The on-ice result certainly wasn't what fans and network executives and staffers wanted, but Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic netted its best-ever Nielsen performance with its Game 7 coverage of the Washington Capitals/Montreal Canadiens series Wednesday night.
The 2-1 loss on April 28 by the Capitals to Les Habitants averaged an 8.1 household rating in the Washington DMA, according to Nielsen data, making it the highest-rated Capitals game in the regional sports network's history.
The Game 7 rating exceeded the 5.8 average on Feb. 8, 2010 at Montreal by 40%, and eclipsed the Caps' all-time playoff high of 5.6, set during Game 6 on April 26 of the just-completed National Hockey League series by 45%.
In the Washington market, the record-setting 8.1 average household rating represented approximately 189,000 households. Combined with the 3.1 average household rating in the Baltimore market, Game 7 scored with some 226,000 households for CSN Mid-Atlantic.
The RSN's coverage peaked during in the third period, delivering a 10.6 household rating in Washington and a 4.1 household rating in Baltimore during the final quarter-hour of the game, translating to 297,000 combined households for that time-period.
During Game 7, the RSN was the most-watched television station in the Washington market.
Among men 25 to 54, CSN Mid-Atlantic averaged an 8.5 rating in the Washington market, which peaked at a 10.7 rating in that category during for the final half-hour of the broadcast. The 8.5 rating with the key demo was 20% above the previous high, a 7.1 for Game 6 on April 26, with the group.
CSN Mid-Atlantic averaged a 5.3 in the Washington DMA with its 2010 Eastern Conference quarterfinals coverage, the highest in the franchise's history and a 77% rise from the 3.0 for last-year's match-up with the New York Rangers. It topped the previous record-holder, the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins that averaged a 4.7 by 13%.
With the record ratings posted for Game 7, six of the 10 highest-rated Capitals games in CSN Mid-Atlantic history have occurred since February, including the top three all-time ratings.
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