The Boston Bruins's bid to overcome a 3-games-to-1 deficit died in overtime last night, but the team's fans turned out in record numbers on NESN.
The regional sports network averaged a 14.2 household rating and 340,800 households in the Boston DMA with its Game 7 coverage of the team's 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the National Hockey League's Eastern Conference semifinals. The ratings for the May 14 contest was the RSN's highest in 25 years for the team, shattering the 11.2 notched for Game 7 of the 2004 Eastern Conference quarterfinals, according to network officials.
Ratings peaked during overtime with an 18.6 household rating during the 11 p.m. quarter hour, the equivalent of 446,400 households.
NESN also set new demographics standards with its Game 7 presentation, notably a 15.9 for men 25 to 54, a 12.4 against adults 25 to 54 and an 8.8 among women 25 to 54. NESN's household rating and almost every demo rating ranked first the Boston DMA on Thursday night beating every other program in the market, including season finales on all the major broadcast networks, said network officials.
During the 2009 NHL playoffs, NESN carried nine Bruins games and established new post-season records for live-game coverage with a 9.6 average, pre-game (2.7) and post-game programming (2.7). This season's playoffs also generated five of the top seven Bruins telecasts in network history, according to NESN executives.
"The Bruins had a remarkable run this season and Bruins fans have proven without a doubt that Boston is one of the best hockey towns in the country," said NESN president Sean McGrail in a statement. "We want to thank Bruins fans for making this hockey season the most-watched in our 25 years of covering the black and gold."