The Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Quarter-Finals have concluded, and the National Hockey League reports that virtually all key business metrics have continued their strong momentum from the regular season, in spite of challenging economic conditions.
During the regular season, the NHL achieved its fourth-consecutive season of record attendance, and that momentum continued. During the Conference Quarter-Finals, playoff teams played to more than 100 percent of arena capacity and averaged 18,739 fans.
Television ratings continued their momentum from the regular season and increased sharply.
Viewership on NBC surged 17 percent and the network had the most-watched NHL first-round broadcast in eight years. Also, viewership rose 23 percent on VERSUS and 42 percent on TSN – helping each network to their most successful Conference Quarter-Final results ever. Local rightsholders in New York, Detroit, San Jose, Boston, Columbus and elsewhere also reported continued increases in television ratings.
Powered by the launch of thePORTAL at NHL.com, featuring original content such as the Cisco All-Access Pregame Show, video at NHL.com was consumed in record quantities. Video starts at NHL.com were up 89 percent over the 2008 Playoffs; and subscriptions to NHL GameCenter LIVE, the League’s live streaming games service, were up 42 percent.
Exclusive content at thePORTAL, such as a live blog from the NHL Video Review Room in Toronto, helped drive a 3-percent increase in unique visitors to NHL.com.
“We continue to drive growth among key national measures, such as television, sponsorship and digital media,” said NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins. “We’ve been able to capitalize nationally on the fan passion that’s being driven by energized local markets.”
Specific milestones during the Conference Quarter-Finals included:
Continuing the momentum from a record-breaking regular-season at the gate (21,475,223 in total attendance), the average per-game attendance for the Conference Quarter-Finals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs was 18,739, the highest since the 2005-06 Playoffs.
The League has played to more than 100 percent capacity in the Conference Quarter-Finals every year since 2004 and 2009 was no exception. Arenas filled to 100.9 percent capacity during the Conference Quarter-Finals, a new record.
NHL ON NBC
During the 2009 Conference Quarter-Finals, NBC averaged 17 percent more viewers compared to 2008. The April 19 broadcast of Penguins-Flyers on NBC was the most-watched NHL Quarter-Final broadcast on a national over-the-air rightsholder since 2001.
During the 2009 Conference Quarter-Finals, in which VERSUS aired 26 games, the network earned its most-watched Conference Quarter-Finals ever. Total viewership increased 23 percent compared to the 2008 Conference Quarter-Finals while viewership for Men 18-49 (up 20 percent) and Men 25-54 (up 31 percent) also grew substantially.
NHL PLAYOFFS ON TSN
In Canada, TSN had its most-successful Conference Quarterfinal ever. The coverage attracted a national average audience of 567,000 viewers, marking a 42-percent increase compared to last year.
The audience surpassed TSN’s previous high achieved during the 1992 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Provided with fun and innovative original content such as the Cisco All-Access Pregame Show and access to the NHL Video Review Room in Toronto, NHL.com Unique Visitors have increased 3 percent during the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs compared to the 2008 playoffs.
Overall video starts are up 89 percent for the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs compared to 2008.
NHL GAMECENTER LIVE
Revenue for NHL GameCenter LIVE through the Conference Quarter-Finals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs is up 92 percent from the same point in 2008. The number of subscriptions has increased 42 percent.
On April 15, the NHL hosted what is believed to be professional sports’ first ever international Tweetup, a meeting of people that use the popular social media platform Twitter. By establishing the flagship NHL Tweetup at the NHL Store Powered By Reebok in New York City, the League engaged and mobilized fans, who in turn organized local gatherings in 23 cities around the world. As a result,
1,200 fans came together on April 15 to celebrate the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, driving a record volume of blogging and microblogging, and reaching nearly 250,000 tech-savvy fans.
The League facilitated Stanley Cup Playoffs marketing activation with U.S. partners such as Bud Light, Verizon Wireless, Sirius XM and Cisco; and Canadian partners Labatt, Honda, McDonald’s, Bell, Pepsi, Scotiabank, Bridgestone, Energizer, Xbox and Visa.
Source: National Hockey League
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