Puck Me: NHL Delivers Big Numbers For Versus
In the just-completed conference finals, Versus earned--through nine games--a Nielsen household rating of a 1.2 and 1.3 million viewers, the highest numbers since 2002, when ESPN had the package. Growth on Versus also helped the network see household ratings 71% higher versus the 2007 playoffs and a 77% improvement in total viewers.
Versus also lays claim to its best-rated hockey game ever--a 1.7 household rating and 2.3 million total viewers--featuring the Flyers/Penguins game two conference final on Sunday, May 11. The game was also the most-viewed since the 2002-2003 season.
Earlier-round NHL playoffs also did well. For 15 conference semifinals games, Versus took in a 0.6 household number--a 50% rise over the year before and a 51% gain in total viewers to 588,464. Ratings for the twenty-six conference quarterfinals were up 33% to a 0.4, with total viewers 24% higher to 349,792.
The network has already seen better numbers in the regular season. For 56 regular-season games, household ratings improved by 50% to a 0.3, and total viewers climbed by 28% to 272,417.
Versus has had the NHL package since the 2005-2006 season, following the NHL's work stoppage, which cancelled the 2004-2005 season.