CSN Chicago, Philadelphia set records

Despite tougher competition from the broadcast networks Tuesday night, Comcast SportsNet dominated the ratings in prime-time thanks to Game 5 of the Chicago Bulls-Indiana Pacers series and a deciding Game 7 of the Chicago Blackhawks-Vancouver Canucks tilt.

Comcast SportsNet scored a 8.4 household household rating and a 6.8 ratings in the 25-54 demo from 5:30 P.m. to 1:30 a.m., topping all local stations and cable networks in the Chicago area. Overall for the evening – including a Chicago White Sox-New York Yankees airing on CSN+ (CLTV in most areas) and also a CSN spillover channel – delivered a cume household rating of 25.62 – setting another all-time viewership record for the regional sports network (RSN), which was only achieved Thursday night with a 25.30.

– Game 5 of the Bulls-Pacers series averaged a 10.9 household (HH) rating for CSN, down from the 13.7 HH rating Game 3 did last Thrsday night, likely due to the result Game 5 was carried by both CSN and TNT, where as Game 3 was carried by CSN and NBA TV, whose distribution is limited. The game peaked at a 14.2 HH rating at 9:30 p.m.

Despite going up against a new episode of Glee, the Dancing With The Stars results show, and the much-hyped premiere of NBC’s new reality/competition series The Voice, CSN was the top-rated network in the Chicago market in households, and adults 25-54. Nationally, The Voice scored big, drawing a 5.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 11.7 million viewers.

– Game 7 of the Blackhawks-Canucks series averaged a 13.3 household rating from 9 to about 12:15 a.m., with a peak of 18.4 at 9:45 p.m., making this the highest-rated Blackhawks telecast in CSN’s history. CSN finished first in households and in every major demo during the telecast, including a 11.7 rating in the adults 25-54 demo. CSN beat every local station at 10 p.m. including the O&O’s newscasts with a 15.5 household rating.

In Canada, the Blackhawks-Canucks game drew 3.8 million viewers for CBC – the highest viewer total for any first-round playoff game since Toronto Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators in 2004.

Both series closed out with dramatically different results – the Bulls beat the Pacers to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinal round; the Blackhawks were eliminated by Vancouver after losing 2-1 in overtime.

Basketball and hockey are done at Comcast SportsNet for the season: The Bulls next series is exclusive to the NBA’s national television partners at ESPN/ABC and Turner sports, but CSN will continue to air post-game shows after every playoff game. If the Blackwaks make it past the first round next season, all games there afterward will be handled by the league’s national television partners, NBC and Versus. Comcast SportsNet, NBC and Versus are all under the same Comcast corporate umbrella.

Record ratings for CSN Philadelphia as well

Comcast’s RSN in Chicago isn’t the only one breaking records: its Philadelphia sister station is also racking up impressive numbers with Flyers games.

The decisive Game 7 between the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers was the highest-rated Flyer telecast in the history of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, drawing a 12.6 household rating in the Philadelphia market – despite facing tough prime-time competition on the broadcast networks – and peaking at a 14.7 rating at 9:45 p.m. (ET). The Flyers won and now advance to the semifinals to meet one of their arch nemeses, the Boston Bruins.