America’s Hockey Team?

Last night’s Caps-Flyers’ game was the most-watched hockey game of the season on the league’s American cable broadcast partner: 348,000 households. The actual number of viewers is higher, and that data is expected to arrive at some point on Thursday.

Now consider this: the second-best ratings draw for Versus’ hockey broadcasts this season was the Caps’ opening night visit to Boston. Another Caps’ appearance on Versus — in Philadelphia — the following week, on October 6, stands as the fourth-best draw of the season on Versus to date. Sensing a pattern here, one that perhaps ought to be shared with the Sports Department execs at NBC? Three out of the top four draws for Versus in 2009-10 have involved your Washington Capitals.

Greg Wysyhnski wryly and rightly reminds that the Caps were excluded from the 2010 Winter Classic out of a perception of being a comparatively ‘weak’ draw. At Versus, that view we suspect isn’t shared.

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6 Responses to America’s Hockey Team?

  1. Eric says:

    It’s the Gretzky/Jordan factor. Now known as the Ovechkin factor. When people at work find out I like hockey their first question is always about Ovechkin. They don’t know any other player IN THE LEAGUE.

    America’s Team? Hardly. Plus, that’s not a moniker that a DC-based sports team would want. The Skins may be horrible but we all still hate the Cowboys.

  2. Grooven says:

    How much higher would the numbers be if Versus were available on DirecTV?

  3. That’s an important subtext to this news, Grooven. I hope this story makes its way to the execs at DirecTV.

  4. Patrick says:

    TSN ran the game also,I wonder what the stats are for that. The “Powers that be” that decided who would be involved in the winter classic are smart enough to NOT have the Caps playing elsewhere in a ratings competition with their showcase. I have to believe those people are going to give “the most exciting team in hockey” serious consideration for next year. It’s only so long you can argue against the stats.

    Personally it works for me, I need a little more time to save up the Air Miles to attend.

  5. MichiganHockeyMom says:

    Agreeing with Grooven, I have yet to see the Caps play this year (even though we are Wings fans) because of this fiasco between Comcast (owners of Versus) and DirecTV. Living in the country in Michigan, we don’t get cable. I bought the sports package from DirecTV SPECIFICALLY to be able to watch hockey (college, too) on the offbeat (Versus) stations. Our family (consisting of Dad, me (Mom) and hockey playing 11, 4 and 2 year old boys) watches hockey in the winter time as a family activity (when we’re not at the rink!), so not having Versus – which usually carries high caliber games – is not only inconvenient, it shows the greediness of the executives. So, hopefully somebody from Comcast will see this and realize it’s about the fans, NOT the bottom line. Get with the program – DirecTV and Comcast!!

  6. Stealth says:

    Ovechkin not only draws national interest here, but international interest as well… If Backstrom and Semin continue to improve like they have been, the CAPS will continue to generate a lot of buzz inside and outside of D.C…

    As for DirecTV, I was a customer for over nine years… When their dispute remained unresolved as the NHL season approached, I let them know that they could lose me as a customer if they couldn’t provide Versus… They didn’t care… I cancelled my DirecTV three days into the NHL season and went with Verizon FiOS TV… I couldn’t be happier… The picture is amazing, I don’t have any weather related outages, and I have Versus… How did DirecTV respond? By billing me $140 for the remaining time I had left on my contract, even though they couldn’t provide me one the channels I must have… Their lame excuses: It’s Comcast’s fault, and we have the right to change programming at will…

    Good riddance, DirecTV, hello Verizon FiOS TV (love ya!!), and LETS GO CAPS!!!!!

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