The Montreal Canadiens completed a wild comeback against the Boston Bruins to win 6-5 (SO) on Wednesday night … and they apparently did so in front of a captivated audience.
NBC’s press release reveals that yesterday’s “Wednesday Night Rivalry” match brought in 773K viewers and a household rating of .48, making it the sixth-most watched regular season game in NBC Sports Network history.
Perhaps most interestingly, the historic Canadiens-Bruins rivalry’s NBC SN matches have generated the three highest ratings for cable-televised regular season games featuring a Canadian team since 2000:
March 3: 813K
March 27: 773K
Feb. 26: 771
March 3’s match is the only game that produced a higher rating household in Boston (9.26) than last night’s 8.51 mark. That made it the highest rated network in Boston overall during that time (7:30 – 10:45 p.m. ET).
Yesterday’s action-packed Wednesday Rivalry Night game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins produced a .55 household rating, the highest regular season mark in NBC Sports Network history.
That 6-5 Flyers win also drew the second highest average of viewers in the network’s history, only following another Wednesday Rivalry Night game (Boston Bruins-New York Rangers on Jan. 23) for the top spot in that category. Wednesday Rivalry Night has clearly been a hit so far, as the short-running special claimed four of the five regular season averages for viewership in NBC Sports Network history:
Rangers-Bruins, Jan. 23, 2013: 956K viewers
Flyers-Penguins, Feb. 20, 2013: 901K viewers
Flyers-Bruins, Oct. 6, 2011: 874K viewers (the only game on this list that wasn’t a Wednesday Rivalry Night match)
Blackhawks-Wild, Jan. 30, 2013: 827K viewers
Bruins-Canadiens, Feb. 6, 2013: 771K viewers
NBC Sports Network was the highest rated channel in Pittsburgh and the top-rated cable network in Philadelphia during the game.
This is all impressive stuff, especially since there have only been five weeks of Wednesday Rivalry Night so far. Perhaps that series will take all of the top five spots by the end of the 2013 season?
(All information via an NBC press release.)
The ratings from the 2012 playoffs’ quarterfinals and semifinals are in and it appears that hockey fans are responding to the wall-to-wall coverage provided under NBC Universal’s umbrella of networks. The first two rounds are the “most watched on record,” dating back to when cable program data first became available starting in 1994.
NBC sent out a press release with plenty of interesting nuggets on ratings overall and from specific series and games. Here are some of the highlights.
- Conference semifinals games across NBC, NBC Sports Network & CNBC averaged 1.32 million viewers, a 28 percent increase from 2011.
- More specifically, viewership on NBC Sports Network jumped 43 percent from last year, with an average of 1.29 million viewers marking the best numbers for any single cable network.
- Game 7 of the Washington Capitals-New York Rangers series was the second-most watched playoff game on cable in 2012 (1.68 million viewers).
- The total playoff audience is up 23 percent from 2011. (To be more specific, more than 39 million viewers tuned in versus about 32.2 million last year.)
Rangers and Capitals numbers
Here are a few market-specific bits from the press release:
- In New York, Rangers-Capitals Game 7 received a 4.8 HH (household) rating, the highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network. The telecast was up 129 % vs. 2008’s two-game average (2.07).
- In Washington, Rangers-Capitals Game 7 received a 7.67 HH rating, the second-highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network. The telecast was up 19% vs. the market’s 2011 Semifinal average (6.45).
Coyotes and Kings Game 1
- In Los Angeles, Game 1 received a 2.14 HH rating, the highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network.
- In Phoenix, Game 1 received a 5.56 HH rating, the highest local rating ever in the market for a NHL game on the NBC Sports Network.
So long story short, the ratings have been great in 2012.
The high-wattage star power of a Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins series, unprecedented overall game coverage and a night full of twists and turns manifested itself in some great ratings to kick off the 2012 playoffs on Wednesday. The NHL provided a press release full of promising numbers from the first two nights of postseason puck-viewing, so here are some of the highlights.
- Wednesday’s trio of contests (two on NBC Sports Network, one on CNBC) represented a 34 percent increase from last year’s ratings on what was then called Versus.
- Overall ratings during the first two days (Wednesday and Thursday) represented a 22 percent increase from last year. Interestingly enough, Thursday’s trio of OT games was the first since 2001.
- Again, the Flyers-Penguins thriller made the biggest impact. The press release captures the impressive numbers quite nicely, so here’s the excerpt:
Viewership for Wednesday night’s opening round game featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and rival Philadelphia Flyers was up 83% from last year’s comparable opening night contest. It was the most-watched opening night playoff game in 10 years, a span that includes seasons when ESPN was the national U.S. rights holder.
In other words … No, it’s not just you. The playoffs have been electric so far. Here’s to many more nights like the first two during the next two-or-so months – even if it might be a little exhausting at times.
When it comes to getting the coverage you want, 2012 might just represent the greatest time ever to be a hockey fan. NBC and its network of channels is primed to put together unprecedented coverage of the 2012 playoffs, so if Sunday’s duo of games serves as a dress rehearsal, it’s going to be an amazing run through June.
First up, here’s a look at the ratings for the captivating Sunday afternoon game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, which aired from 12:30-3:30 pm ET (modified from information via NBC’s press release):
- The match drew a 1.2 overnight rating, which represents a 20 percent increase compared to last week’s Rangers-Flyers game. That 1.2 rating is the best regular season mark – aside from Hockey Day in America’s coverage and Winter Classic games – in more than two years. (A Penguins-Capitals game that aired on Feb. 7, 2010 drew a 1.3 rating.)
- It also tied coverage from an ABC regional game on April 7, 2001 as the best overnight for an April regular-season NHL game since April 1, 2000 (which drew a 1.4).
- It generated a 4.7 rating in Philadelphia, which aside from the Winter Classic was the best in the market for a regular season contest in 10 years. Pittsburgh tuned in too, with a whopping 12.7 rating.
April Fool’s Day turned out to be a great one in general, too, as a Boston Bruins-New York Rangers carried some great momentum on NBC Sports Network. Here are some rating stats from that contest, which aired from 7-9:30 pm ET:
- The game drew 664,000 viewers, the most since opening night. It was the sixth most-watched game in NBC Sports Network/Versus’ history.
- It generated a 4.97 rating in Boston, up 86 percent from the Bruins’ average takeaway on NBC Sports Network (which is 2.67).
- That game made NBC Sports Network the No. 1 rated cable network in Boston during the game and the third-ranked network overall.
- It also drew a 1.44 rating in New York, an 82 percent increase from average Rangers game, which is normally .79.
Sunday was a great day to be a hockey fan, but with the playoffs approaching on April 11, it’s only going to get better. (The rest of this week shouldn’t be too shabby either with teams jostling for final position, by the way.)