Stamford, CONN. — VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), garnered a 1.9 HH rating and averaged 2,537,560 viewers (P2+) for its Game 2 telecast of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final on Monday, May 26, when the Detroit Red Wings shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second straight game, 3-0, at Joe Louis Arena. This game was the most-watched telecast ever in the history of the network among total viewers and Men 25-54 (OLN/VS).
With Game 2 beating out Game 1 of this year’s final round for the highest-rated and most-watched Stanley Cup Final cable telecast since 2002, Games 1 and 2 combined makes this the highest-rated and most-watched opening two games of the final round since 2002. Compared to the last two years on the network, the combined ratings for Games 1 and 2 show an increase of 111 percent from 2006 (.9) and a 171-percent increase from last year’s first two games (.7). The combined viewership for Games 1 of 2 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final (2,426,692) show even greater increases over the past two years; up 181 percent from 2006 (863,206) and a whopping 273 percent from 2007 (649,779).
Game 2 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final is the highest-rated and most-watched telecast ever for an NHL game on VERSUS and the second-best rating ever in the entire history of the network (VS/OLN), behind only Lance Armstrong’s final ride in the 2005 Tour de France (7/24/05, 2.1 HH rating). The 1.9 HH rating is up 217 percent from last year’s Game 2 rating (.6) and up 111 percent from Game 2 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final (.9).
Locally, Game 2 earned an 11.7 HH rating in Detroit. This is the highest rating ever in the Detroit market for an NHL game on VERSUS. The 11.7 HH rating is up 39 percent from Game 1 on May 24 (8.4 HH rating). VERSUS was the #2 rated television network in Detroit for the time period. The Pittsburgh market garnered a 21.3 HH rating, making VERSUS the #1 rated television network in Pittsburgh for the time period. The 21.3 HH rating is up 12 percent from Game 1 on May 24 (19.0).
VERSUS concluded its coverage of the 2007/08 NHL season with tremendous gains in ratings and viewership compared to the first two years of the NHL on the network. Compared to last season, the 2007/08 regular season saw an increase of 50 percent in HH ratings and 28 percent in total viewership; HH ratings for the 2008 Conference Quarterfinals were up 33 percent and total viewership was up 24 percent; Conference Semifinals were up 50 percent in HH rating and 51 percent in total viewership. During the Conference Final round, in which VERSUS aired nine exclusive games, the network witnessed dramatic increases in household ratings (up 71%), total viewership (up 77%) and viewership among Men 18-34 (up 152%), Men 18-49 (up 109%) and Men 25-54 (up 79%), making it the best-rated, most watched Conference Finals since 2002.
*All May 26 figures are based on preliminary Nielsen Media research.