-- VERSUS, the network that celebrates real competition and the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), earned its most-watched regular-season game among households (364,645) for the Detroit Red Wings
2008 Stanley Cup Final rematch on November 11; beating the Red Wings/Toronto Maple Leafs
2008-09 U.S. regular-season opener on October 9.
The game garnered a .5 national HH rating, matching the best rating for a regular-season NHL game ever on the network. Locally, Pittsburgh received a 5.8 HH rating and Detroit delivered a 3.3 HH rating, making VERSUS the #1 rated cable network in both markets for the 7:00-9:45 p.m. ET period.
Through the first six weeks of the 2008-09 regular season (11 games) as compared to the same time period last year (12 games), the network has seen gains in HH impressions (up 7%), total viewership (up 14%), and increases across all key male demos: Men 18-34 (up 29%), Men 18-49 (up 35%) and Men 25-54 (up 21%).
The network will continue its 2008-09 NHL regular season coverage on November 17, when the Maple Leafs host the Boston Bruins
at 7:30 p.m. ET. VERSUS' 2008-09 regular season NHL schedule highlights some of the most exciting hockey games of the season with the Boston Bruins
, Buffalo Sabres
, Minnesota Wild
, New York Rangers
and Pittsburgh Penguins
all making eight appearances on the network and the Detroit Red Wings
, Philadelphia Flyers
and Washington Capitals
making seven appearances each. In total, VERSUS will televise 56 regular season games, All-Star weekend, wall-to-wall Stanley Cup playoff action and the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.
All of the network's regular-season games are exclusive and VERSUS' regular-season schedule features a Game of the Week wherein VERSUS is the only place on television to watch the NHL game in the U.S. at that time. Every NHL game on VERSUS is produced and shown in HD where available. The network wraps up each night of its NHL coverage with its NHL studio show, Hockey Central, with host Bill Patrick and analysts Keith Jones
and Brian Engblom