T Dog’s Six Pack: The week that was

The NHL Postseason is up 29 percent in the ratings from a year ago.

It’s time for T Dog Media’s weekly (or actually bi-monthly… okay, occasional) look at the winners and losers in the world of media:

Winners

NHL. Despite the hand-wringing over the increase in violent play in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs (i.e. Phoenix Coyotes’ Raffi Torres violent hit on the Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa), ratings for the NHL postseason are up 29 percent across NBCUniversal’s networks (NBC, NBC Sports Network, and CNBC.) Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks had ratings success with their just-concluded playoff series with Phoenix – Game 6 of the series was the fourth-highest rated Blackhawks telecast in CSN history (unfortunately, the Blackhawks were eliminated from playoff contention.)

Thanks to large-market teams still in playoff contention (New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.), look for the NHL’s ratings momentum to continue as NBC and its cable networks now has exclusive rights to all playoff games onward.

Merlin Media. Say what you want about about The Court Jester and the boys, but Merlin scored a coup by striking a deal with WLFM’s owner to launch a brand new alternative rock format on Monday, giving the startup company three stations in Chicagoland.

Bulls and CSN. In this lockout-shortened NBA season, the Chicago Bulls scored a 5.8 household rating on Comcast SportsNet Chicago – the highest cable TV regular-season ratings since 1997-98 – the last one with Michael Jordan. This year’s ratings were up 29 percent from last season, and up a whopping 145 percent from two seasons ago. The Bulls began their playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday (however, with Derrick Rose out for the rest of the playoffs thanks to an ACL tear, ratings for Bulls games could be affected.)

Losers

The Voice. What’s going on here? This show drew nearly 40 million viewers after the Super Bowl – and 20 million viewers just two months ago – is now only drawing 10 million viewers and regularly setting season lows? The gap between The Voice and rival Dancing With The Stars in the adult 18-49 demo has been narrowing the last few weeks – not a good thing for a show that was supposed to be “the next generation of reality competition shows”. If I were NBC, I’d hold off on a fall season of The Voice.

And with a ratings drop, you know fans – some of them now former fans – are griping about the show. For a sampling on why some viewers stopped watching The Voice, click here.

The L.A. Complex. The premiere of this series from the entertainment capital of the world – shot in Toronto (yes, Toronto) – pulled in just 630,000 viewers in its premiere on CW Tuesday night, drawing fewer viewers than a Marie Osmond infomercial. Coming up in next week’s episode: A rare snowstorm hits Los Angeles in January and the characters are stranded on Melrose Avenue, while its 84 and sunny in Chicago.

The CW. Hell, even Merlin Media had a better week than CW. How long is this embarrassing joke of a network can continue? It wouldn’t surprise anyone that even religious network TBN would soon start beating The CW in the ratings. Joel Osteen or Gossip Girl? Easy choice right here.

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