The ratings from the 2012 playoffs’ quarterfinals and semifinals are in and it appears that hockey fans are responding to the wall-to-wall coverage provided under NBC Universal’s umbrella of networks. The first two rounds are the “most watched on record,” dating back to when cable program data first became available starting in 1994.
NBC sent out a press release with plenty of interesting nuggets on ratings overall and from specific series and games. Here are some of the highlights.
Conference semifinals games across NBC, NBC Sports Network & CNBC averaged 1.32 million viewers, a 28 percent increase from 2011.
More specifically, viewership on NBC Sports Network jumped 43 percent from last year, with an average of 1.29 million viewers marking the best numbers for any single cable network.
Game 7 of the Washington Capitals-New York Rangers series was the second-most watched playoff game on cable in 2012 (1.68 million viewers).
The total playoff audience is up 23 percent from 2011. (To be more specific, more than 39 million viewers tuned in versus about 32.2 million last year.)
Rangers and Capitals numbers
Here are a few market-specific bits from the press release:
In New York, Rangers-Capitals Game 7 received a 4.8 HH (household) rating, the highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network. The telecast was up 129 % vs. 2008’s two-game average (2.07).
In Washington, Rangers-Capitals Game 7 received a 7.67 HH rating, the second-highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network. The telecast was up 19% vs. the market’s 2011 Semifinal average (6.45).
Coyotes and Kings Game 1
In Los Angeles, Game 1 received a 2.14 HH rating, the highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network.
In Phoenix, Game 1 received a 5.56 HH rating, the highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network.
So long story short, the ratings have been great in 2012.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day