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Penguins-Flyers game produces best regular season ratings in NBC Sports Network history

Feb 21, 2013, 6:40 PM EDT

Wednesday Rivalry Night is starting out strong so far.

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.)

  1. eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    American always roots for an underdog and the Flyers were the underdogs last night !

    • sizzle299 - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      Check the Flyers’ record in Pittsburgh’s building. Not so much an underdog.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        In vegas the flyers are an underdog when they play the pens ! It seems like it really hurts that the little underdogs from broad st have the big bad pens number !

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 21, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      The douchepocolypse of hockeywithdrawl,franchiseboy,and ilikesidsnuts aka crossberries constantly post about the superiority of the pens compared to the flyers roster but cant stand that the flyers and their fans have embraced the underdog role when it comes to the pens then go into beast mode at the site of the black and gold !

      • handsofsweed - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        Hey mushmouth, what the hell are you talking about? Shut up already.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM

        lick pucks yeah-hole !

  2. Stiller43 - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    What was up with avs-blues being billed as a “rivalry night matchup” last night?

    Since when is that a rivalry?

    • pensfan603 - Feb 21, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      who cares it was a good game

  3. garryjercia - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    You’re not gonna get a much better game than last nights’

    • sabatimus - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      Absolutely agree. The game was sheer unadulterated hockey entertainment at a level I can’t remember seeing in a long time.

  4. sabatimus - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    I take it this doesn’t included when the channel was Versus?

  5. jimw81 - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Flyers vs Penguins one of the best rivalries in all of sports. Sad espn doesn’t hype it up.

    I hope NHL got the message that they need to put Penguins vs Flyers in Happy Valley at Beaver Stadium on January 1st, 2015.

    • dusty does ... - Feb 21, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      That would be a security disaster.

    • pensfan603 - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      Penn state (puke)
      Second other teams, need a chance to play
      Dallas Vs. Pheonix

      • claude28giroux - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        So there gonna play hockey outside in a desert or in Texas? Remember it is called the WINTER classic

    • ferrantej - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      Not gonna happen – the Pens have already been in two Winter Classics. Maybe around 2020 or so. Love the idea for the location.

  6. broadstbully33 - Feb 21, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Eiggles that was perfectly stated. I think they are all one person sitting in their moms basement tho.

  7. bubblehead22 - Feb 21, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Still celebrating from the “we won a playoff series parade” I see. Great game to watch the flyers did a good job at getting the Pens to play their style of hockey.

    Nice follow up to the win getting pasted by Fla at home 3-0.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Feb 21, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      Dude first game home off a 6 game road trip !

  8. lordfletcher - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    so the lockout didn’t hurt ratings…. just fans butt’s

    good to know, NHL wins LOL not that I care, just glad hockey is back but it’s funny reading some of the posts from people 3 months ago screaming and crying that they would never watch another game and that they’re done with the NHL…. RIGHT?!?!?!

  9. govtminion - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Not hard to believe that this game was as highly rated as it was- even for those who don’t like either team (like myself), it’s hard to find a reason not to put on a game like that- and every time it turns into a circus the way it did last night, or the playoffs last April, with the wild scoring and penalties galore, it becomes that much more irresistible the next time they’re on national TV.

    (To be honest though, I enjoyed Avs/Blues afterwards just as much. I love a good defensive game like that… didn’t hurt to see my old home-team for once, bad as they’ve become. At least they won, I suppose!)

  10. jhuck92 - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Like I was saying about that ‘Hawks/Canucks game: what lockout?

  11. mclovinhockey - Feb 21, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    Ummm ferrnetj, maybe you did not keep track but both Philly and Pitt have had 2 winter classics. Most hockey fans including flyers fan were aghast both teams having a 2nd

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