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[04/30/13 - 02:38 PM]
Regular-Season NHL Viewership on NBC Sports Network Is Best on Cable in Nearly Two Decades
NBC Sports Network spins the numbers for its NHL coverage to date this season.

[via press release from NBC Sports Network]

REGULAR-SEASON NHL VIEWERSHIP ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK IS BEST ON CABLE IN NEARLY TWO DECADES

Viewership on NBC Up 15%

NEW YORK - April 30, 2013 - More viewers watched the NHL regular season on NBC Sports Network this year than in any previous year since the channel began televising games in 2005-06. The 2013 NHL regular season on NBC Sports Network was also the most-watched season on cable in nearly two decades, and up 18 percent vs. last year.

Final NHL regular-season viewership on NBC won't be available until Thursday, but this season, excluding the Winter Classic, is expected to be the most-watched on the network since 2005-06, when NBC Sports regained rights to broadcast NHL games. Through 13 games, regular-season viewership on NBC is up 15 percent this year, excluding the Winter Classic, which was not played this season.

"Despite unique programming challenges, NHL viewership grew this year and set numerous records and milestones across both NBC and NBC Sports Network, including a successful new franchise with Wednesday Night Rivalry," said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. "Considering there was a shortened season, no Winter Classic and no All-Star programming, these results speak well of the NHL's popularity and the strength of our partnership."

NBC SPORTS NETWORK

NBC Sports Network's coverage of the 2013 NHL regular season averaged 392,000 viewers, up 18 percent from last year (332,000), and is the most-watched regular season on cable in 19 years (ESPN/ESPN2 1993/94 - 474,000).

On the strength of the newly-created Wednesday Night Rivalry series, the 2013 season delivered the top two most-watched regular-season games in NBC Sports Network history, and seven of the top eight.

Game Date Avg. Viewers

Boston-N.Y. Rangers January 23, 2013 956,000

Philadelphia-Pittsburgh February, 20, 2013 901,000

Boston-Philadelphia October 6, 2011 874,000

Buffalo-Boston April 17, 2013 847,000

Chicago-Minnesota January 30, 2013 827,000

Montreal-Boston March 3, 2013 813,000

Montreal-Boston March, 27, 2013 773,000

Boston-Montreal February 6, 2013 771,000

NBC Sports Network's 14 Wednesday Night Rivalry telecasts averaged 646,000 viewers, up 46 percent from the 2011-12 exclusive time-period average for Wednesday night telecasts (443,000). Viewership was up 64 percent in the advertiser-coveted Adults 18-49 demographic.

With 956,000 viewers, the inaugural Wednesday Night Rivalry matchup between Boston and the New York Rangers (Jan. 23) set the record for the most-watched NHL regular-season game in NBC Sports Network history. It was also the most-watched such game on cable in over a decade (ESPN, 1-23-02, San Jose-Detroit, 1.28 million).

NBC

Through 13 games and excluding the Winter Classic, which was not played this season, viewership on NBC has averaged 1.5 million viewers, up 15 percent from 2011-12. When viewership figures are finalized on Thursday, this season is expected to be the most-watched on the network since 2005-06, when NBC regained rights to broadcast NHL games.

The 2013 opening game telecast of the NHL regular season on NBC, featuring the Chicago Blackhawks-Los Angeles Kings and the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers (regionalized), averaged 2.8 million viewers, making it the most most-watched non-Winter Classic regular-season telecast on NBC since the network again began broadcasting the league in 2006, and the most-watched overall since three-game regional coverage on Fox in 1999 (4/18/99, 3.09 million).

The NHL on NBC telecast on March 3, 2013, featuring the Chicago Blackhawks-Detroit Red Wings, delivered 1.9 million average viewers and was the most-watched regular-season single-game telecast since the network again began broadcasting the league in 2006, excluding Winter Classics.





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