Just as the club dismissed nemesis Les Habitants, NESN swept to record ratings with its coverage of the Boston Bruins opening-round National Hockey League playoff series.
NESN's coverage of the Bruins' four-game Eastern Conference quarterfinal sweep of the Montreal Canadiens, averaged a 9.2 rating and 221,000 households in the Boston DMA, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
Those performances were the RSN's best with the Bruins in its 25-year history, according to NESN officials. NESN"s previous record rating for a playoff series was an 8.4 household rating, for its coverage of the 2004 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Canadiens, a series that went seven games.
"It's remarkable that we have been able to set a new NESN playoff ratings record in only a four-game series," said NESN president Sean McGrail in a statement. "Boston is proving that this is a hockey town that boasts some of the most loyal hockey fans in the NHL."
NESN's ratings proved to be consistent, featuring the network's third (a 9.5 for Game 2), fourth (9.4,Game 1) and fifth (9.2,Game 4) highest-rated Bruins games of all time.
As for demos, NESN was up over 60% in almost every category compared with last year's playoff coverage, including women 25 to 54, which rose 77% year over year.
The network's pre- and post-game programs have also seen exceptional growth since last year's first round playoff coverage with WB Mason Bruins Face-Off Live, ahead 126% to a 2.7 average)and Bruins Overtime Live presented by Ace Ticket.com, up 81% to a 3.6 mark.