Sabres' opener sets regular-season ratings recordby jmaloni
The Buffalo Sabres' season-opener against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 20 drew the highest ever rating in the Buffalo market for a regular-season Sabres game, excluding the 2008 Winter Classic. The Eastern Conference matchup, broadcast on NBC, posted a 20.1 rating and a 34 share, topping the team's previous high-water mark - a 13.0 rating and 22 share - set by a Sabres-Flyers game broadcast on MSG on April 8, 2011.
The 20.1 rating indicates that 20.1 percent of television-equipped households were tuned into the game at some point during the broadcast and the 34 share means 34 percent of households watching TV in the region Sunday afternoon were watching the game. In the Buffalo market, that translates to approximately 127,000 households. Ratings for the telecast peaked at a 25.5 (161,000 households) during the final 15 minutes of the game.
While the game's rating bested the market's previous regular-season high for an indoor game by a significant margin, it topped Buffalo's previously highest-rated nationally broadcast game, a Versus broadcast on Feb. 25, 2008 vs. Philadelphia (12.2 rating/17 share), and the highest-rated afternoon game, a 12:30 matchup on Feb. 19 vs. Pittsburgh (11.1 rating/23 share) by an even wider margin.