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In head-to-head Buffalo TV ratings, who triumphs: NBA or NHL playoffs?

Most people in Western New York consider the area a much bigger pro hockey town than a pro basketball town.

Heck, the folks at WGR 550 SportsRadio barely mention the National Basketball Association during the regular season.

But the past two nights of the NHL and NBA playoffs provided a good test of which sport wins the popularity contest in the Buffalo area as the games were played largely in the same TV window.

And guess what?

They tied on both nights.

The 3-1 victory by Las Vegas over Winnipeg Monday in the second game of the Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs had a 4.2 local rating on cable's NBCSN.

The Golden State Warriors' 119-106 victory over the Houston Rockets Monday in the first game of the Western Conference Finals in the NBA had a 4.2 local rating on TNT. It started an hour later than the hockey game.

On Tuesday night, Tampa Bay's 4-2 victory over Washington in the third game of the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs had a 4.6 local rating on NBCSN.

The Boston Celtics' 107-94 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night in the Eastern Conference Finals had the same 4.6 local rating on ESPN. The game started 30 minutes after the hockey game.

Of course, nationally the NBA playoff games draw much higher ratings than the NHL.

And the two NBA conference finals have the advantage of featuring some of the game's biggest stars, including Cleveland's LeBron James, Houston's James Harden and Golden State's Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

Off the games Monday and Tuesday night, Buffalo is equally interested in the two sports.

However, it also is the rare TV market – it could be the only one – in which hockey playoff games do as well drawing viewers as basketball games.

Buffalo's high TV ratings for hockey don't translate into big boost for NHL

Email: apergament@buffnews.com

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