Jan 20, 2013, 2:41 PM EST
The wounds of the lockout might persist, but NBC’s opening day ratings shows that NHL fans are aware that hockey is back.
NBC’s NHL regional two-game coverage (Chicago at Los Angeles and Pittsburgh at Philadelphia) earned a 2.0 overnight rating, which earned some impressive milestones if you exclude Winter Classic telecasts:
- That mark represents the best NHL regular season game rating on any network since 2002.
- Logically enough, that means it’s the highest-rated regular season contest since NBC took over NHL coverage in 2006.
- This represents a 67-percent increase from last season’s average for NHL-on-NBC telecasts and an 82-percent increase from the most comparable weekend (Chicago at Detroit on Jan. 14, 2012) from 2011-12.
- Chicago (6.6 rating), Philadelphia (7.8) and Pittsburgh (19.4) enjoyed record regional regular season ratings. Los Angeles’ 1.5 mark is the best in that market since March 4, 2007.
- Buffalo (6.6) and Boston (2.5) rounded out the top five markets.
Hopefully fans stick around for more coverage during this shortened season. Speaking of which, the Buffalo Sabres currently host the Philadelphia Flyers on NBC as of this writing.
- NHL on NBCSN: Penguins kick off Rivalry Night vs. Capitals 0
- Trade: Pens acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc 50
- Video: Habs’ Emelin ejected for hit on Stars’ Spezza 17
- Martin Brodeur to retire, become Blues asst. GM (Updated) 41
- Mike Richards clears waivers 32
- Game on: Islanders-Rangers to be played despite storm 15
- Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended eight games for his hit on Letang 57
- Isles’ rise to be tested as they lose Okposo for 6-8 weeks 17
- L.A. Sorry? Kings waive Mike Richards 127
- Bobrovsky out 4-6 weeks, Jackets recall goalie Forsberg 3
- Columnist: Flyers ‘orchestrated’ fight night versus Pens during meal at ‘a local steakhouse’ (130)
- L.A. Sorry? Kings waive Mike Richards (127)
- Report: Flyers’ Rinaldo waives right to an in-person hearing (61)
- Video: NHL offers Flyers’ Rinaldo in-person hearing (57)
- Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended eight games for his hit on Letang (57)