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Category Archives: Philadelphia Flyers

Regional Ratings Update

Yesterday, I had the depressing news of Sabres TV ratings dropping like a rock. So for today, here’s some positive news.

First up, we have the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks have put some strong numbers this year and last Thursday was no exception. From Sharks Play by Play man Randy Hahn

The Columbus vs. Sharks game last night was the highest rated Regular Season Sharks game (2.22) in the history of CSNCA and peaked at 2.88!

Hard to believe that a game against the Jackets would draw big but it did. One caveat is that the game is the highest ever on Comcast SportsNet California. The Sharks have spent more of their time on CSN Bay Area, moving to CSNCA a couple of years ago. Regardless. that’s still a pretty impressive feat for them.

Next up, we have a report on the Winter Classic Alumni ratings on CSN Philadelphia. From the Delaware Co. Daily Times –

A lot of people apparently delayed getting ready for New Year’s Eve because outdoor ice hockey drew a huge audience for Comcast SportsNet the afternoon of Dec. 31.

CSN topped all Philadelphia television stations in audience during its airing of the alumni game that preceded the Jan. 2 Winter Classic. The 6.2 rating of the game also meant high ratings figures for CSN’s pre- and post-game shows with respective counts of 2.3 and 3.7. The pre- and post-games rating show the difference in viewership when those shows sandwich a game. The same shows on Jan. 2, when the Winter Classic was seen locally on Channel 10, scored an 0.9 rating, good but not as noteworthy as the Dec. 31 numbers.

A 6.2 destroys what most teams get for games on a regular basis. Very impressive numbers, continuing to prove the Flyers popularity in Philly.

Finally, here’s a couple of ratings stories out of Boston. a href=’http://www.nesn.com/2011/12/sixteen-of-nesns-top-20-all-time-regular-season-game-ratings-recorded-this-season.html’>First up, there’s a chart showing the Top 20 regular season Bruins broadcasts in NESN history through 2011. 16 of those games are from the past two months. But 2012 is breaking more records for NESN. From NESN –

NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, set another regular season Boston Bruins ratings record on Saturday afternoon with an 8.9 average household rating in the Boston DMA (341,088 total in-home viewers) for the Bruins’ Stanley Cup rematch with the Vancouver Canucks. NESN’s previous best household rating for a regular season Bruins game was set on Nov. 23, 2011 when NESN garnered an 8.4 HH rating for the Bruins’ 4-3 shootout win at Buffalo.
The Vancouver game earned an astounding 23 share in the Boston DMA, also setting a new NESN record for a regular season Bruins game. Share is the percentage of all households with a television in use that are watching a program. This means nearly one in four homes with a TV set on was watching the Bruins game on NESN. The network’s previous record share was a 16 for the Bruins 6-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 17, 2011.
Just as impressive as NESN’s household rating on Saturday was the game’s ratings among key demographic categories. NESN earned an 8.0 rating (33 share) for adults ages 25-54 and 11.1 rating (40 share) for men ages 25-54.
NESN’s current season Bruins average is now up to a 5.2 household rating, up 86 percent over last season after the same number of games (34).

The Bruins just keep tearing it up. You have to wonder how big the ratings would’ve been for that game in primetime but its a moot point. The game was a lead in for NESN’s Hockey Day in New England and it surely helped boost the two college games that aired afterwards.

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NHL Hypes Regional Ratings

This is a huge press release from the NHL, detailing various business and broadcasting numbers. I will post the full release after the jump. But first, I’m going to highlight some of the regional ratings that are included since much of the other information mentioned is dated and already known –

First Quarter Filled With TV Ratings Highlights

Eleven local Regional Sports Networks experienced double- and triple-digit growth, including:

• Nashville (+200 percent)
• Carolina (+125 percent)
• Florida (+100 percent)
• Tampa Bay (+71 percent)
• Philadelphia (+60 percent)
• Boston (+57 percent)
• Minnesota (+53 percent)
• San Jose (+44 percent)
• Buffalo (+26 percent)
• Edmonton (+21 percent)
• New York Rangers (+14 percent)

There’s some huge bumps in there, but keep in mind that for many of the Southern teams, ratings couldn’t go much lower. In the case of the Predators, their local ratings are rarely published, so we don’t know where they previously ranked on the totem pole. Clearly, Florida is seeing a boost from their strong start but they have a long ways to go when it comes to being respectable ratings wise. It will be interesting to see if Carolina can continue that momentum since they have been struggling on the ice. A quick update. The Carolina and Nashville ratings include the Atlanta market for the first time. This helps explain their jumps a little bit. Either way, its good to see more people tuning in. Thanks to Dirk Hoag at On the Forecheck for the info.

