Today I read more reports about NHL playoff attendance increases and TV ratings increase.
Kevin McGran at the Toronto Star:
The NHL may not be able to hide its delight with first-round playoff attendance numbers.
Many believed the post-season would be a casualty of the recession, but average attendance for the opening round increased and all but four of the games were sellouts.
Greg "I hate the NHL, and I wish I wasn't blogging about it" Wyshynski at Yahoo! Sports was critical.
Meanwhile, the Toronto Star writes an "all is well" NHL playoff attendance article without mentioning how attendance is counted or reported publicly.
Gotcha Mr. Negative. Name a sports league - NBA, MLB or NFL - that reports attendance differently than the NHL? They all do it by tickets sold. Anyway, I watched plenty of games on TV, and with the exception of Detroit, the arenas all looked damn near capacity to me.
Bill Beacon of the Canadian Press:
With fans flocking back to see good teams with star players in Chicago and Boston, the NHL says its rinks were full to 100.9 per cent capacity through the 44 first-round games, its highest figure in 16 years.
Only four games — two in Carolina and two in Anaheim — failed to sell out.
It also reports a 22 per cent increase in viewers on the Versus network in the U.S., which averaged a 0.44 cable rating, or 333,163 households and 442,301 viewers.
Also there was this tidbit.
It was a game between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on NBC on April 19 that did best — a 1.3 rating, or 1,542,710 households and 2,223,151 viewers. The league called it the most-watched NHL conference quarter-final game on "over-the-air" TV since 2001, up 63 per cent from a comparable NBC game last year.
NBC bested the the Mickey Mouse networks?! Wow, that's hard for me to believe that the synergy between NBC and Versus beat the synergy between ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Radio, etc., when they had games in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Very hard to believe NBC surpassed the "sports leader." Maybe it's because the Mickey Mouse networks weren't giving it their all.
Finally, Jeff Z. Klein at The New York Times:
Tuesday’s two Game 7’s did not end well for metropolitan-area fans, but there were a lot of them watching.
The relatively high ratings for the Rangers and Devils came even though their decisive games were telecast simultaneously on MSG’s two networks.
The average ratings for both eventful series showed significant increases over last year’s numbers, with the Rangers averaging a 2.50 (185,846 households) on MSG, compared with a 2.13 in 2008. The Devils averaged 1.36 (101,100 households) on MSG Plus — way up over last year’s 0.59.