St. Louis Blues: TV Ratings Third Best in NHL

The St. Louis Blues season has been a total roller coaster so far. While the team has been inconsistent, the fans have not. They are consistently tuning in for the ride.

There have been a lot of negatives to the Blues season thus far. Inconsistent goal-tending, the loss of Robby Fabbri, and the firing of a beloved coach in Ken Hitchcock has made this one more tumultuous than others. Mix in the total uncertainty of whether or not this team can make the playoffs, and you’ve got one hell of a ride.

But despite all of the reasons Blues fans could have to turn off their televisions, they aren’t doing it.

Earlier this week, Sports Business Daily published the NHL television ratings for this season through the All-Star break.

The NHL has seen its ratings drop by seven percent this season. A large factor in that was probably the absolute chaos of the U.S. Presidential Election.

Ratings are climbing back up, however. Media executives around the league seem to think they can match last year’s achievements.

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The Blues, meanwhile, have been a constant mainstay at the top of the ratings.

Fans have been watching regardless of the Blues’ inconsistency, to the tune of a 4.26 rating. If you’re unfamiliar with what that number really means, it represents the percentage of all possible viewers in the region.

What’s wildly shocking is that the Blues are actually up 22 percent from 2015-2016, which was one of the most exciting seasons in a while.

This is a real surprise to me.

In fact, the only teams to see bigger increases than the Blues in viewership this year have been Columbus, New Jersey, Florida, Minnesota, and Philadelphia. The Blue Jackets and Wild are not really surprises, as both teams have now turned into the league’s elite. The Flyers looked great early on and put up a streak of 10 straight wins, which was snapped in December.

As for New Jersey and Florida, well, your guess is as good as mine.

The Blues and their regional affiliate, Fox Sports Midwest, have to be ecstatic about this report. It’s clear proof that hockey is continuing to rise in the St. Louis area and the Midwest. You can attribute that to the tremendous effort the Stillman ownership group has put forth, or, you could just credit the fact that we actually get to watch competitive hockey now.

(I know I’m not the only one who cringes thinking about those pre-Hitchcock dark years.)

So, with this 22 percent increase in viewership, the Blues’ shiny new 4.26 regional rating is the third best in the entire league. Only the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins have achieved better ratings than the Blues.

You’ll also be happy to know that this ranking puts the Blues directly above two division rivals. The Wild and the NHL’s starchild Blackhawks are fourth and fifth overall. The Hawks have actually seen a huge 20 percent drop this season. It may have something to do with their fans watching the Chicago Cubs make history this fall instead.

I’m looking forward to seeing how these numbers change from now through the end of the spring for the Blues. With a new coach in Mike Yeo and some new exciting (so far) talent in Kenny Agostino, maybe even more Blues fans are tuning in. But, if this team starts trending downwards and begins selling off players like Kevin Shattenkirk, we may see the Blues end up with a less impressive rating.

But until the ratings prove otherwise, kudos to Blues fans. You’ve had a lot of reasons to change the channel this year, but have been loyal.  You have dedicated your ears nightly to John Kelly and Darren Pang.

It’s just another example of how passionate St. Louis hockey fans really are.

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