The Penguins wound up on the wrong end of an overtime loss to the Washington Capitals, but last night FSN Pittsburgh certainly got it right with viewers: its Game 6 coverage of the NHL series became the highest-rated hockey game for any regional sports network.
FSN Pittsburgh, part of Liberty Sports Group, notched a 24.2 rating, the equivalent of 277,800 households in the Pittsburgh DMA, according to Nielsen Media Research data. A Liberty Sports spokeswoman said some 694,500 viewers watched the game in the market on May 11.
The Penguins' 5-4 loss was the most-watched show in Pittsburgh Monday night, beating out such fare as ABC's Dancing with the Stars (11.3) and CBS's CSI:Miami, according to Liberty Sports officials.
Game 6 beat the previous mark netted just two days earlier, when FSN Pittsburgh scored a 21.4 local rating for the fifth game of the series on Saturday May 9, a 4-3 OT contest won by the Penguins. Pittsburgh's 5-3 win in the fourth game on May 8 skated to a 19.3 rating, now the fourth highest-rated NHL game on FSN Pittsburgh.
Down in DC, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic produced a 5.3 local rating for Game 6 of the Capitals-Penguins series, that RSN's best NHL mark of the season. The telecast peaked with 238,000 households tuning in during the 9:45 p.m. quarter hour, when David Steckel won the contest. The game received 6.0 average rating and peaked with a 9.1 against the network's target age group, men 18 to 49, in Washington.
CSN Mid-Atlantic registered a 3.4 rating and 162,000 households on average in the Baltimore market with the game.
According to officials at the RSN, the three conference semifinal games on Comcast SportsNet averaged a 4.4 household rating in Washington, D.C., and a 2.4 household rating in the Baltimore.
FSN Pittsburgh, CSN Mid-Atlantic and national carrier Versus will televise Game 7 from the Verizon Center on May 13 at 7 p.m.
Out in Chicago, the Blackhawks' 7-5 Western Conference semifinals series-clinching win last night against the Vancouver Canucks recorded a 7.82 rating in the Windy City, the RSN's best ever mark for the resurgent club.
Over 10 playoff cablecasts this season, CSN Chicago posted a 4.82 local rating.
The Blackhawks await the winner of the Detroit Red Wings-Anaheim Duck series in the Western Conference Finals. Game 6 of that series, led by the Wings, is tonight.
Over the 19 conference semifinals through May 11, Versus, which has televised eight contests exclusively, averaged a 0.8 household rating, up 33% from its 0.6 performance for 15 games during the second round last season. Average viewership.grew 31% to 805, 509 from 615,744. On a demo basis, Versus posted gains of 19%, 29% and 38% among men 18 to 34, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54, respectively, according to network officials.
Versus and NBC will televise all conference and the Stanley Cup Finals games nationally.