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The State Of The NHL Is Good

Prepare yourselves local hockey fans! You are about to be deluged with all things related to your favorite sport as the full scope of the NHL descends to our fair city within the next couple of days. Not only will the best players in the world be in town to perform in a skills competition as well as a showcase game, but NHL executives and top end sponsors will be putting on a show as well as a happy face for everyone to see, and happy they should be.

In a press release sent out on Tuesday, the NHL disclosed some key numbers regarding the league's revenue growth so far this season. This could end up being a record breaking year.

Sponsorship revenue is up 32%, advertising on and the NHL Network is up 55%, and an all time revenue record is expected as league generated revenue is projected to be up 14% over last year.

The press release included this quote from the league's commissioner.

"The League is extremely well positioned," said NHL Commissioner Gary
Bettman. "The vital signs are good and we anticipate continued growth and
momentum. The strong numbers are a testament to a great product on the
ice, a growing fan base that loves our game, and a strategy that provided a
path for corporate America to reach that fan base."

Next, we'll look at some of the business highlights so far this season.

More from the press release:

The NHL’s strategy to leverage big events to drive corporate
marketing investments in the League has paid dividends with record
corporate spending on the sport. The NHL has achieved a 32 percent
increase in sponsorship and marketing revenue.
· The League added Discover Card as the presenting sponsor of this
year’s All-Star Game, the first All-Star Game presenting sponsor in
more than a decade. The League has added or renewed deals with blue
chip corporate partners such as McDonald’s, Geico, Starwood Hotels,
Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Cisco, Honda, Bridgestone, Discover Card,
Verizon, LG Electronics, Tim Hortons and Hershey’s Canada.
· Advertising on and NHL Network has increased by 55 percent.

NBC’s broadcast of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was the
most-viewed NHL regular season game in 36 years with an average of 4.5
million watching in primetime as the Washington Capitals defeated the
Pittsburgh Penguins at sold out Heinz Field. The 4.5 million viewership
figure was up 22% over last year’s game played at Fenway Park (3.7

· VERSUS is averaging 301,000 viewers (through 29 telecasts), up 6%
over last year (284,000 viewers)
· VERSUS averaged 750,000 viewers for the Pittsburgh
Penguins/Philadelphia Flyers telecast on Tuesday, December 14, making
it the most-watched regular-season game in network history and
surpassing the previous high set by the same two teams in this year's
season-opener (730,000 viewers). The telecast was the most-watched
NHL regular-season game on cable in seven years.

· CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Game 1 is averaging 1.938 million (24
telecasts), up 4% from last season's average of 1.863 million
· CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Game 2 is averaging 1.017 million (13
telecasts), up 8% from last season's average of 942,000
· Overall, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada is averaging 1.5 million (24
telecasts), up 7% from last season's average of 1.4 million viewers.

· TSN’s weekly Wednesday Night Hockey are averaging 864,000 viewers (14
telecasts), up 21% from last season (712,000 viewers).

· Overall through 36 telecasts, TSN is averaging 748,000 viewers, an
increase of 5% over last season (714,000 viewers)

1. Los Angeles on FS-W : +67%
2. St. Louis on FS-MW: +52%
3. Tampa Bay on SUN: +33%
4. Boston on NESN: +32%
5. Washington on CSN-DC: +31%

· Unique Visitors have increased 25% over last year; video starts, a
key metric for the NHL’s growing online advertising marketplace, are
up 128%
· Average monthly unique visitors to plus all 30 NHL team Web
sites has increased to a record 21.2 million

· Subscriptions to the League’s live streaming games service are up 24%
over last year

· Gross sales on are up 12%

· Shop.NHL.Com experienced its second-highest grossing sales day ever
on Black Friday with a remarkable 153 percent increase for the day
over 2009

NHL Mobile

· There have been more than 1 million global mobile downloads this year
as the League has introduced 20 new products to support the widest
range of devices and manufacturers
· In the US and Canada, NHL GameCenter is the #1 ranked sports app

Social Media
· "Likes" on the NHL Facebook page are up 633% to nearly 1.3 million

· The League’s Twitter followers have increased 133% to 483,000

· Facebook is now the No. 1 source of traffic referrals to
(excluding search engines)

· Twitter referrals to are up 271%

· The NHL Winter Classic peaked at No. 6 in global trending on Twitter
on New Year’s Day

· NHL teams are playing to more than 92 percent capacity, up over last
year’s total which was the third- best in NHL history.

On-Ice Highlights
On the ice, dramatic team turnarounds, stellar individual performances,
remarkable hot streaks and its hallmark competitive balance have lit up the
2010-11 NHL regular season, at the season’s midpoint. They all set the
table for a thrilling stretch run of a season in which every game matters,
every point counts.

Competitive First Half Sets Stage For Exciting Finish

· Presidents' Trophy: Top seven clubs separated by five points
· Division title races: Five of six division leaders are ahead by five
points or fewer
· Playoff races: 25 of 30 teams are within five points of a playoff
· Back in the playoffs? Five teams who didn't make the playoffs last
season are currently 'above the line', including the Southeast
Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning and Pacific Division-leading
Dallas Stars. They are joined by the Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers
and New York Rangers.
· Five other non-playoff clubs in 2009-10, the Calgary Flames,
Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild and St.
Louis Blues, are within five points of a post-season berth.

New Partnerships Increase Distribution, Reach
For the 2010-11 season, the NHL has introduced new strategic
partnerships and projects to expand its reach and distribution. The NHL and
HBO launched a critically-acclaimed new series leading into the NHL’s New
Year’s Day outdoor game, "24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter
Classic," a four-episode all-access series which chronicles the two fierce
rivals. The NHL also became the first professional sports league with a
dedicated presence on Foursquare, one of the leading social media
innovators. And the League has partnered with Stan Lee on The Guardian
Project, a new franchise from the legendary comic book creator that will
incorporate the identities of all 30 NHL teams into superheroes.
Additionally, the NHL announced a broad-based partnership renewal with
Cisco across multiple NHL platforms and events and involving consumer
electronics and technology infrastructure.

2009-10 NHL Business: Best Year on Record
Despite difficult global economic conditions, in 2009-10 the
NHL posted its fourth-consecutive year of strong business growth, engaging
with a record number of fans. The League generated record television
ratings during the playoffs, saw triple digit increases across its digital
platforms, added sponsors and experienced a 66 percent increase in
advertising and sponsorship revenue, set merchandising sales records during
the Stanley Cup Final and played to 102 percent of arena capacity for the