NHL Conference Semifinal Ratings Down

With every Canadian team, and many popular American teams, eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, second round  ratings tumbled. Not just over the impressive first round ratings from a few weeks ago, but also compared to last seasons second round. TSN averaged 774, 000 viewers for their nine games in the second round. Or, as they chose to spin it, an average of 883, 000 through the first two rounds. That number isn’t so good when you consider the first round averaged 927, 000, which was a 41% increase over 2011.

CBC’s biggest loss was the Canucks. They averaged about 1.5 million viewers for the Capitals-Rangers series, with Devils-Flyers coming in at just over a 1.4 million average. Those numbers are both up from CBC’s average of 1.2 million for four All-American second round games last season. CBC averaged 2.8 million for the Canucks last year, which brought their overall average up to 2.16 million. As a result, the approximate 1.5 million average this season is still down 30% over last year. Not good news for ad sales in later rounds.

TSN was also hard hit by late starts and two short series. Last season, with teams like Washington, Detroit and San Jose headlining their coverage, TSN averaged 1.12 million. This year, with those teams replaced by Phoenix, St. Louis and Los Angeles, they only managed 774, 000. That’s about a 30% decrease over last year as well.

The Conference Finals aren’t looking a lot better. While 1.36, the rating for game 1, is better than anything they did in the semifinals, it is still down from the 1.86 and 1.61 ratings they achieved for games 2 and 3 of the Eastern Conference Final last year (Tampa Bay vs. Boston). And also over 2 million less than the comparable game (which, yes, had Vancouver in it) last season.

2012 NHL Playoff Ratings: Update #4

There was lots of hockey on TV this past weekend. Multiple games averaged over a million viewers, including some in the afternoon. The Canucks set a new record for the 2012 playoffs, as their game on Sunday is the only one so far to average over 3 million viewers. Here are some NHL playoff ratings for April 20-22.

Friday April 20
7:30pm, PHI-PIT (g5), TSN: 1.878 million (479, 000 more on RDS)
8:00pm, DET-NSH (g5), CBC: 1.2 million

Saturday April 21
3:00pm, WSH-BOS (g5), CBC: 1.304 million*
7:00pm, OTT-NYR (g5), CBC: 2.3 million
7:30pm, SJ-STL (g5), TSN: 451, 000
10:00pm, CHI-PHX (g5), TSN: 919, 000

Sunday April 22
12:00pm, PIT-PHI (g6), TSN: 1.026 million*
3:00pm, BOS-WSH (g6, CBC: 1.4 million* (458, 000 more on RDS)
8:00pm, LA-VAN (g5), CBC: 3.34 million

* These games were also on NBC; those viewers are not counted.

The Kings vs. Canucks series is the highest rated so far, averaging 2.4 million. Flyers vs. Penguins averaged 1.42 million on TSN, which is great for an all-American series on a cable network. In contrast, Red Wings vs. Predators averaged half a million less at 911, 000 on CBC.

Check back on Wednesday evening for a complete report of the last week’s ratings, including more NHL and the Jays. At the end of the week I will post the rest of the 1st round ratings.

You can see the updated NHL playoff ratings database here. For the most up-to-date NHL playoff broadcasting news, including ratings, follow me on Twitter.

NHL Playoff Ratings: April 11, 2012

Here are the Canadian ratings for night one of the playoffs. CBC won the night with an average of over 2 million watching the Kings upset the Canucks. However, TSN won the head-to-head battle of early games. An average of 1.5 million tuned into an overtime thriller between the Penguins and Flyers on TSN. 334, 000 more watched on RDS. The Red Wings @ Predators game on CBC drew an average audience of 990, 000 on CBC.

The total average audience for the broadcasts on CBC and TSN was about 1.2 million. TSN claims over 7 million watched some of Flyers @ Penguins on its networks, while over 6 million watched some of CBC’s broadcast.

Here are the night one ratings for the 2012 NHL playoffs.

7:30pm, PHI-PIT (g1), TSN: 1.5 million (334, 000 more on RDS)
8:00pm, DET-NSH (g1), CBC: 990, 000
10:30pm, LA-VAN (g1), CBC: 2 million + (exact number not released).

I have also started the 2012 NHL playoffs ratings database, which will include ratings for CBC and TSN. See it here and bookmark it; I will update it daily throughout the playoffs.