Versus Sets Ratings, Viewership Marks With Stanley Cup Game 46/08/2009 1:13 PM Eastern
Versus lit the lamps with its National Hockey League game coverage this season, finishing in record ratings form.
Comcast's national sports network notched a 2.8 rating and almost 3.45 million viewers on average for its June 4 presentation of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
The measurement company experienced technical difficulties preventing it from releasing the final numbers until this morning.
The June 4 telecast -- cable's top with the pro pucks sports since ESPN netted a 2.9 for Carolina-Detroit Stanley Cup Game on June 4, 2002 -- was the highest-rated and most-watched telecast in Versus' history, outperforming its coverage of Game 3 on June 2, which averaged a 2.6 and 2.96 million watchers.
Locally, Versus garnered a 14.7 households rating in Detroit and a 27.5 HH rating in Pittsburgh, making the service the top-rated network in broadcast and cable for the time period in both markets. Versus also finished as the top 5 cable network for the time period in New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, DC and Philadelphia, among others.
Gauged against its Game 1 and Game 2 telecasts in 2008, Versus netted a 42% gain in ratings to a 2.7 from a 1.9, and a 30% surge in audience to 3.21 million from a 2.48 million.
All told, the network registered a 27% gain in viewership for the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, on top of its 21% advance in the regular season. The 2009 conference finals were the highest-rated third round on cable since 1998, with household ratings up 25% and average viewership ahead 30% from 2008, while the conference semifinals were the highest-rated second round on cable since 1997.