Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Winter Classic Ratings

The Winter Classic on NBC earned a 38.2 rating 58 share locally. In Pittsburgh the game drew an impressive 17.7 rating with a 30 share. Nationally, the match-up between the Pens and Sabres earned the highest rating for an NHL regular season game since February of 1996 with a 2.6 rating and 5 share.

The figure in Buffalo is even more impressive when you consider there were 82,000+ people in attendance at Ralph Wilson Stadium and HSBC Arena. In a market as small as Buffalo, that's likely ~5 ratings points. Additionally, the Ice Bowl was an "event", which have been notoriously difficult to properly rate since s many people throw parties and get together to watch the game.

All in all, it's a step in the right direction for the NHL. TV Week lists the top ten rated markets:

Top 10 Metered Markets:

1. Buffalo, N.Y., 38.2/58

2. Pittsburgh 17.7/30

3. Minneapolis 5.1/11

4. Denver 3.7/7

5 (tie). Providence, R.I., 3.5/7

5 (tie). Las Vegas 3.5/6

7. St. Louis 3.3/5

8. Boston 3.2/6

9. Sacramento 2.9/6

10 (tie). Richmond, Va., 2.8/5

10 (tie). Hartford, Conn., 2.8/5


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Damage_96 said...

If the NHL drops NBC, will they be able to produce a large audience for a "Winter Classic" type event on ESPN? Or maybe ABC would be interested in that one NHL broadcast.

gallagher said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see ABC pick up an outdoors game and Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals if needed. Those seem to be the only games that draw ratings decent enough to justify the time slot. NBC pushing overtime of Buffalo/Ottawa ECF Game 5 to Versus in favor of pre-race coverage of horses was a sign of the future.