Sunday's NHL Coverage Scores Record ratings for NBC and NBC Sports Network

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

March 5th, 2013


via press release:




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:








Jan. 23, 2013

Boston-N.Y. Rangers



Feb. 20, 2013




Oct. 6, 2011




Jan. 30, 2013




Mar. 3, 2013




Feb. 6, 2013







*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.




  • Shepherd

    Wow! Americans really don’t like the NHL, do they?

  • Edward

    I don’t wanna hear about bowling numbers anymore. I know its not NBA quite yet, but look out when it comes to the East/West finals and the Stanley Cup Finals. NHL will set records mark my words.

  • Das Ravenator

    800k is a record?

  • iggy

    Americans really don’t like the NHL

    Take a closer look.

    “the Chicago market delivered a 9.7 rating,”

    That’s close to the average NFL game last Fall: “the five nets (NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN and NFL Network) averaged a 10.1 household rating…” (AdWeek)

  • Shepherd


    apples to oranges. You can’t compare national numbers to local market numbers.

  • #TheReturn D. Rose

    Chicago Blackhawks may have turned into the league’s ratings contributor. The game yesterday was thrilling and that’s what the NHL needs as this was an impressive rating as I didn’t know it dominated most of those college basketball games like that. The streak story helps the league get noticed on a national level because its more of a sports story than it is a hockey story so the longer the Hawks keep this streak going the better it is for the NHL.

    The league itself has been hot unexpectedly after the lockout as they have not lost any of the growth they’ve had going since the 2005-06 season. The playoffs should be very interesting to see where the ratings are at as well.

  • #TheReturn D. Rose

    I just noticed how high these local numbers are too, these numbers are higher than baseball and basketball in those markets that was listed.

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