An article published today in Street & Smith's Sports Business Daily Journal (or some combination of herewith) looked at the biggest gainers among NHL local broadcast ratings through February of this season. The Islanders were not among them.
In fact, the team's local ratings are down about 25 percent from last season, among the biggest drops in the league, placing them fifth worst in the NHL. The Buffalo Sabres, no longer actively tanking and newly outfitted with Jack Eichel and a bunch of others on Pegula's payroll, were the biggest jumpers with a 55 percent gain. The Penguins, long the most watched local broadcast in the league thanks to Al Root-zeera, dropped to No. 2 thanks to a 19 percent fall.
From the story:
Turns out last year was a bit of a fluke. The Islanders' first 100-point season since 1983 and their final year at Nassau Coliseum brought in a bunch of new eyeballs that didn't stick around to this season. Last year, the team averaged an 0.6 rating, which was a 70 percent improvement over 2013-14, in which their disastrous season managed a paltry 0.36 rating. That sad number was preceded by a .49 rating in 2013, which included a run to the playoffs.
In other words, the percentage of area television sets pointed at the Islanders on gamedays is usually pretty low, except when the team is super duper good. Kinda like attendance at both Nassau Coliseum and now at Barclays Center. Big shock, I know.
And if you're not watching, it's a shame because A. the Islanders are still pretty good (despite all the worrying we do here) and B. you miss fun features like the one on Nikolay Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski eating in Brooklyn, the lovable Boychuk family and Stan Fischler's Brooklyn Beat, in which he tours his birth borough.
(Just kidding: this is definitely all Brian Strait's fault)