By Alan Pergament
Channel 2 appears to have gotten a slight ratings boost from its decision to be the only network affiliate to air the Buffalo Sabres press conference Wednesday live on TV and empty its newsroom to cover the story on its early evening newscasts.
The station's viewership rose from a 4.9 rating at 10:30 a.m. to a 5.6 at 10:45 a.m., which was about the start time of the press conference announcing the hiring of Pat LaFontaine as president of hockey operations and Ted Nolan as interim coach and the firing of General Manager Darcy Regier and Coach Ron Rolston.
The station still had a higher-than-normal rating of 4.2 for the start of its 11 a.m. news, where it continued to carry the press conference.
Channel 4 decided to stick with "Let's Make a Deal" and Channel 7' stayed with "AM Buffalo." The audience for those programs remained steady. "Deal" averaged a 3.8 in the half hour and "AM Buffalo" a 1.6.
Channel 2 also got a boost from its extensive news coverage of the Sabres story from 5 p.m. through 6:15 p.m., time periods where it has been winning recently.
It was in first place for those 75 minutes by a large margin over Channel 4, which devoted about half the time to the Sabres story that Channel 2 did.
For those who like numbers, Channel 2 won over Channel 4 at 5 p.m., 9.3-6.9. It won at 5:30 p.m, 9.6-5.2. It was ahead slightly from 6 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., 11.3-11.0. At 6:15 p.m., after the news block was over, Channel 4 won, 12.1-9.9.
As usual, Channel 7 was a weak third in all time periods.