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2014 Winter Classic ties ratings record

Jan 2, 2014, 10:33 AM EDT

In a photo provided by National Hockey League Images and taken with a fisheye lens, a record crowd watches the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs play in the Winter Classic outdoor NHL hockey game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/NHLI, Noah Graham) AP

The 2014 Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs in Michigan Stadium was a close game, in the snow, and with a massive crowd. Now we know that it was also one of the most viewed Winter Classics to date.

With a 2.9 overnight rating on NBC, the match tied the high set by the 2009 version of this event and, for that matter, a regular season contest in general.

It’s success is particularly noteworthy as it was also the first Winter Classic to feature a Canadian team. Toronto eked out a 3-2 shootout victory over the Red Wings. It also means that the two most viewed outdoor games featured Detroit, which earned a 6-4 win over Chicago at Wrigley Field in 2009.

Detroit was the leading market for yesterday’s contest with an 18.0 rating. Buffalo and Pittsburgh earned 7.2 and 7.0 ratings respectively.

For more information, head to NBC’s press release.


Discuss: Leafs beat Wings in the 2014 Winter Classic

Bettman calls 2014 Winter Classic ‘everything we hoped for’

  1. ibieiniid - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    tied? looks like we’re going to a RATINGS SHOOTOUT!

    • 950003cups - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      That was the most exciting event in all sports I’ve ever seen. The only thing that would top this would be a blizzard in the Super Bowl.

  2. sportsfan69 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Don’t have it Washington DC area, have it in Minnesota or Toronto area where it’s cold. Have U2 for the band. That would be badass.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      you lost me when you said DC wasn’t cold enough, and you lost me again when you said anything U2-related would be “badass.”

      • tdrusher225 - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        It honestly isn’t the snowy, “Winter Classic” atmosphere you’re looking for in DC.

    • xdj511 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Bono sings… “All is quiet… on New Year’s Day…” The crowd roars. The point is missed by everyone.

    • nj666 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      uh it does get cold in dc… and U2 is terrible

      • joey4id - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        “U2 have sold more than 150 million records, placing them among the best-selling music artists in history. With 51.5 million certified units by the RIAA, U2 rank as the 21st-highest-selling music artist in the US. The group’s fifth studio album The Joshua Tree is one of the best-selling albums in the US (10 million copies shipped) and worldwide (25 million copies sold). Forbes estimates that U2 earned US$78 million between May 2011 and May 2012, making them the fourth-highest-paid musical artist.” – Wikipedia

      • ibieiniid - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        yeah well Bernie Madoff was worth almost a bil when he got caught. doesn’t mean he was a good dude.

        yep, that’s right. you heard it here folks. I just compared U2 to Bernie Madoff. here on ProHockeyTalk.

  3. drewsylvania - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Also a really poor-quality game. I wonder how many casual fans went to this game.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      what game were YOU watching? i thought it was great.

      • joey4id - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        Great!? Really! The players were unable to put their full talent on display. Stick handling, passing, and visibility were all difficult because of the weather, and constant snow on the ice. The puck was bouncing all over the place as well. It was a great show, but not a great game in my view.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        dude I’m finding your logic backwards again. you think games with toe drags and stretch passes are more of a good GAME than a good SHOW? how about a close score? how about guys battling thru weather in an OT game? that’s the sign of a good game right there. all the rest of what you were looking for is the show part. this was a WC for the hockey faithful, IMO. the faithful don’t need that showy sh** to enjoy the game.

      • joey4id - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        No! No! No! It was difficult to make short passes… screw the chip and chase. We outdoor elements changed how well the players were able to execute the most fundamental aspects of the game such as passes, stick handling etc…. The score, the crowd, the snow, the cold, the mystic of playing an outdoor game made it an instant classic, and made it a great show. But! Strictly from a hockey purest perspective that enjoys seeing the player’s full talent on display….. that wasn’t there. What the hell was Tatar doing trying to stick handle on the SO? You can do that stuff indoors, but not under yesterdays circumstances. BTW, Imagine that! Many think it was a great game, but no one is talking about the lack of fights. Imagine the poor smashing his cold knuckles on the opponent’s helmet… No one ever mentions they miss the fights after seeing a great game without fights.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        lol i knew you’d bring fighting in here soon enough.

      • drewsylvania - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Seriously? Nobody could complete a pass. Do you even watch hockey?

      • drewsylvania - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        If this weren’t the WC, most people would be complaining that it was a terrible game to watch.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        lol do I watch hockey, he asks. yes, quite a bit of it actually.

        it’s funny how they scored 4 goals in that game without being able to pass. look, I enjoyed the game. I enjoyed the Eagles/Lions snowbowl this year as well, despite whether they could pass or kick in that game. to each his own, i guess.

  4. dallasstars9 - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    There are a lot of so called hockey fans that seem to be missing the point of the Winter Classic… Weather conditions are always going to be an issue when you play the game OUTDOORS! But that’s not really the point now is it?

    • ibieiniid - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      thank you. not to mention, both teams were affected by the weather equally.

  5. zinger99 - Jan 2, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    No matter how you slice it,this event ends in a shootout? What an embarrassment!

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