It’s no secret to anyone that the Vegas Golden Knights are the most popular item in Las Vegas right now. Show up to a game, there are routinely 18,000+ people wearing grey and gold. Drive down the street and you’ll see thousands of VGK decals, stickers, plate holders, and now even custom license plates. You can go pretty much anywhere in this city and you are almost guaranteed to see the Golden Knights logo somewhere or on someone.
But the best determinant of actual fandom is eyeballs. By that I mean, people watching the games on TV.
Last year the numbers were very hard to come by (believe me, we asked over 20 times over the course of the season), but as the regular season came to a close, Sports Business Journal was able to gather the average number from the season.
The Vegas Golden Knights had a 1.87 rating on AT&T Rocky Mountain in the team’s inaugural season. –John Ourand and Ian Thomas, SportsBusiness Journal
For context, the league leader was the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 5.81 rating, the Buffalo Sabres came in second at 4.62 and the St. Louis Blues pulled a 3.93. The worst ratings in the league were by the Anaheim Ducks (0.24) and the Florida Panthers (0.27).
Before I show you the numbers for this year, let me explain TV ratings quickly. The numbers above, called “ratings” indicate what percentage of total households with televisions (whether turned on or not) are watching the channel. There’s another metric, called “share” which indicates the total percentage of households have that actually have TVs turned on which are tuned to a channel.
So, on to the fun numbers. Here are the Golden Knights ratings per game on AT&T SportsNet this season.
The 3.4 average would have put the Golden Knights in 4th place in the entire NHL last season, and that does not include the games which were played on NBCSN, which routinely score higher than 3.4
Again, that means 3.4% of all televisions in the Las Vegas area watch the Golden Knights. That’s a massive number.
Share numbers were not made available but you can reasonably expect the number to be between two and three times the rating number, or somewhere in the ballpark of 1 in every 12-15 TV’s turned on is watching the Golden Knights.
Last year, the highest TV rating ever recorded for a hockey game in Las Vegas occurred during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. That night, the highest rating (measured by half hour) was 30.3 with a share of 46. For context, the Super Bowl drew a 47.4 rating. In the 2nd round of the playoffs, Las Vegas saw an 11.1 average rating on Golden Knights games and a share of 19.9.
Opening night this season remains the highest ever rated regular season game in Las Vegas history at 7.7. The 11/14 home game against the Ducks, which also aired on NBCSN pulled a 5.1 and the Stanley Cup Final rematch on 10/10 drew a 4.1.
When you add those numbers into the ones on ATTSN you get an average rating of 3.64, an incredible number for a second-year team.
All in all, Vegas LOVES the Golden Knights, and they prove it every single night they are on TV, whether the team is home or away. I know this is getting old, but this story really does need to end on this…
And they said hockey would never work in the desert!