Posted on: April 30, 2009 6:10 pm
Edited on: April 30, 2009 6:12 pm

Ratings up, attendance up

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.

Posted on: March 25, 2008 11:28 pm

Philly sports coverage

In the Philadelphia area, Comcast Sports Net is rockin'!
I watched the highlight show, SportsRise, there this morning.
Anyway the show covers the local teams really well. They spent about six minutes reviewing and showing highlights of the Sixers - Celtics game from the night before.
They then showed Phillies highlights of spring training games.
After that, they spent about three minutes previewing tonight's Flyers - Rangers game. That's previewing, not reviewing, and that was amazing to me.
In those three minutes they showed highlights of previous Flyers games and interviews with two players about the upcoming game. The show's camera person interviewed the players at the train station yesterday before they boarded a train to New York. That was cool, and something different than the average locker room interview.
More hockey coverage included out of town game highlights from New York and Montreal. Highlights, not just the scores.
The show started with a Flyers player bump too.
Overall it was impressive hockey coverage. It's nice to see what a network invested in the NHL can do.
Posted on: February 6, 2008 1:11 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2008 1:21 pm

Ice Girls

Several NHL clubs have Ice Girls, women who during timeouts clean the ice around the nets and boards among other things. Teams I know have them are listed below. There might be more teams that have them, but those are the ones I know for sure. I did a quick check but didn't find any for the other teams. Anyway, since they represent hockey teams, in my opinion, they should be required to wear hockey skates instead of figure skates. Seems like most wear figure skates from what I can tell. So that's my opinion of them. What's yours?

Anaheim Ducks Power Players
Atlanta Thrashers Blue Crew
Boston Bruins Ice Girls
Calgary Flames Ice Crew
Carolina Hurricanes Storm Squad
Chicago Blackhawks Ice Crew
Columbus Blue Jackets Power Patrol and Ice Crew
Dallas Stars Ice Girls and their MySpace page
Florida Panthers Ice Dancers
Nashville Predators Goal Girls and Dancers
New York Islanders Ice Girls
Ottawa Senators Power Patrol
Philadelphia Flyers Ice Team
Phoenix Coyotes The Pack
Pitsburgh Penguins Pens Patrol
Tampa Bay /page/TB">Lightning.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NHLPage&id=18837">Lightning Girls
Vancouver Canucks Ice Team

It should be noted not all listed above are strictly Ice Girls, some of these crews, squads, etc. have male participants too.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com