NBC's Inaugural 2013 NHL Coverage Delivers Highest Regular-Season Overnight Rating in More Than a Decade, Excluding Winter Classics

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

January 20th, 2013

via press release:

Regional Coverage of Blackhawks-Kings & Penguins-Flyers Scores 2.0 Overnight, Best for Non-Winter Classic Regular-Season Game on NBC Since Coverage Began in 2006 & Best on Any Network Since 2002

Coverage up 67% vs. 2011-12 NHL on NBC Regular-Season Average

Pittsburgh (19.4), Philadelphia (7.8) & Chicago (6.6) post best non-Winter Classic Regular-Season Games Ever on NBC

NEW YORK – January 20, 2013 – There was a clear thirst for the return of the NHL as yesterday’s two-game regional coverage on NBC scored a 2.0 overnight rating (3:30-6:15 p.m. ET), resulting in a host of records and milestones, according to official data released today by The Nielsen Company. The 2.0 overnight was (excluding Winter Classics):

  • the highest overnight rating for regular-season coverage in more than a decade;
  • the highest overnight for regular-season coverage on NBC since its recent coverage of the league began in 2006;
  • a 67-percent increase compared to last year’s 2011-12 regular-season average;
  • an 82-percent increase vs. last year’s coverage during the comparable weekend;
  • Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Chicago scored record local ratings.

NBC Sports’ coverage consisted of the Chicago Blackhawks at Los Angeles Kings, which saw the Blackhawks handily defeat the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, 5-2, and the Pittsburgh Penguins victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, as well as a half-hour pre-game show that featured the Kings championship banner raising.

The 2.0 overnight was the best for any regular-season game on any network, excluding Winter Classics, since a 2.3 overnight for three-game regional on ABC (1/12/02), also making it the best on NBC since the network began broadcasting the NHL again in 2006.

The 2.0 overnight was up 67% compared to last year’s 2011-12 NHL on NBC regular-season average (1.2), which includes the 2012 Winter Classic, and up 82% vs. coverage during the comparable weekend last year, which featured Chicago-Detroit (1.1; 1/14/12; overtime).

The overnight ratings for Pittsburgh (19.4), Philadelphia (7.8) and Chicago (6.6) were NBC's best-ever in those markets for the NHL regular season, excluding Winter Classics. The 1.5 rating for Los Angeles was best for that market, excluding Winter Classics, since NBC's NHL regional telecast on March 4, 2007 (Colo-Det/Phil-Pitt/Caro-Atl; 1.8).


Pittsburgh 19.4/38
Philadelphia 7.8/16
Chicago 6.6/15
Buffalo 6.6/13
Boston 2.5/6

With the games concluding between 6-6:15 p.m. ET, including what was a one-goal game for much of that time between the Penguins and Flyers, the coverage peaked at a 2.9 rating. Pre-game coverage (3-3:30 p.m. ET), which primarily consisted of the Kings championship banner raising, drew a 1.4 overnight.

  • Tested

    Pretty surprising given the fact most folks think the NHL did themselves in with this lockout. More surprising: Dallas Stars had a sellout for opener vs. Coyotes.

  • DryedMangoez

    I think people still love hockey. Our local ECHL team has gotten great attendance during the lockout when in the past it would’ve easily folded after a couple of games.

  • Barbarossa

    So much for a boycott

  • William

    Encouraging for NBC. I wonder if the villian in all this was Gary Bettman?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    ” I wonder if the villian in all this was Gary Bettman?”

    The owners seem to have done a pretty good job of deflecting the anger over their decision making towards Bettman.

    Who, except the most clueless, could think that that Bettman was doing something other than exactly what the majority of owners wanted him to do?

  • TiLoBrown

    Actually Bill, Bettman doesnt need the majority on his side. He only need 7 owners to agree with him, 7 since the NHL owns Phoenix.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Actually Bill, Bettman doesnt need the majority on his side. He only need 7 owners to agree with him, 7 since the NHL owns Phoenix.”

    My knowledge of NHL governance exposed!

    Regardless of the number of owners required, the point is that the moves were being made at the direction of the ownership control group, not Bettman.

  • Jt

    They only need 7 owners to pass most things and that is part of the issue.

  • Jerry Styles

    I had a really good feeling the lockout didn’t mean jack.

    The NHL came back stronger than ever and every arena was sold out for their openers I believe.

    What’s really good is that 2.9 in the overrun so the NHL can keep riding momentum with their big US hockey markets like Pittsburgh, Philly, Chicago, Boston, New York, Detroit, Minneapolis, Buffalo, and Washington.

    If they get themselves a Blackhawks-Penguins Stanley Cup Final that would be huge!

  • Chikamatsu’s 10 Puppets

    I can’t watch hockey right now. I’m so disgusted with the lockout (the whole point of the first lockout/negotiation was to negotiate an agreement that would prevent future lockouts!) and shortened season that, as much as I love the sport and my Columbus Blue Jackets, watching makes me feel as though I’m saying “No, it’s okay. Screw over the fans whenever you want. We’ll always come back.”

  • Jt

    As for a Pens-Hawks i don’t think the ratings would be huge they would be good but not great.

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