CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL OVERNIGHTS ON NBC ARE BEST IN EIGHT YEARS
St. Louis, Nashville, Phoenix set NBC Sports Network records
NEW YORK - April 30, 2012 - NBC's coverage of its first two Conference Semifinal games averaged a 1.7 overnight rating, the best for weekend coverage of the second round in eight years, and up six percent vs. last year's coverage. Capitals-Rangers on Saturday and Devils-Flyers on Sunday produced the best overnight average for weekend coverage of the second round since two-game regional coverage on ABC (1.9) on May 1, 2004. In addition, a number of local markets set records or achieved milestones for Conference Semifinal coverage on both NBC and the NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS).
Yesterday's coverage of Devils-Flyers on NBC generated a 1.9 overnight rating, up 19% compared to last year's Red Wings-Sharks second-round game (1.6).
· Philadelphia received a 14.6 rating, up 121% vs. last year's second-round Game 1 vs. Boston (6.6).
· New York received a 2.5 rating, up 92% vs. a Conference Quarterfinal Game 6 vs. Tampa Bay in 2007 (1.3), its most recent comparable Devils game on NBC.
· The 2.5 rating was also the best playoff delivery for a Devils game on NBC in New York in six years, since a Conference Quarterfinal game vs. the New York Rangers on April 22, 2006 (2.8).
Saturday's coverage of Capitals-Rangers on NBC received a 1.5 overnight rating, even with last year's Bruins-Flyers game. The New York market went head-to-head for most of the game with the opening playoff contest of the New York Knicks, who faced the Miami Heat on ABC.
· The Capitals-Rangers game received a 3.5 rating in New York, up 17% vs. the last comparable Rangers game vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins on NBC on April 27, 2008 (3.0).
· In Washington, the game generated a 5.2 rating, down slightly from a 5.3 in 2009 for a second-round game against the Penguins.
LOCAL NBC SPORTS NETWORK COVERAGE
The NBC Sports Network aired two Conference Semifinal games over the weekend as well. It presented Game 1 of the Los Angeles Kings-St. Louis Blues game on Saturday night and Game 2 of the Nashville Predators-Phoenix Coyotes series last night.
· In St. Louis, Kings-Blues Game 1 received an 8.31 rating on NBC Sports Network, the highest local rating ever in the market for an NHL game on the channel. NBC Sports Network was the No.1 rated network in St. Louis from 7:30-10:15 p.m. ET.
· Los Angeles received a 0.86 rating. This is the first-ever Semifinal game for the Kings on NBC Sports Network.
· In Nashville and Phoenix, Predators-Coyotes Game 2 generated a 4.79 and a 3.84 rating, respectively, both the highest local ratings ever in those market for an NHL game on the NBC Sports Network, which was the No. 1 cable network in both markets from 8-11 p.m. ET.
NOTE: Final national ratings for both NBC and NBC Sports Network games will be available later this week.
On the strength of a record 16 overtime games, 32 one-goal games, and a new television format that televised every first-round game nationally for the first time, the Conference Quarterfinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs delivered record-setting viewership. According to Fast National data released today by The Nielsen Company, the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals:
· Averaged 929,000 viewers across NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC, making them the most-watched first round on record (cable data not available prior to 1994);
· Averaged 744,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network, making them the most-watched in NBC Sports Network history (formerly VERSUS), up 16% from last year (642,000), and the highest on a cable channel in 11 years (ESPN, 745,000 in 2001);
· Averaged 2.57 million viewers on NBC for six broadcasts, up 39 percent compared to last year (1.85 million, four games), and making them the most-watched on a broadcast network in 14 years, since Fox averaged 2.76 million viewers in 1998 (two games);
· Reached 30.9 million total viewers across NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC (excluding last night's two Game 7s), up 29% vs. last year (23.9 million).