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Record ratings for outdoor games in L.A. and New York

Jan 27, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

Jaromir Jagr, Ryan McDonagh AP

Some good ratings news, via the NHL’s daily email:

* The Devils-Rangers game drew a 1.6 overnight rating on NBC, a record on the network for a regular-season NHL game (excluding regionals and Winter Classics).

* The game also drew a 5.1 rating in New York, the highest-ever rating in the New York market for a regular-season NHL game on NBC and tied for the best New York game ever (with Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final).

* NBC was the No. 1 network in the New York market within the 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET time period.

* Saturday’s game between the Kings and Ducks drew a 2.38 rating in Los Angeles, the highest rating ever in the L.A. market for a regular-season NHL game on NBCSN.

* From 10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. PT, NBCSN was the No. 1 cable network in market and the No. 2 network overall.

Pretty solid proof that the novelty for these games hasn’t quite worn off yet. Which is reassuring for both the league and its broadcasting partners, because there are three outdoor games left this season, starting Wednesday at Yankee Stadium between the Rangers and Islanders. On March 1, the Blackhawks host the Penguins at Soldier Field. The next day, it’s the Canucks and Senators at Vancouver’s BC Place.

  1. ibieiniid - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    man, that LA game was so well done. surprised almost everybody, including me. gotta give props where it’s due, despite what you think about all the outdoor games they’re doing now.

    • patthehockeyfan - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      If you like theatrics, then you’re right. It was well done.

      Me? I just wanted to see a hockey game. Unfortunately, the game was dull, dull, dull.

      • patthehockeyfan - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        P.S. I didn’t thumbs down your comment, ibie.

      • joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        There are indoor games that are dull. What’s your point?

      • patthehockeyfan - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        I wasn’t talking to you, joey. Go to your room.

      • joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        No! It’s too dark in the basement! :-t

      • hockeyflow33 - Jan 27, 2014 at 6:19 PM

        I watched a game I would have otherwise skipped. Sure, I can do without the soap opera drama they need to create but they do this for all of the Sunday NBC games anyways.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      People love it. And I wish I wasn’t on the opposite coast for that LA game… it looked like a blast. Awesome weather, and hockey to go along with it. Plus, the ice sounds like it was better than any of the players thought it would be. I guarantee they do another warm weather game, because LA knocked it out of the park.

      Ya know, figuratively speaking.

    • imleftcoast - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      It’s smart to have it on the weekend where everyone is waiting for the Super Bowl, and I didn’t think they could get the ice right. Dodger Stadium still seems like it eats at the integrity of the game, but people in LA probably value the big splash effect. Kiss seems more Simpsons than NHL.

    • blomfeld - Jan 27, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      ‘Saturday’s game between the Kings and Ducks drew a 2.38 rating in Los Angeles, the highest rating ever in the L.A. market for a regular-season NHL game on NBCSN’ …

      fact: the average TV viewing audience for a King’s road game is approximately 50,000 people … not bad for places like Moose Jaw or Fort St John, but positively awful for a state of some 40 million ‘plus’ people …

      therefore given all the money and effort involved, it’s like ‘no kidding’ it was the highest rating ever in the LA market for a regular season game !

      • joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        Thank you for this data point, blomfeld.

  2. canucks30 - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Won’t stop the Bettman from locking out the NHL again 2021.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      I’m not thumbs downing you. Just the thought. I can totally see bettman doing that again….

    • haroldworsley - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      Each time Bettman has a lockout, the game gets better the next season, and the player’s salaries skyrocket the season after.

      Like it or not Bettman has grown the NHL in both Canada and the U.S. and has been one of the best NHL commissioners (presidents) ever. The man is a genius.

  3. joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    President Charles Logan, do you recall this thread?

    President Charles Logan – Jan 27, 2014 at 3:07 AM
    Dear Captain Obvious..

    There’s more Hockey fans sitting at home watching games on tv or online then there are who attend these outdoor “classics” ….. it’s becoming watered down .. there should ONE game a year , period. and you wonder why everyone on this board laughs at your drivel … but hey keep drinking the Kool Aid

    President Charles Logan – Jan 26, 2014 at 12:52 PM
    This outdoor game crap is starting to become overkill

    joey4id – Jan 27, 2014 at 7:14 AM
    Charlie, what are the TV ratings for these games?

    • thailer35 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Nothing more annoying than copying and pasting your comments from previous posts. There are those spammers with links telling me how I can make $85/hr from home, and then just below that is you.

      • joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:48 PM

        thailer35, did you watch the outdoor games on NBC this past weekend? Speculator show in LA. Eh!

      • thailer35 - Jan 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        I did, Joey, and I enjoyed them as well. It is not lost on me that you are asking to prove a point that the NHL created a television product that had incredible TV ratings and also gained my viewership. We all understand what you put in your previous posts were valid points. My point is you thrive off of annoying the bejesus out of everyone here by copying and pasting your “I told you so”‘s like a child. We all know your points are often valid. We just hate how obnoxiously sanctimonious you are about every position you take in every debate.

      • joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        thailer35, Thank you for an honest reply. I wish there were more like you here. I don’t mean to come across as obnoxiously sanctimonious. You mentioned “we”, but you’re the only who mentioned it. I usually use the “I told you so” line with those who have been excessively rude with me in the past for the simple reason they were vexed by a less than faltering evaluation of their team, or any random opinion we don’t see eye to eye. There are many that are hostile here, so I TRY not to return the favor by stating facts as in “I told you so”.

