NEW YORK -- TV watchers didn't exactly warm up to the NHL's
midweek All-Star Game, which experienced a 76 percent drop in
household viewership from the previous All-Star Game in 2004.
Wednesday night's game in Dallas drew a 0.7 Nielsen rating on
Versus, the cable channel formerly known as OLN. The game was
viewed in an estimated 474,298 households and by 672,948 viewers,
down from the 1,985,000 households that saw the 2004 All-Star Game
on a Sunday afternoon on ABC.
Wednesday's most-watched show, American Idol on Fox, drew an
estimated 37 million viewers in the 9 p.m. hour.
The NHL ratings drop-off was even greater when compared to the
2000 game in Toronto, which was watched in approximately 2,681,000
households on a Sunday afternoon -- or more than five times as many
homes as were tuned in Wednesday.
While Wednesday's game was the most-watched cable show that
night in Buffalo and Pittsburgh, it did not place among the top 20
cable shows in NHL markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta,
Washington and Miami. The 7.1 rating in Buffalo was by far the
largest in any U.S. market.
In host city Dallas, the game was only the 18th most-watched
cable program with a 0.5 rating. The national rating is the
percentage of U.S. television households tuned to a program, and
each point represents about 1.1 million homes.
In Canada, the estimated audience on CBC was 1.238 million, up
about 6 percent from 2004.
The All-Star Game wasn't held in 2005 because of the season-long
labor dispute or in 2006 because of the Olympics.