By Alan Pergament
Once again, Western New York proved Saturday to be a very strong market for the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Triple Crown horse races.
The Los Angeles Kings' 5-4 victory over the New York Rangers in double overtime in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals averaged an 8.1 rating on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate.
That placed the Buffalo market in third place, only behind the markets of the two participating teams. The nation's No.1 market New York (10.5) was first in the overnights and the nation's No.2 market Los Angeles (8.9) was second in the overnights. Of course, many thousands of more viewers watched in the big cities than in Buffalo because a rating point equals many more households in those markets than it does here.
I'm a little surprised the percentage of WNYers watching didn't beat the percentage in L.A.
Boston (6.9) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (6.4) round out the top five. The game averaged a 4.6 overnight rating nationally in the 56 metered markets, which NBC said is its best Game 2 ever. It finished with a 3.7 national household rating in all markets.
The Belmont Stakes upset by Tonalist over California Chrome in the final leg of the Triple Crown had a 15.9 rating in Buffalo, placing eighth nationally.
That's an amazing rating when you consider NBC spends more than two hours talking about a race that lasts a little over two minutes.
Louisville (21.1) was the top-rated market. Nationally, NBC's overnight rating in the Top 56 markets measured by meters was a 12.9. The final household rating was 12.0. The network said it measured viewership from 6:23 p.m. before the race began to 7:15 p.m. when the final interview was over.
As impressive as the local rating for the Belmont is, it was lower than the 16.8 rating here for the Kentucky Derby despite Saturday's hype for Chrome seeking to become the first Triple Crown winner in decades. WNY was the No.4 market in the country for the first leg of the Triple Crown. The second leg, the Preakness, had a 10.5 rating here for fifth place nationally.
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