Regular Season NHL Viewership on NBC Sports Network is Best on Cable in Nearly Two Decades

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

April 30th, 2013

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via press release:

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.

 

 

 
  • Ben Thompson

    I’m excited to see if any of the games tonight, make the cable list for tomorrow.

  • michaelincmh

    Love these numbers. Makes all those people that said the sport would die after the lockout look like idiots!

  • Bill

    However, now that the beloved Toronto Maple Leafs are out of the playoffs the viewership will fall off dramatically.
    :(

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