Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ratings for 3/10 and 3/27

Alan Pergament gives the ratings for The Sabres shootout loss on Versus to the Rangers on March 10th and the Sabres shootout win over Ottawa on MSG on March 27th in his most recent column:

The low Thursday ratings [for the NCAA men's basketball tournament] were partly due to competition on MSG for three hours with the Buffalo Sabres’ shootout victory over Ottawa. The Sabres game had a 10.8 rating.

If the Sabres miss the playoffs, Versus, the cable home of the NHL, may be as unhappy as local fans. This area remains a terrific TV market for hockey. The Sabres’ overtime loss to the New York Rangers a few weeks ago had a 10.2 rating on Versus, making it the highest-rated program in prime time here. It averaged a 14.4 rating in the last hour. In New York City, the game averaged a 1.4 rating.

Buffalo's the only American market in the NHL where hockey games are regularly earn the highest rating of any prime time show, network or cable. The double digit ratings this late in a disappointing season are encouraging.

To put that in perspective, Pittsburgh (one of the "Big 3" NHL American TV markets with Buffalo and Detroit) recently earned a 10.7 local rating. That was the second highest rating of any regular season game in Penguins history. Buffalo got a 10.8 in a down season for a pretty much average regular season game competing against march Madness.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ratings for 2/25 and 2/27

Alan Pergament reports on the Sabres ratings for the February 25th home game against Philadelphia and the February 27th home contest versus Nashville:

Buffalo’s passion for hockey was most evident during Campbell’s last game as a Sabre — a 4-3 loss to Philadelphia carried on Versus. The game had a 12.2 local rating, easily making it the highest-rated prime time program here on Monday. The Sabres’ 8-4 victory over Nashville on Wednesday featuring newcomer Steve Bernier’s debut had a 12.0 rating, behind only “American Idol” (16.0) in prime time.

The win over Nashville was carried on MSG. Obviously, ratings over 12 are phenomenal and Tuesday's big nationally televised win over Philadelphia should garner a big number despite competition from American Idol. A strong playoff run could push Buffalo's season average to a 10.0, which would be the first double digit regular season average for an NHL team that I've ever heard of.