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 firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .