TAMPA, Fla. (April 9, 2019) - FOX Sports Sun, the regional television home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, announced the 2018-19 Lightning regular season finished as the highest rated ever in the 26-year history of the franchise on the network. The Lightning posted a 2.34 HH rating average (43,885 homes) over the course of 70 regular season games on FOX Sports Sun. The 2.34 HH surpassed last year's high mark (1.83 HH over 75 games) to finish as the new highest- rated Lightning season ever and marked a +28% increase for the Lightning in year-over-year viewership. It also was the Bolts sixth consecutive season of regular-season ratings growth on the network.
"All season long, the Lightning have treated our viewers to a phenomenal hockey season," said SVP / GM of FOX Sports Florida and FOX Sports Sun Steve Tello. "We are proud to join the Lightning in celebrating a historic regular season on the ice and on our network, and are excited for fans and viewers as we launch our broadcast plans for the first-round."
"It's been a banner year on and off the ice for the Lightning and these tremendous TV ratings are just one more positive this season," said Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. "We'd like to greatly thank our partners at FOX Sports for chronicling every moment for our fans with their outstanding coverage of our team and our games this year. We look forward to more great broadcasts in the postseason."
Additional ratings notes:
- March 2019 finished as the highest-rated month of Lightning hockey ever (2.93 HH avg.) on FOX Sports Sun.
- March 2019 surpassed December 2018 (2.36 HH avg.), January 218 (2.21 HH) and January 2013 (2.21 HH) for the most-watched crown.
- The Lightning vs. Boston Bruins game on Monday, March 25 was the highest-rated regular season Lightning game ever on FOX Sports Sun (3.43 HH).
- The Lightning posted their highest streamed season ever between the FOX Sports app and FOX Sports GO. Live streaming finished up +38% year-over-year.
- The Lightning scored higher than a 3.0 HH average in 16 games this season.
- For perspective, the last regular season Lightning game to register a 3.0 HH or higher before this season was vs. the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016. It was the only game to reach the 3.0 HH mark that season.
- The top-five most watched games this season were:
- March 25 vs. Boston (3.43 HH)
- March 2 vs. Ottawa (3.38 HH)
- Feb. 21 vs. Buffalo (3.34 HH)
- April 1 at Ottawa (3.11 HH)
- March 21 at Carolina (3.09 HH).
Beginning with Game 1 vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, April 10, FOX Sports Sun will televise all first round playoff games except those exclusive to NBC. Game 1 will be televised on FOX Sports Sun with live coverage starting at 6 p.m. from AMALIE Arena.