SABRES POST LEAGUE-HIGH RATINGS ON MSG DURING FIRST ROUND
/ Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres failed to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers in their seven-game Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series, but their local TV ratings on MSG led all NHL markets in the opening round.
Buffalo averaged an 18.8 rating (119,000 homes) for the six games on MSG, more than two full points ahead of Pittsburgh’s 16.5 for seven games. This does not include Buffalo’s Game 6 rating on NBC of 24.0, the team’s highest-rated game since recording a 26.8 on May 19, 2007, in the deciding Game 5 of the Conference Finals on NBC against Ottawa. NBC’s national rating for Game 6 was 1.4 (2.57 million viewers), making it the most-viewed NHL non-conference final game in 12 years.
“The Buffalo Sabres’ television ratings during Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs were the highest among all U.S.-based teams, which is even more remarkable given that we had 25,000 fans in and around HSBC Arena during each of our three home games,” said Sabres President Ted Black. “Although the loss in the first round stings, we know that it was merely the end of the beginning. Our fans, players and staff are energized and determined and we look forward to raising our television ratings and ultimately raising the Cup.”
The Game 7 loss in Philadelphia last Tuesday averaged a season-high 19.7 on MSG, surpassing this season’s previous high of 19.5 set in Game 4 on MSG. The game had a peak rating of 24.1 between 8:15-8:30 p.m., and an average of 126,000 homes tuned in to watch at some point.