Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/15/14 at 05:14 PM ET
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 15, 2014 – On the strength of the inaugural NHL Stadium Series, the return of the NHL Winter Classic, and the second season of Wednesday Night Rivalry, the 2013-14 NHL regular season set a full-season viewership record for NBCSN, and is expected to do the same for NBC when final figures become available later this week, according to The Nielsen Company.
NBCSN recorded its most-watched full regular season ever, averaging 351,000 viewers over 88 telecasts, up six percent compared to the last full regular season in 2011-12 (332,000). The previous record for a full regular season was set during the 2010-11 season (348,000 average viewers over 52 telecasts). NBCSN began televising the NHL with the 2005-06 season. Last year’s lockout-shortened season averaged 392,000 on NBCSN.
NBC is also on pace for its most-watched regular season since it began broadcasting the NHL with the 2005-06 season. While national data is not yet available for NBC’s final broadcast this past Sunday, the network averaged 1.73 million viewers through its first 12 games, which tops the previous best of 1.65 million viewers for the 2010-11 season and is up 22% vs. last year’s lockout-shortened season (1.42 million).
Through 100 regular-season games across NBC and NBCSN, the 2013-14 season is averaging 532,000 viewers, up 11% over the last full regular season (2011-12, 480,000 viewers).
“This has been a special year for hockey with the birth of the NHL Stadium Series, the return of the Winter Classic, the continued success of Wednesday Night Rivalry, and a compelling Winter Olympics,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBCSN. “The league, the teams and the players combined to provide unsurpassed drama this season, and it’s no surprise that the result is record-setting viewership across both NBC and NBCSN.”
Following are additional viewership highlights from the 2013-14 NHL regular season:
- NBCSN delivered the most-watched cable season opener on record (data available since 1993) with Washington-Chicago (935,000 viewers), which was also the second-best NBCSN regular-season game ever (Boston-NYR, 1/23/13, 956,000).
Wednesday Night Rivalry’s 23 exclusive telecasts averaged 559,000 viewers, up 26% compared to the exclusive time period average of the last full regular season in 2011-12 (443,000).
- Since the debut of Wednesday Night Rivalry last season, NBCSN has recorded nine regular-season games with more than 700,000 viewers vs. four over the previous two seasons.
- The 2014 NHL Winter Classic on NBC tied as the highest-rated NHL regular-season game in the People Meter era (since 1987) with a 2.5 HH rating.
- The game averaged 4.404 million viewers, ranking as the second-most watched NHL regular-season game since 1987, behind only the 2011 NHL Winter Classic between Washington-Pittsburgh, which was played in primetime.
- The fourth and final game, featuring the Penguins and Blackhawks in primetime on NBC, averaged 2.757 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched NHL regular-season game on record (since People Meters in 1987 and excluding Winter Classics).
- NBC’s first NHL Stadium Series broadcast, featuring the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, ranked second since 1987 with 2.079 million viewers.
- The Dodger Stadium contest, featuring Anaheim and Los Angeles, averaged 622,000 viewers, making it the most-watched for a regular-season game with a 9 p.m. ET-or-later start time on NBCSN.
- Across four telecasts on NBC and NBCSN, the inaugural NHL Stadium Series averaged 1.592 million viewers.
- NBC Sports Group’s NHL regular-season coverage reached 14.791 million viewers across NBC and NBCSN in the calendar month of January 2014, the most for a month of coverage across the two networks since they both began televising NHL games during the 2005-06 season. The record was aided by the presentation of four outdoor NHL games, including the NHL Winter Classic and three NHL Stadium Series contests.
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