Columbus Market Does a Massive 15.2 Rating for Blue Jackets, Bruins Game 5 Making It Second-Highest Non-Stanley Cup Finals Game Ever Recorded

By 1OB Staff on May 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm
Columbus is a hockey town.
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Just laugh at people when they tell you Columbus isn't a hockey town.

The Blue Jackets' heartbreaking 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins last night in Game 5 set another ratings record for the city of Columbus, recording a 15.2 locally. And the number could have been bigger. Columbus hockey fans tuned in to NBC en masse while more than 13,000 of the more rabid were in Nationwide Arena for a raucous watch party.

Game 5 did a 3.22 overnight for NBC, making it the second-highest rating for a non-finals game since 1994, just off the 3.27 for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals between Chicago and Anaheim in 2015. The overnight was up 12% from last year's Game 5 between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, which also benefitted from a Kentucky Derby lead-in.

Let's just take a second to process that. Game 5 of a second-round series just misses becoming NBC's highest-rated non-Stanley Cup Finals game ever recorded, with a big segment of the fan base in Nationwide Arena to watch (and thus, not adding to ratings), thanks to the city of Columbus falling in love with the Blue Jackets.

Record Columbus Market Ratings
Game Result Rating
ONE BOS 3, CBJ 2 (OT) 8.3
TWO CBJ 3, BOS 2 (2OT) 13.0
THREE CBJ 2, BOS 1 13.2
FOUR BOS 4, CBJ 1 14.2
FIVE BOS 4, CBJ 3 15.2

It was the fourth-straight game in which the Columbus market set a local ratings record for an NHL game.

Here's some more context: 

  • Denver set a local ratings record Saturday night for Colorado's Game 5 loss to San Jose with a 9.1. Good showing, but not even close to a 15.2.
  • The 15.2 locally in Columbus is approaching what Ohio State football typically draws in Central Ohio for a game against an unranked non-conference opponent (think Tulane). Columbus typically does high 20s rating for Ohio State vs. non-marquee Big Ten opponents, like Indiana, and the low 40s and up for bigger games. For instance, the Buckeyes' 27-26 comeback win against Penn State on ABC last season did a 43.3 in Columbus.

The Blue Jackets will look to even the series Monday night for Game 6 at Nationwide Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

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