The Buffalo market was No. 3 in viewership for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final Saturday, according to numbers from NBC. Buffalo's 8.1 rating was topped only by the 10.5 rating in New York and the 8.9 rating seen in Los Angeles. Buffalo bested Los Angeles for Wednesday's Game 1, drawing an 8.4 rating compared to a 7.1 in Los Angeles.
That Buffalo drew a higher rating than the host team of the game is surprising, but the numbers are a bit skewed because of market size. A ratings point in Buffalo is worth about 54,000 households compared to 746,000 households per rating point in New York.
But the viewership is nonetheless impressive. Buffalo-area viewers compiled a 3.1 rating for the second and third rounds of the playoffs on NBC and the NBC Sports Network. That was sixth and ahead of participating cities New York and Los Angeles, as well as Philadelphia, St. Louis, Denver and Detroit. Buffalo also drew the highest ratings throughout the regular season for NBC affiliated broadcasts, and ratings for local broadcasts on MSG were second for local airings only to Pittsburgh.
That's pretty good for any team, yet alone that was out of the playoff hunt before the new year. And it would seemingly contradict a recent marketing report that showed Sabres fans to be among the least loyal in the NHL.
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