Penguins the nation's most-watched NHL or NBA team on local TV

May 27—The Pittsburgh Penguins fell well short of winning the Stanley Cup. But they can claim superiority over the rest of their NHL franchise brethren.

Penguins games on AT&T SportsNet this season drew an average rating of 7.79, according to a Sports Business Journal report that was confirmed by a release from the Penguins on Thursday. That was — by far — the best local rating for any of the 24 U.S.-based NHL teams.

Pittsburgh has about 1.1 million "TV homes," meaning that an average of about 86,000 households watched Penguins games on AT&T SportsNet this season. According to Sports Business Journal, Penguins local ratings increased 36% from last season — the fourth-highest increase of any American NHL team; seven teams experienced ratings decreases from last season.

How much better were the Penguins ratings than any other team in the U.S.? They had a 81% higher rating team that ranked third — the St. Louis Blues on Bally Sports Midwest. No other team had a better rating in its market than the 5.08 that the Vegas Golden Knights had on their regional AT&T SportsNet affiliate in Las Vegas.

Furthermore, the Penguins outdrew all 29 U.S.-based NBA teams in local ratings. The Golden State Warriors (5.96 on NBC Sports Bay Area) were pro basketball's most-watched team in its local market.

Interestingly, Sports Business Journal reported that NHL local U.S. ratings were up an aggregate 15% this season while NBA local TV ratings declined 4%.

SBJ did note that the NHL had an advantage this season not only with a compressed schedule of 56 games making each more important but also in that regular-season play was limited to seven nearby opponents, severely limiting faceoff times outside of primetime.

The Penguins' season ended Wednesday with a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series.

Keep up with the Pittsburgh Penguins all season long.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at or via Twitter .