Saturday, January 03, 2009

NHL Ratings Increase During Winter Classic

Not only was there more eyes focused on the Winter Classic in Chicago, but there was also an increase in Bridgestone tire company mentions during the entire broadcast. I am a bit jealous because I still liked the uniqueness of the big Buffalo game.
Last year's Winter Classic at the Buffalo Bills' Ralph Wilson Stadium drew a 2.6 overnight rating and a 5.0 share on NBC when Pittsburgh beat Buffalo 2-1 in a shootout.
It marked a return for NHL on TV and stuck it to all the haters who wanted to see hockey wither and die out. But now that last years game was a phenomenal and true classic, more eyes wanted to check out the second version.
Ratings increased 12 per cent in the U.S. for the NHL's third outdoor game, which featured the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field.
It might have had something to do with the larger market and with that... a more even interest level. Chicago currently fits within the 3rd largest media market in the country. Despite holding a game in New York's Yankee Stadium, the Wrigley Field set-up gave it a intriguing storyline.

The hard part was selling non-Wings and Hawks fans on the game too.
The New Year's Day event on NBC earned a 2.9 overnight rating and a 6.0 share, the best overnight NHL regular-season rating in nearly 13 years. The Red Wings defeated the Blackhawks 6-4.
Almost immediately, pundits reported that they know cities are lining up to bid on the next game in 2011.

[Via: Toronto Star]
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