbers are up, but competitive contests and general momentum are making a big difference in the United States too.
In the United States, playoff television ratings are reaching pre-lockout levels.
The first five nights of coverage on Versus have the highest cable ratings for the beginning of the post-season since 2002. The average of 543,000 viewers is up 21 per cent from last year.
Sports Media Watch had a great breakdown of local TV ratings for all the big sports, which can be found here. Mike Chen of From the Rink did a fabulous job comparing and contrasting the different results.
-In New York, every team beats the Nets, even the New York Islanders. And the New York Rangers and Knicks are pretty close — 0.95 (Knicks) to 0.89 (Rangers).
-In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings, Clippers, and Anaheim Ducks are all on the bottom level together.
-In many markets, baseball is king.
-In the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Jose Sharks are behind the Golden State Warriors but they beat the Oakland A’s.
-In Detroit, the Red Wings outdraw the Pistons by nearly two to one.
-In Philadelphia, the Flyers nearly double the 76ers.
So, it looks like things are trending up for the league, which is good news for all. Hopefully the great hockey will continue going forward so we’ll have more positivity to pass along.