Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/01/11 at 01:29 PM ET
NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 1, 2011)—VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), scored on Sunday night by earning its most watched NHL All-Star Game in the network’s history. The telecast on January 31 averaged close to 1.5 million viewers and peaked at nearly 2.0 million viewers from 6:45-7:00 p.m. ET.
Compared to the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, this year’s telecast saw a 36-percent increase in viewership (1,481,000 vs. 1,087,000), while household ratings grew 33 percent (1.2 HH rating vs. 0.9 HH rating). The network also saw increases across all the key male demographics: Men 18-34 (up 35 percent), Men 18-49 (up 27 percent) and Men 25-54 (up 37 percent). Additionally, the All-Star Game telecast propelled VERSUS to the No. 1-rated cable network among Men 18-34 and No. 2-rated cable network in the country among Men 18-49 and Men 25-54. VERSUS was also the No. 1 rated cable network in several cities, including Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia.
AVERAGE VIEWERSHIP FOR ALL-STAR GAMES ON VERSUS SINCE 2007:
*No NHL All-Star Game in 2010 due to Vancouver Olympic Winter Games
The Honda NHL SuperSkills® competition on Saturday night averaged 1,183,000 viewers on VERSUS, making it the most watched SuperSkills competition on cable since 2003 (1,127,000 viewers on ESPN). VERSUS saw significant gains in ratings and viewership over the 2009 SuperSkills competition. Average viewership increased 35 percent (1,183,000 vs. 875,000), while HH ratings jumped 43 percent (1.0 HH rating vs. 0.7 HH rating). The telecast also made VERSUS the No. 2-rated cable network in the country among Men 18-49.
Overall, the SuperSkills on Saturday and the All-Star Game on Sunday combined to average 1,340,000 million viewers, up 35 percent from the combined average in 2009 (993,000 viewers) and a whopping 81-percent increase from the combined average in 2008 (740,000 viewers), marking the best All-Star Weekend in the network’s history.
The debut of the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Friday night was also a success with fans as the telecast averaged 624,000 viewers, up 107 percent from the 2010/11 NHL regular-season average on VERSUS (302,000 viewers).
NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND ON VERSUS A “CROSS-CHANNEL” PRIORITY FOR NEW NBCUNIVERSAL: The NHL All-Star Game on VERSUS was selected as the very first “cross-channel priority” for the new NBCUniversal. A “cross-channel priority” is a program or initiative that has been identified by John Miller, chairman of the NBCUniversal Marketing Council and head of The NBC Sports Agency, to receive broad promotion across NBCUniversal’s numerous platforms. It’s a process that NBCUniversal has employed for years for big events such as the Olympics, NFL Kickoff, movie premieres (i.e. Despicable Me), and the launch of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Theme Park in Orlando. With NBCUniversal now including Comcast’s media assets as well, the cross-promotional capabilities are larger than ever. The new NBCUniversal has 20 channels and more than 40 websites to use to promote its “cross-channel priorities.”
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