SUNDAY'S NHL COVERAGE SCORES RECORD RATINGS FOR NBC AND NBC SPORTS NETWORK
Blackhawks-Red Wings Earns 1.6 Overnight, Best Ever for Single-Game Regular-Season Coverage on NBC, Excluding Winter Classics
Canadiens-Bruins Draws 813,000 Viewers, Best Ever for Sunday Night Regular-Season Game on NBC Sports Network
Boston & Chicago Set Local Ratings Records
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Tonight, NBC Sports Network will Follow Blackhawks Streak by Joining Minnesota-Chicago In Progress following Conclusion of Flyers-Rangers
NEW YORK - March 5, 2013 - Sunday's NHL coverage of two competitive games, which featured the Chicago Blackhawks victory over the Detroit Red Wings on NBC, and the Montreal Canadiens win versus the Boston Bruins on NBC Sports Network, resulted in the former setting a regular-season overnight ratings record for single-game coverage, excluding Winter Classics, and the latter posting a viewership record for Sunday night telecasts. The records continue a trend for the 2013 NHL season, as NBC Sports Group's NHL coverage has set numerous ratings and viewership marks this season.
NBC's coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks dramatic 2-1 shootout victory against the Detroit Red Wings (12:30-3:15 p.m. ET) resulted in a 1.6 overnight rating, the best-ever for a single regular-season game (excluding Winter Classics) and up 60% vs. last year's same-weekend coverage (1.0, Bos-NYR). The Blackhawks extended their season-starting point streak to 22 straight games with the win. Final ratings and viewership will be available later this week.
Locally, the Chicago market delivered a 9.7 rating, the market's best-ever for a NHL regular-season game on NBC, with the exception of the 2009 Winter Classic, which was played at Wrigley Field -- also between the Blackhawks and Red Wings -- and drew an 11.8 rating in Chicago.
NBC Sports Network's coverage of the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Sunday night averaged 813,000 viewers, making it:
· the most-watched Sunday night regular-season game in the network's history*;
· the most-watched regular-season game featuring a Canadian team on cable in nearly 13 years;
· the fifth-most watched NHL regular-season game overall on NBC Sports Network.
The previous Sunday night record was 664,000 viewers for a game last year between the Bruins and Rangers (4/1/12). Sunday night's game, which posted a 0.47 U.S. household rating, surpassed the Wednesday Night Rivalry contest played between the same two teams on Feb. 6 (771,000) of this year. Canadiens-Bruins is the most-watched game involving a Canadian team in NBC Sports Network history and on cable in nearly 13 years (12/27/00, ESPN2, Tor-Pit, 1.046 million).
In Boston, the market delivered a 9.26 HH rating, its best-ever rating for a regular-season Bruins game on NBC Sports Network, which was the No. 1-rated network in Boston during the game.
Following are the most-watched NHL regular-season games in NBC Sports Network history. Five of the top six are from the 2013 season:
DATE GAME VIEWERS
Jan. 23, 2013 Boston-N.Y. Rangers 956,000
Feb. 20, 2013 Philadelphia-Pittsburgh 901,000
Oct. 6, 2011 Philadelphia-Boston 874,000
Jan. 30, 2013 Chicago-Minnesota 827,000
Mar. 3, 2013 Montreal-Boston 813,000
Feb. 6, 2013 Boston-Montreal 771,000
*NBC Sports Network was previously known as VERSUS (2006-2011) and OLN before that.
The NBC Sports Network will allow NHL fans to follow the Chicago Blackhawks point streak by altering its programming schedule tonight. The network will join the Blackhawks game against the Minnesota Wild in progress (except in the home markets), following the completion of the regularly-scheduled Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers game.