The Chicago Blackhawks have been one of the biggest stories in Windy City sports in the past few years, and that’s due in no small part to their massive gains in terms of television ratings.
The team has smashed records all season long after a lengthy NHL lockout, with Comcast SportsNet being the primary beneficiary of the increased interest in the team. The Hawks have also been very good to the national networks as well, with both NBC and NBC Sports Network picking up a slew of games during the regular season, as well as airing all of their games during the postseason.
The gains have been so mammoth, in fact, that the Chicago Tribune’s Ed Sherman wrote a piece about it for the newspaper this afternoon.
“The Hawks local numbers from the nation’s No. 3 market are having a huge impact on the overall national rating for their games on NBC and NBC Sports Network. In Chicago, an average of nearly 300,000 viewers tuned in for Game 3 on NBC Sports Network Monday night. That’s nearly 20 percent of the estimated 1.6 million viewers who tuned in across the country.
“Let’s say there are many Hawks fans within the executive offices at NBC Sports.”
The article also detailed where Hawks fans can find games on the radio in the event that the Chicago Cubs are on WGN’s 720 AM station (97.9 WLUP on the FM dial), but the main focus is just how massive interest in the team is in Chicago.
After all, with the Chicago Bears currently going through mini-camps and the Chicago Bulls freshly dispatched from the playoffs, as well as both baseball teams in town wallowing through subpar seasons, the Hawks are the hot ticket in town. Sherman himself emphasized that with his tweet earlier today with the link to his piece in the Tribune:
When last wrote sports media col for Trib in '08, Hawks averaged 20,000 viewers per game. Things have changed. chicagotribune.com/sports/ct-spt-…
— Ed Sherman (@Sherman_Report) May 22, 2013
From 20,000 viewers locally to 1.6 million viewers nationally, the Blackhawks sure have come a long way, haven’t they?