Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal published an article yesterday about the regional television rankings for NHL teams. It doesn't surprise us that the St. Louis Blues have some of the best television ratings for regional broadcasts in the league. We know that St. Louis is a hockey town. The problem is no one else realizes it.
NHL local television numbers. Had no idea the Blues did so well on the tube. https://t.co/Ylz5kOtIRP?— Cheer the Anthem (@CheerTheAnthem) February 16, 2016
Here are the regional sports network ratings for the top five teams in the NHL at this point in the season. The percent change in parentheses is based on the change in ratings from the same time last season.
|Team||Regional Sports Network||Avg Rating (%change)|
|Buffalo Sabres||MSG||6.81 (+55%)|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Root Sports||5.51 (-19%)|
|Chicago Blackhawks||CSN Chicago||3.91 (-7%)|
|St. Louis Blues||Fox Sports Midwest||3.50 (-25%)|
|Boston Bruins||NESN||3.43 (-19%)|
The good news here is that the Blues are in the top five for regional sports network television ratings in the league. They are positioned very nicely in 4th place between two original six teams. And they are one of two "expansion six" teams in the top five. St. Louis likes to watch their Blues and they like to watch hockey. I've written previously about how non-Blues related hockey television has played in St. Louis and it has performed well.
The concern, however, is the huge drop in ratings from the previous season. The Blues also have the distinction of being in the bottom five for percent change from the same time last year. They also have the largest drop in ratings out of all the top five. Once again, this should be no surprise. The April Blues have frustrated a lot of fans and what started out as an exciting season quickly turned into a quagmire of injuries followed by Hitchcock dusting off his line blender. To put a silver lining on this drop, the fact they stayed in the top 5 even with this drop from last year shows you how strong of a hockey market St. Louis really is.
Are you paying attention Gary Bettman?