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Does Steve Yzerman Think Darren Pang Is Biased?

Everyone knows the controversy about Tampa Bay and their “1-3-1” defense. And virtually everyone knows by now, that it drove the Philadelphia Flyers and the broadcasters on Versus batty. It led Mike Milbury to walk off the set in a bit of a protest. So, Steve Yzerman decided that it was all done because Versus has a bias, as reported by The Bolts Report

“Versus is owned by Comcast, Comcast owns the Flyers, Keith Jones is a broadcaster with the Flyers and is hardly impartial,’’ Yzerman said. “I think that anybody that looks at that objectively should be saying, “Did Tampa do the right thing or Did Philadelphia do the right thing’’ and you can make an argument both ways.’’

Sure, there’s a conflict of interest there. But, the hockey world is loaded with conflicts. I’ve mentioned that many times before. It is why I believe Versus should not have their broadcasters working for any other teams. Ed Olczyk is a walking and talking conflict when it comes to calling Chicago games. Even if he were to walk away from his regional work, those conflicts are still there. From knowing people in the front office, to sharing agents, having friends on teams, etc., the league’s commentators are never going to be fully independent. It’s never going to happen because it’s impossible.

But there’s one area where I see Yzerman as a hypocrite on this subject. One of Stevie’s best friends is Darren Pang. Their friendship goes back to when they were teenagers. This is the same Darren Pang that has called games that Yzerman has played in and the same Pang that calls games involving Tampa. Should Pang recuse himself or have a disclaimer? Does Yzerman think this is fair? How impartial can Pang be when he’s calling games that directly effect his best friend? Heck, how many viewers even know that Pang and Yzerman are best friends? It’s not like Pang or Yzerman have brought it up regularly and it rarely comes up during any television broadcast.

My guess is that Yzerman would defend Pang and find anyone questioning Pang’s integrity as being off base. This case isn’t much different. Yes, the Flyers/Comcast connection doesn’t look good on paper but I think that’s about it. I don’t think there’s any blatant rooting going on in the Versus studio for them. I don’t remember many people questioning if ESPN was biased when Disney owned the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. It was never really brought up although Anaheim did get its share of games on the air, considering they were underachievers at that time. I think the Versus relationship with the Flyers is quite similar. If Darren Pang can call games involving Steve Yzerman, than Yzerman should have no issue with Keith Jones stating his opinion on Flyer games.

Milbury walks off the Versus set in protest – 

Darren Pang hosts Steve Yzerman’s retirement ceremony – 

 

Emrick, Snider Among US Hockey Hall Inductees

The 2011 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees were announced today.  They are Chris Chelios, Gary Suter, Keith Tkachuk, NBC Sports broadcaster Mike Emrick and Comcast Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider.

For Emrick, this is his second big honor in the past year.  He recently won his first Sports Emmy Award for Best Play-By-Blay.  In the past, Emrick has won both the Lester Patrick Award and the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.

Snider is already a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.  As chairman of Comcast Spectacor, his duties include being the chairman of the Philadelphia Flyers.  Comcast Spectacor manages several arenas through it’s Global Spectrum subsidiary and they also run a large food service company, Ovations, which handles concessions at many entertainment venues.  Spectacor’s operations also include the regional sports network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.

 

Atlantic Division TV Season in Review

Our TV team reviews continue.  This time, the focus is on the Atlantic Division.  The Atlantic is unique in that three NHL teams share two networks.  This leads to many conflicts and some hard feelings between fans of each franchise.  The reviews are after the jump.

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