The Washington Times - May 1, 2009, 03:31PM

The NHL just sent over a release proclaiming that “all key business metrics” tied to the first round of the playoff are up significantly compared to 2008.

Among the highlights:

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-17 percent increase in viewers to NBC. Penguins-Flyers game on April 19 was the most-watched first-round game since 2001.

-23 percent increase in total viewership on Versus, with comparable increases in key demos.

-42 percent increase in viewers to TSN, making it the most successful first round ever for the Canadian network.

-3 percent increase in unique visitors to NHL.com

-89 percent increase in video starts at NHl.com

-92 percent increase in revenue from NHL Gamecenter Live, stemming from a 42 percent increase in subscriptions.

The NHL said that average attendance at playoff games was 18,739, essentially representing a sellout of every game. It is the highest average since 2006, and comes after a record 21.4 million in total attendance during the regular season.