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SABRES LEAD NHL IN LOCAL TV RATINGS

October ratings are Sabres’ highest in three years

Wednesday, 11.02.2011 / 1:47 PM / News
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SABRES LEAD NHL IN LOCAL TV RATINGS
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The Buffalo Sabres have posted the highest local television ratings in the NHL through the month of October. Sabres games on MSG averaged an 8.3 rating last month, the highest number in three years for the Buffalo market.

The 8.3 average rating represents approximately 54,000 households in the Buffalo market throughout October and takes into account the two afternoon games the team played while in Europe. In primetime games on MSG, the Sabres telecasts averaged a 9.3 rating and approximately 60,000 viewing households.  The team’s home opener against Carolina on Oct. 14 drew the largest audience, with an 11.5 rating and approximately 74,000 households. 

Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black attributes the strong ratings not only to the team’s performance on the ice but also to the high level of anticipation fans had for the season and the changes made to MSG telecasts this season.

“The Buffalo/Niagara region “lives hockey” and lives for hockey. It has demonstrated a remarkable passion for this team – and we’re trying to provide them with the best possible product on the ice and on television,” Black said. 

Black said he believes there are three primary drivers that have led the Sabres to the top spot among US-based NHL teams.

“First of all, there probably hasn’t been a more anticipated season in recent memory; second, there have only been 13 seasons when the Sabres had a stronger start to the year after 10 games; and lastly, our new pregame show now gives us a platform to build a viewing audience prior to the actual start of the game, which is especially evident during the first quarter hour ratings for the games.”

The pregame show is a new addition to MSG telecasts this year and features game previews, player interviews and a roster of veteran on-air talent. Newcomer Brian Duff has joined the team of Kevin Sylvester and former Sabres Danny Gare, Rob Ray and Mike Robitaille for the pre- and postgame analysis.

October ratings for Sabres telecasts have gradually increased over the past three years, posting a 6.7 to start the 2009-10 season, a 7.2 in 2010-11 and this year’s 8.3 through October.

This year’s ratings success for the Sabres is a continuation of the league-high 18.8 rating the team had in its seven-game Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Philadelphia during last season’s playoffs. Game 6 of last year’s series carried a 24.0 rating on NBC, 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. 

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82