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Bruins-Habs breaks NBCSN’s record for NHL regular season game involving Canadian team

Feb 7, 2013, 8:25 PM EDT

The game drew 771,000 average viewers.

There’s been plenty of encouraging news about the NHL’s early season TV ratings and that trend continued on Wednesday when the Boston Bruins took on the Montreal Canadiens in the third installment of NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry this season, according to an NBC Sports Group release.

The game drew 771,000 average viewers and a 0.43 household rating. That breaks NBCSN’s record for a regular season contest involving a Canadian squad. It was also the most-watched game on cable to feature a Canadian team in almost 13 years.

If you include all of the regular season games that NBCSN has aired in its history, then the Bruins-Canadiens contest ranks fourth in viewership.

It also did better NBCSN’s showing than the Heritage Classic between the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames on Feb. 20, 2011. That contest attracted 608,000 viewers.

Overall, this is the best start NBCSN has ever had in an NHL season, with an average of 478,000 viewers tuning in for the first 10 NHL on NBC games. That’s a 44% increase over last year’s regular season average of 332,000.

This season’s Wednesday Night Rivalry has been a big part of that, with all three games earning spots on NBCSN’s list of the top-four highest rated NHL regular season matches in its history.

Related:

Bettman is grateful and excited about early ratings

CBC sets TV ratings records for Saturday games

NBC’s opening day coverage posts best regular season ratings since 2002

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