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2012 playoffs’ first two rounds were “most watched on record”

May 14, 2012, 7:28 PM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 12: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers shakes hands with Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 12, 2012 in New York City. The Rangers defeat the Capitals 2-1. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

The ratings from the 2012 playoffs’ quarterfinals and semifinals are in and it appears that hockey fans are responding to the wall-to-wall coverage provided under NBC Universal’s umbrella of networks. The first two rounds are the “most watched on record,” dating back to when cable program data first became available starting in 1994.

NBC sent out a press release with plenty of interesting nuggets on ratings overall and from specific series and games. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Conference semifinals games across NBC, NBC Sports Network & CNBC averaged 1.32 million viewers, a 28 percent increase from 2011.
  • More specifically, viewership on NBC Sports Network jumped 43 percent from last year, with an average of 1.29 million viewers marking the best numbers for any single cable network.
  • Game 7 of the Washington Capitals-New York Rangers series was the second-most watched playoff game on cable in 2012 (1.68 million viewers).
  • The total playoff audience is up 23 percent from 2011. (To be more specific, more than 39 million viewers tuned in versus about 32.2 million last year.)

Rangers and Capitals numbers

Here are a few market-specific bits from the press release:

  • In New York, Rangers-Capitals Game 7 received a 4.8 HH (household) rating, the highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network. The telecast was up 129 % vs. 2008’s two-game average (2.07).
  • In Washington, Rangers-Capitals Game 7 received a 7.67 HH rating, the second-highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network. The telecast was up 19% vs. the market’s 2011 Semifinal average (6.45).

Coyotes and Kings Game 1

  • In Los Angeles, Game 1 received a 2.14 HH rating, the highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network.
  • In Phoenix, Game 1 received a 5.56 HH rating, the highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network.

***

So long story short, the ratings have been great in 2012.

  1. pantherpro - May 15, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    NHL over dull ass NBA any day!

  2. sheapuck - May 15, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    I wonder what last night’s Devils/Rangers did locally. Seems to be all the buzz with no local teams in the NBA playoffs.

  3. daveothebraveo85 - May 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Good. Finally. Maybe now the NHL will finally start getting the overall recognition nationwide that it has always deserved. Never could understand why it had such a hard time competing with Basketball or Baseball or even NASCAR other than that timeless excuse hockey fans love to hear “I didn’t grow up with it, I don’t know anything about it, I don’t know the rules…” ugh.

  4. bleedingteal4life - May 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Agreed! Where i live there’s a NASCAR race on in every bar, but hockey normally has to be specifically requested, and don’t even get me started on merchandise. If u haven’t guessed where i live, here’s another clue: my state’s staple food is “buffet.”

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