Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/20/11 at 06:44 PM ET
NEW YORK (June 20, 2011) – After a regular season that saw record-breaking business success, highlighted by record revenue for the fifth consecutive year, the most significant U.S. media rights deal in League history and the NHL® named as “League of the Year” by Sports Business Journal, the NHL built on that momentum during a Stanley Cup® Final that attracted the largest audience across all platforms in the history of the sport. The landmark series, in which Boston defeated Vancouver in seven games, was highlighted by the most-watched NHL game in the U.S. in 38 years; the highest audience for any NHL game in Canadian television history; record TV ratings in Boston; and the hottest of all hot markets in Beantown fueling a Shop.NHL.com one-day sales record.
“There has never been a better time to be associated with the NHL,” said NHL COO John Collins. “On the ice, we saw a Stanley Cup Playoffs filled with tremendous performances and improbable comebacks capped off with a dramatic Game 7 in the Final. What’s most gratifying is how our fans responded in such a big way, driving new milestones of engagement across all platforms. What a great way to end another record year of growth.
“Off the ice, the corporate community has become increasingly aware of how the NHL can drive their business. Our partners have played a big part in our success and continued growth the past five years and we firmly believe the best is yet to come.”
Below are business highlights from the 2011 Stanley Cup® Playoffs:
-According to news sources, more than one million fans attended the Bruins victory parade – Boston’s largest crowd ever for a championship celebration, surpassing the turnout for events in recent years honoring the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics.
-According to Fansnap.com, tickets for the Stanley Cup Final were driving a higher price on the secondary market than for the NBA Finals by approximately $600 per ticket.
MERCHANDISE SALES UP OVER LAST YEAR‟S RECORD
-Arena In-arena “per caps,” the average amount spent per fan per game, were up 11 percent over last year for the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs.
-In-arena “per caps” were up four percent for the Final.
-Game 4 resulted in the highest-ever sales at the TD Garden for a sporting event since it opened in 1995.
-In-arena jersey sales were up 87 percent during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final
-North American Stanley Cup Playoff sales are on pace with last year’s record.
-Stanley Cup Championship T-shirts sales are up eight percent with Reebok t-shirt sales up 51 percent and Boston based Old Time Sports up 35 percent.
-Top selling products include jerseys, official locker room products, commemorative pucks, car flags and accessories, name and number tees and collectibles
-Sales on Shop.NHL.com from the day after Game 7 set a new single-day mark.
-The four-day post-Final total was up 30 percent over the same period last year.
STANLEY CUP FINAL SETS VIEWERSHIP MILESTONES
The 2011 Stanley Cup set numerous viewership milestones and records, including the highest average North American viewership for any Stanley Cup Final in history – 11.5 million viewers (records go back to 1994). Game 7 of the series led the way, averaging a record 18.3 million viewers in the U.S. and Canada, also a North American viewership record for any NHL game on record.
Game 7 drew 8.54 million viewers on NBC in the U.S., the best for any NHL game in 38 years, up three percent over last year’s deciding Game 6 and seven percent over Game 7 in 2009. In Canada, the 8.76 million viewers on CBC for Game 7 is an all-time best for any NHL game on the network and the second most-watched sports program ever on CBC, behind only the 2002 Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Final between USA and Canada (8.96 million). The 8.76 million viewers is a 148-percent increase over the last Stanley Cup Final Game 7 in 2009 (Pittsburgh-Detroit, 3.528 million viewers). On French-language RDS, the game attracted 1.043 million viewers, 50-percent higher than the last Game 7 to feature a Canadian team (2006: Edmonton-Carolina, 695,000 viewers).
CBC averaged 6.153 million viewers over the seven-games series, the best ever for CBC, a 98-percent increase over last year’s Final (3.10 million viewers) and an 186 percent increase over the last seven-game Final in 2009 (2.154 million viewers).
The Stanley Cup Final seven game series (Games 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 on NBC and Games 3, 4 on VERSUS) averaged 4.6 million viewers and a household rating of 2.7/5, surpassing the 2004 series (3.3 million, 2.2/4 on ABC/ESPN) as the most-watched combined network/cable Stanley Cup involving a Canadian team ever and up 39 percent from that series. The combined viewership was up 160 percent over the last Final with a Canadian team (Ottawa-Anaheim, 1.76 million viewers).
The Bruins’ first title since 1972 energized Beantown with the Boston market averaging a 28.1/44 rating for the seven games (five on NBC and two on VERSUS), 12 percent higher than the Boston Celtics’ seven-game average in Boston on ABC for last year’s NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers (25.0/40). The 43.4/64 for Game 7 was the best-ever rating for an NHL game in Boston.
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