2011 NHL All-Star Game Ratings Vindicate Format Change

The big question heading into the 2011 NHL All-Star Game was whether or not the NHL's new format for the game -- which featured captains picking the players schoolyard style -- would make a difference on the bottom line. That bottom line, of course, can be measured in the form of TV ratings, and initial reports from Versus and CBC say yes, it made a difference.

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From a Versus' press release:

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The telecast on January 31 averaged close to 1.5 million viewers and peaked at nearly 2.0 million viewers from 6:45-7:00 p.m. ET.

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Compared to the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, this year's telecast saw a 36-percent increase in viewership (1,481,000 vs. 1,087,000), while household ratings grew 33 percent (1.2 HH rating vs. 0.9 HH rating). The network also saw increases across all the key male demographics: Men 18-34 (up 35 percent), Men 18-49 (up 27 percent) and Men 25-54 (up 37 percent).

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Meanwhile, in Canada, CBC reports that the game averaged 2.389 million viewers, up over 50 percent from the 2009 game in Montreal. I mean, there's really not much to say besides that, is there? 

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The All-Star Game worked this year, and for that, the NHL (and Brendan Shanahan in particular) deserve credit. 

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