NHL Regular Season Scores Record Ratings for NBC, NBCSN
On the strength of the inaugural NHL Stadium Series, the return of the NHL Winter Classic, and the second season of Wednesday Night Rivalry, the 2013-14 NHL regular season set a full-season viewership record for NBCSN, and is expected to do the same for NBC when final figures become available later this week, according to The Nielsen Company.
NBCSN recorded its most-watched full regular season ever, averaging 351,000 viewers over 88 telecasts, up six percent compared to the last full regular season in 2011-12 (332,000). The previous record for a full regular season was set during the 2010-11 season (348,000 average viewers over 52 telecasts). NBCSN began televising the NHL with the 2005-06 season. Last year's lockout-shortened season averaged 392,000 on NBCSN.
NBC is also on pace for its most-watched regular season since it began broadcasting the NHL with the 2005-06 season. While national data is not yet available for NBC's final broadcast this past Sunday, the network averaged 1.73 million viewers through its first 12 games, which tops the previous best of 1.65 million viewers for the 2010-11 season and is up 22% vs. last year's lockout-shortened season (1.42 million).
Through 100 regular-season games across NBC and NBCSN, the 2013-14 season is averaging 532,000 viewers, up 11% over the last full regular season (2011-12, 480,000 viewers).
"This has been a special year for hockey with the birth of the NHL Stadium Series, the return of the Winter Classic, the continued success of Wednesday Night Rivalry, and a compelling Winter Olympics," said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBCSN. "The league, the teams and the players combined to provide unsurpassed drama this season, and it's no surprise that the result is record-setting viewership across both NBC and NBCSN."
Following are additional viewership highlights from the 2013-14 NHL regular season:
· NBCSN delivered the most-watched cable season opener on record (data available since 1993) with Washington-Chicago (935,000 viewers), which was also the second-best NBCSN regular-season game ever (Boston-NYR, 1/23/13, 956,000).
· Wednesday Night Rivalry's 23 exclusive telecasts averaged 559,000 viewers, up 26% compared to the exclusive time period average of the last full regular season in 2011-12 (443,000).
· Since the debut of Wednesday Night Rivalry last season, NBCSN has recorded nine regular-season games with more than 700,000 viewers vs. four over the previous two seasons.