Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NHL TV Ratings on the rise in US


Television ratings for the Stanley Cup final are soaring in the United States but declining in Canada.

The Detroit Red Wings second victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night drew fewer CBC viewers than the series opener. An average of 1.869 million people watched Game 2 in Canada, which was down from the 2.11 million that took in Game 1 last Saturday.

Those numbers are also down from last year's final between Ottawa and Anaheim. An average of 2.378 million people watched Game 2 of that series. The story was much better in the U.S., where the second game of the Pittsburgh-Detroit series was the most-watched Stanley Cup final cable telecast in six years. The game earned a 1.9 national rating on Versus and averaged over 2.5 million viewers. Game 1 garnered a 1.8 rating.

The latest mark was the best for an NHL game on Versus, topping the series opener, and was second to Lance Armstrong's final ride in the 2005 Tour de France for the highest-rated telecast in the network's history (2.1).

The combination of Games 1 and 2 made this the highest-rated and most-watched opening two games of the final since Detroit faced Carolina in 2002. Versus' combined ratings went up 273 per cent from last year and 181 per cent from the Carolina-Edmonton series in 2006.

NBC will show the remainder of the Stanley Cup final in the U.S., beginning with Game 3 in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.

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