Boston sports fans are always ready to put their weight behind a winner, and this postseason is no different. The now eliminated Bruins had the full attention of hockey fans around the country as they played in seven of the eight most-watched games of the playoffs so far this postseason.
Sports Media Watch reported the Game 6 battle kept this momentum rolling with 1.48 million viewers on NBCSN. That is a 70% increase from the same series in the “bubble” last season. The Bruins’ 6-2 loss in Game 6 eliminated them from the playoffs, so The “Bruins Bump” in ratings goes away until next season.
The “bump” was real all season for this team, especially on their parent network NESN.
The network broadcasted 49 Bruins games this season and drew a 4.18 average household rating, the highest for a season since 2014-15 and up 18% over last season. Key demographics saw ratings growth on the network as well. Adults 18-34 and Men 25-54 saw rating increases of 10-plus percent, while adults 25-54 increased 7%.
Sports Business Journal confirmed this isn’t just an increase happening in Boston. Local ratings for NHL games were up 15% across the league this season (based on data from US-based franchises), while NBA ratings on regional cable networks were down 4% leaguewide.
National ratings were a different story in the regular season. SBJ reported the league had a total audience delivery of 391,000 in their final season with NBC. That was slightly lower than last year’s nadir of 398,000 TAD. All of those numbers are a far cry from where the league peaked in 2012-13, averaging 590,000 viewers on NBC.
The league is getting set to pull up their stakes at NBC and move the operation over to a split-partnership between Turner Sports and ESPN starting next season.
Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at Heltmandm@yahoo.com.
NFL Ratings on CBS Off to Best Start Since 2010
That number buoys the network to an average of 18.559 million viewers over the first four games of the season.
The NFL of CBS is behemoth to start the 2022 season. This past weekend saw the more massive ratings for the network.
Sunday’s national game window, which was led the Patriots-Packers overtime game, averaged 24.647 million viewers which was the most-watched Week 4 window on CBS since 1998, when the NFL returned to CBS. It’s also a ratings increase of 8% from last season.
That number buoys the network to an average of 18.559 million viewers over the first four games of the season, CBS‘ best start to a season since 2010.
ESPN Asked NHL For More Games on Linear TV
“It’s something that ESPN pushed for. But to the extent that ESPN was looking to make an adjustment for Year 2, we’re pleased to have the ongoing exposure.”
The 2021-2022 NHL season was the first of a new media rights deal that saw the league’s games air nationally on ESPN and TNT.
The 2022-2023 season will see more games on linear television, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says that’s from ESPN’s insistence.
When asked by Sports Business Journal‘s Alex Silverman about a noticeably larger linear television schedule for the upcoming season, Bettman said “We’re happy to have it, but it’s something that ESPN pushed for. But to the extent that ESPN was looking to make an adjustment for Year 2, we’re pleased to have the ongoing exposure. Although, last year and the way things were balanced was a terrific year for us. Ratings were up, viewership was up, connectivity on all platforms for our fans was up. And ESPN and Turner have done an incredible job, and we’re grateful to be with them.”
Last season, ESPN and ABC only aired 28 games on linear television, 18 airing on ESPN or ESPN2 and 10 on ABC. 75 regular season games were exclusive to ESPN+ and Hulu.
This year, 52 games will air between the two networks with 37 games on ESPN or ESPN2 and 15 games on ABC. The Walt Disney Company has exclusive rights to 103 NHL broadcasts during the 2022-2023 season, including the opening night double header, the All-Star Skills Competition and All-Star Game, and the NHL Stadium Series.
FOX Ends MLB Regular Season Coverage With Highest Audience of Season
FOX reeled in 2,657,000 viewers for its two game slate (Rays-Astros or Mets-Braves).
FOX’s regular season coverage of MLB ended so strongly that it featured the best Saturday night baseball telecast on the network all season.
FOX reeled in 2,657,000 viewers for its two game slate (Rays-Astros or Mets-Braves). The Mets-Braves series was a battle of two teams trying to win the National League East division.