Are we past the point where I have to apologize-but-not-really about the Blackhawks' ratings success? I sure hope so, because I'm not doing it anymore.
The Hawks ran the Chicago market again on Tuesday night, with a 7.86 rating on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, attracting approximately 274,000 households to the Blackhawks' 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild. The game peaked from 10-10:15 p.m. CT (i.e. the end of the game) with a 9.24 rating, or 322,000 households. This breaks the previous record set all of a week ago, Feb. 28 when the Blackhawks win over the Blues drew a 7.54.
There are benefits for CSN Chicago beyond what just game coverage is giving them, from the pre-game show until well after the post-game, Blackhawks coverage made the network the No. 1 channel in the market from 7 p.m. - Midnight CT in many key advertising demos.
Blackhawks games have averaged a 5.69 rating in Chicago through 19 games, up 94 percent from this point last year. 18 of the 19 highest-rated Blackhawks regular season games in CSN Chicago history have happened this season. That's unheard of, especially for a franchise that won a Stanley Cup in 2010 and has been fairly decent ever since.
CSN Chicago relinquishes Blackhawks coverage for their game tonight against the Avalanche to corporate partner NBC Sports Network. Their coverage resumes on Friday, when the Hawks finish a home-and-home with Colorado.
10 highest-rated Blackhawks games in CSN Chicago history
1. Minnesota vs. Chicago, Mar. 5: 7.86
2. Chicago vs. St. Louis, Feb. 28: 7.54
3. Vancouver vs. Chicago, Feb. 19: 7.41
4. Edmonton vs. Chicago, Feb. 25: 6.60
5. San Jose vs. Chicago, Feb. 22: 6.59
6. Columbus vs. Chicago, Mar. 1: 6.38
7. Detroit vs. Chicago, Jan. 27: 6.31
8. Columbus vs. Chicago, Feb. 24: 5.90
9. Chicago vs. Phoenix, Feb. 7: 5.70
10. Anaheim vs. Chicago, Feb. 12: 5.58