The Buffalo Sabres’ West Coast road trip that included stops in Anaheim, San Jose and Vancouver from Feb. 29 to March 3 drew the highest average local television rating of any Western Conference road trip since the team began broadcasting games on MSG in 2005-06.
“Although it’s a bit of a cliché to say that hockey fans eat, sleep and breathe the sport, the extraordinary ratings for these late night games establish that that Sabres fans are certainly willing to give up sleep for their Sabres hockey, especially as the team fights for playoff contention,” said Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black. “Even after the clock struck midnight back in Buffalo, our fans stayed glued to their sets and we were all rewarded with some of our best hockey of the season.”
The three games, which averaged a 7.1 rating, each began at 10 p.m. or later locally in Buffalo. The 7.1 cumulative average rating indicates that an average of 7.1 percent of television-equipped households were tuned into each game at some point during the broadcasts. In the Buffalo market, that translates to approximately 46,000 households.
The highest-rated of the three games was Thursday’s matchup with San Jose, which drew an 8.0 rating and a 17 share. The game on Saturday night against Vancouver was close behind at 7.9 and a 15 share.
The ratings for the road trip actually peaked at 9.3 during the first period of Saturday night’s game, when approximately 60,000 households in Western New York tuned in.
The Sabres will wrap up their road trip tonight at 8 p.m. in Winnipeg, where they’ll have a chance to move into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a regulation victory.