        BTW, I wasn’t really trying to make a point about anything. I merely was asking if you watched the games to diffuse the situation since you qualified me as being just below the spammer. 😦 Seriously! I take things pretty lightly, and don’t mean to come across as those big words you used. :-)


      • blomfeld - Jan 27, 2014 at 10:23 PM

        Joey … you’re a very ‘decent’ person as evidenced by your writings … Thailer not so much

  4. jhmiddleton81 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    This is awesome news and personally I hope that they do 4 games a year (Winter Classic, Heritage Classic, and two stadium series games) that would be plenty, and it would allow for markets to not have to wait 10 plus years to get a game. Teams that need to host are Minnesota, Colorado, St. Louis, Montreal, and Columbus. They deserve a game and they all have young stars that people want to watch, especially Colorado with their speed and skill (Mackinnon, Duchene, O’Reilly, Stastny, etc.)

    • killerpgh - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      I never even thought about it before but Columbus hosting the Penguins at “The Shoe” probably would be a smart move for the BJ’s. Columbus is a college football town more than a hockey town. What better way to help bring local fans to the sport than playing the game at a college football stadium and using the closest geographical rival that has some of the highest name recognition to casual/non fans. I’m still holding out hope for Penguins/Flyers at Beaver Stadium, but Pens/BJs at the Shoe would probably do more for increasing future potential for the NHL. Another 105,000+ seating event means a lot of ticket $$$ for the league.

    • joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      If they are going to have these, then your suggestion is a good one. Personally, and as a fan of the game I’m not crazy about the outdoor games. But! From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense. Attendance, ratings, and revenues are on the NHL’s side. The WC seems to be an anchored. One Heritage game and two stadium series games to close out the outdoor games could work. Keep doing the Heritage and stadium series until the fans stop coming. It wouldn’t surprise me if the NHL talks their outdoor games to EU.

  5. joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    You’ve got to give huge props to the NHL marketing machine when you step back and assess what they accomplished thus far, and what they will with the outdoor games after the Olympics. It’s brilliant!

    On the Sunday between the end of the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl Sunday the NHL was able to turn the spotlights on themselves with 2 spectacles at opposite spectrums of the country.

    “It [NHL] wanted to take advantage of the Super Bowl in the New York area. That’s why there are two outdoor games in the biggest city in North America right before the biggest sporting event in North America.”

    “It [NHL] also wanted to lead into the Sochi Olympics – and lead out of them. NHL owners don’t like interrupting their season and sending their stars to someone else’s event half-a-world away. This way, TV networks NBC and CBC have something extra to promote during the Olympics – the outdoor games in Chicago and Vancouver.”

    “The Olympics will do monster ratings in both countries,” Collins said. “We want to make sure they’re pointing toward the restart of the NHL season and then obviously get ready for the Stanley Cup run, which for us is the biggest event of all.”

    Brilliant marketing! I don’t care very much for these games from a fan’s perspective because teams are battling the elements of mother nature. The conditions in LA appeared to be more decent than any other outdoor game we’ve seen in cold weather, and the players seemed to have appreciated the condition of the ice. Put from a business perspective-well, the NHL has done very well.

  6. blomfeld - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:44 PM


    Notwithstanding the King’s current woes and my being a fan etc, that game on Saturday night was positively boring. The sight lines on TV were horrible and the lack of any ‘real or actual’ intensity must have been obvious to even a blind man. Bettman and his ‘Stadium Series’ efforts amount to nothing more than an ersatz or ‘paper-mache’ effort to fleece the ‘uninformed’ for all they’re worth. And thus far it appears to be working, as the sheep are offering up their wool in bushels with ‘little or no’ concern for what they’re actually receiving in return. However this travesty cannot continue for much longer. February 9th marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first Ed Sullivan performance in New York in 1964. Yet only 2.5 years later on August 29th 1966, they played their last ever ‘live’ concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco … and the stadium was half empty ! Truly unbelievable when you think about it.

    The bottom line is that comparing NHL Stadium Series hockey to the Beatles would be like comparing Wayne Newton to Mozart. And therefore if the Beatles had such a short shelf-life trying to fleece the masses in ball parks, then it’s a given that the NHL’s “Coors Light Stadium Series effort is going to sink faster than the Titanic.

    PS Kings fans: it’s tough right now, but hang in there … it’ll get better soon :)

    • joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Do you think “The Hoff” would have been better than the Jersey Boys? :-)

      • blomfeld - Jan 27, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        are you kidding ? … Jim Neighbors would have made more sense !

  7. sportsfan69 - Jan 27, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Conrad Blomfeld,

    Chicago stadium series game should have a bunch of David Hasseloff fans in attendance, including a lot of Poles and Russians. I like to be at the game, for all the outstanding tailgating food. Brats, Polish, and Hungarian sausage should be plentiful. Ummm, yummies…

    • blomfeld - Jan 27, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      May God bless Sportsfan69 and his comrades at their Stadium game !

      Friend, notwithstanding the fact that I’m upset lately with our King’s pathetic and anemic offense, the bottom line remains that this ‘greed-driven’ Stadium crap is going to implode faster than David Hasselhoff’s singing career … and then what ?

  8. President Charles Logan - Jan 27, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Blomfeld the fake Kings “fan”

    • blomfeld - Jan 28, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      *** somewhere in the Ardennes forest ***

      Blomfeld: Panzer One to Panzer Two, over …

      Panzer Two: Yes comrade Blomfeld ?

      Blomfeld: Panzer Two … blow that piece of junk called ‘Logan’ off the bridge !

      Panzer Two: it’s already been done by comrade Stransky’s unit sir ! :)

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