Penguins-Flyers Contest Is Top Shelf For Versus  

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The second game of the National Hockey League Eastern Conference playoff series was second to none for Versus when it came to televising the puck sport.

The May 11 game between the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers scored a 1.7 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research data. That performance, translating into just under 2.35 million viewers, made the game the most-watched ever telecast for Versus and its highest-rated NHL contest, according to network officials.

Further, the May 11 contest, in which the Penguins took a 2-0 lead in the Keystone State clash, garnered 1.26 million households, second only to the 1.32 million for Lance Armstsrong’s final Tour de France ride in 2005, which drove a 2.1 rating.

Versus was the top- rated cable network among total viewers (a 1.3 rating), men 18 to 34 (3.1) and men 18 to 49 (2.5) during its 7:30-10:30 p.m. time period. 

In the Philadelphia DMA, the game pulled a 9.4 household rating, while it skated to a 22.3 mark in the Pittsburgh market. Those, too, were best-ever marks for Versus in the respective DMAs, where the Comcast Corp.-owned service finished atop all of cable in that time slot Sunday night.

Through the first four games of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, Versus averaged a 1.2 rating, up 50% from a 0.8 mark for that portion of the 2007 post-season, with impressions increasing by a like rate to 838,063 from 557,035, according to Nielsen data.

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