Columbus Business First: Blue Jackets’ TV ratings

Columbus Business First: Blue Jackets’ TV ratings up big through season's first half

Staff reporter- Columbus Business First

Not only are more people heading to Nationwide Arena this season to watch the Columbus Blue Jackets, but more are watching from home.
I reported Tuesday about the club overcoming a less-than-stellar first half to get more people through the arena turnstiles than a season ago, so much to the point it ranked second in the National Hockey League for year-over-year growth.

As it turns out, the Jackets are doing a whole lot better on television, too.

In 45 regular-season games before the Jan. 23-25 All-Star break, the Blue Jackets generated an average 0.9 TV rating, according to Neilsen statistics.

And while that's only 8,200 households, the rating is up 49 percent from the first half of the 2013-14 season.

Fox Sports Ohio, which broadcasts the team's games, offered this statement from General Manager François McGillicuddy.

"Despite the unprecedented amount of injuries the Blue Jackets have had to deal with this season, they have had incredible runs, particularly in December, and are an exciting team to watch."

McGillicuddy goes on to say last year's Stanley Cup playoff appearance and hype leading up to Columbus' first time hosting the All-Star Game also helped drive ratings.

"The Jackets have secured a core foundation of players, including this year's three All-Stars, and we believe the ratings increase is just the beginning of what's possible," he said.
Surely much more would be possible if the Jackets could string together consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history, but that's looking more unlikely in the midst of a three-game losing streak and a seventh-place ranking in the Metropolitan division.

Top-rated games from the Blue Jackets' first half included matchups with the Dallas Stars, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.