TV Ratings: Blackhawks Set More Records (Also: NBA on ESPN, “Fan Night”)


Comcast SportsNet Chicago continues to attract record ratings for Blackhawks games. In other news, ESPN had mixed results for recent NBA games on the network, and NBA TV earned its second-largest “Fan Night” audience ever.

  • Blackhawks off to Incredible Start in Chicago: The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten off to a red-hot start in the ratings this season. Sunday’s Red Wings/Blackhawks game drew a 6.3 rating on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the highest ever for a Blackhawks game on the network. The previous record was set just five days earlier by Blues/Blackhawks (5.4). Including Blackhawks/Stars last Thursday (5.1) and Blackhawks/Blue Jackets on Saturday (4.4), the four highest rated Blackhawks games ever on CSN Chicago have taken place within the past week. Through five games in the lockout-shortened regular season, CSN Chicago has averaged a 4.9 rating for Blackhawks games — up 75% from the first five games last season. (
  • Mixed Numbers For Recent NBA Games on ESPN: Friday’s Spurs/Mavericks NBA regular season game drew 1.1 million viewers on ESPN, down 51% from Knicks/Heat on the comparable night last year (2.3M), and down 39% from Knicks/Spurs in 2011 (1.8M). The game ranks as the sixth-least viewed of the season on ESPN/ABC or TNT. On Sunday night, ESPN drew 1.5 million for Hawks/Knicks — up 10% from Spurs/Mavericks last year (1.4M). (Numbers from The Futon Critic [1], [2])
  • NBA TV Earns Second-Best “Fan Night” Audience: Last Tuesday’s Thunder/Clippers NBA “Fan Night” game drew 688,000 viewers on NBA TV, ranking as the second-most viewed “Fan Night” telecast ever on the network. Only Spurs/Lakers in November (739K) drew a larger audience. Overall, Thunder/Clippers earned the third-largest NBA audience of the season on NBA TV, trailing only the aforementioned Spurs/Lakers game and Lakers/Trail Blazers in October (868K). (Turner Sports via The Futon Critic)
  • dietsunkist

    Could it a rights issue? Commercials aired by non-NFL sponsors have to refer to it as “The Big Game” or something like that. I know ESPN has NFL rights, but maybe they have to treat the Super Bowl as a separate entity.

    • Paulsen

      ESPN still refers to the game as the “Super Bowl” in other BottomLine scrolls.

  • Ben Cohen

    During the regular season, when the BottomLine runs pointspreads, I remember they sometimes used the “Pro Football” terminology and used city names instead of team names. Do announcers themselves avoid use of NFL and team names, or does only the BottomLine do this?

    • Paulsen

      Just the BottomLine, but I don’t believe you see any other mentions of point spreads and gambling elsewhere.

  • JNewt

    The NHL has really comeback strong this season in the ratings. With Chicago surging like it is with a 6-0-1 record this could be a huge run for them.

    I think what the NHL needs this season in the Stanley Cup Finals is the Blackhawks against a popular Eastern Conference powerhouse like the Pens, Caps, or Rangers maybe even the Bruins.