Versus Skates To Cable's Best Start With NHL Playoffs Since 2002


Versus put the most viewers in the back of the cable Nielsen net with the start of the National Hockey League playoffs since 2002.
Over its first five nights of conference quarterfinal coverage, Versus averaged a 0.6 household rating and 543,000 viewers, the most for a comparable postseason stage on cable since 2002, according to Nielsen data.
The average rating and viewership performance was up 50% and 21%, respectively, from the Comcast-owned network's first five nights of the 2009 postseason, when it posted a 0.4 mark and 447,000 viewers.
Additionally, the start of the 2010 playoffs has been most-watched among all key male demos on cable since 2002, when ESPN2 was the carrier. Versus was up 6% among guys 18 to 34, 8% against males 18 to 49 and 18% with men 25 to 54, according to network officials.
Topping the chart for Versus thus far: the second game of the Montreal/Washington series on Saturday, April 17, which scored a 0.9 household rating and 731,000 viewers to rank as the service's highest-rated and most-watched first round game in network history. The Capitals victory over Les Habitants that evened the series surpassed the previous rating high set by the Pittsburgh/Ottawa series Game 2 the day before a (0.8 rating) and the viewership record set by the Philadelphia/Washington Game 7 on April 22, 2008 (682,000 viewers).