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Sabres get big TV boost from Nolan hire; Bills big TV draw

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking, mid-morning edition:

As expected, the return of Ted Nolan behind the Buffalo Sabres bench also brought a return to strong TV ratings for the National Hockey League team.

The Sabres' home victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday night had a 10.3 rating on MSG, which was about 65 percent higher than the 6.1 rating the team has been averaging this season.

The Sabres' road loss to Toronto Saturday night had a 7.9 rating on MSG, which was still more than 25 percent higher than the season average and even higher than that for Saturday games, which tend to have lower viewership because more people are out than during the week.

As impressive as those ratings for Sabres game are, they are nowhere near the ratings for Buffalo Bills games this season.

The Bills' 37-14 victory over the New York Jets on Channel 4 had a 34.9 rating, which was slightly below the 36.1 rating for the Bills loss at Pittsburgh a week earlier. Of course, there were about 68,000 people in The Ralph who might have watched the Steelers game.

Speaking of the Bills game, CBS' Ian Eagle might be the most underrated play-by-play man on its roster. While Twitter blows up at every mistake made by Marv Albert, Greg Gumbel or Fox's Dick Stockton, Eagle was spared any snarky remarks on the social network Sunday. And that qualifies for high praise here.

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Sports | Sports on TV | Television | TV news
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