Phoenix Coyotes fans can see this as encouraging news.
Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal reported today the television ratings for the Phoenix market from Sunday afternoon's 2010 Winter Olympic men's gold medal game:
Perhaps Phoenix is not such a dismal hockey town after all.
Sunday's Olympic hockey final between the U.S. and Canada was watched by 618,000 households in the Phoenix media market.
Aaron Lewis, a spokesman for ratings firm Nielsen Co., said Canada's overtime win on NBC drew a 35 share and 20.9 rating in the Phoenix market. That means 35 percent of TVs that were in use in the Valley on Sunday afternoon were tuned in to the hockey game.
Representatives of the Phoenix Coyotes and National Hockey League hope the Olympics will boost support for the league and its Arizona franchise.
The Coyotes will restart the NHL season Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues at Jobing.com Arena. The NHL took a two-week break so players could play on Olympic national teams. The Coyotes are going through Chapter 11 reorganization and are under NHL ownership. The team has performed well on the ice this season but got off to a poor start in attendance.
The 618,000 Valley households watching the Olympic gold-medal game compares with the 882,000 that watched the Arizona Cardinals in the 2009 Super Bowl. That was the most-watched TV program in Valley history, according to Nielsen.