Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ratings for Round 1 Low

Low is a relative term, but the average rating for the first four playoff games has to be considered a disappointment if the figures are accurate. From Alan Pergament's weekly column:

Perhaps fan overconfidence has led to the surprisingly low ratings for the first four games of the series on MSG, the only channel carrying them. They averaged about a 10.5 rating. That’s about half of what “American Idol” gets and significantly lower than many popular network series.

Obviously, the question that comes to mind is 'why are playoff games getting lower ratings than regular season games?' and the answer may be an inaccuracy in ratings for games aired on MSG. I speculated that something was strange with the MSG ratings in my last post. Pergament may agree:

Of course, the 10.5 rating would be impressive in most cities and the rating doesn’t take into account all the fans who are watching in sports bars. One local researcher also believes MSG’s ratings have been artificially low all season.

It doesn't make sense for Buffalo to have double the ratings Pittsburgh does for Sabre/Penguins matchups on VS, triple the rating for the All-Star game, and identical ratings for regular season local games. VS has the option to pick up two games exclusively in the second round and you can bet that the potential Sabres/Rangers series would be their top choice. I fully expect ratings for these games to be in the upper 20's.

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