SBD/May 1, 2013/Media

NBC Sports Network Delivers NHL's Best Cable TV Viewership Since '93-94 Season

NBC Sports Network finished the lockout-shortened NHL regular season with an average of 392,000 viewers for its 56 game telecasts, marking the best NHL audience on cable TV since the ’93-94 season, when ESPN/ESPN2 averaged 474,000 viewers. NBC Sports Net, in the second season of a 10-year deal with the NHL, saw viewership jump 18% from last season. The previous high for the net as the league’s cable partner came in ’10-11 (348,000 viewers). The net averaged 646,000 viewers for its newly-created “Wednesday Night Rivalry” matchup -- a window that was exclusive to the net (other telecasts blacked out locally). NBC Sports Net also recorded its two most-viewed NHL games ever this season, and seven of the top eight. The first-ever “Wednesday Night Rivalry” matchup -- Bruins-Rangers on Jan. 23 -- led the way with 956,000 viewers. Meanwhile, NBC, which went without a Winter Classic due to the lockout, averaged 1.473 million viewers for 13 telecasts (excludes final game, for which viewership was not available at presstime). That figure is the lowest for NBC since ’07-08, which was the first season of the Winter Classic. Remove the Winter Classic from all recent seasons, and NBC’s average this season would be the best since it regained NHL rights prior to the ’05-06 season.

NHL REGULAR-SEASON VIEWERSHIP ON BROADCAST TV
YEAR
NET
GMS
VIEWERS (000)
'12-13*
NBC
13
1,473
'11-12
NBC
12
1,580
'10-11
NBC
11
1,621
'09-10
NBC
10
1,560
'08-09
NBC
10
1,530
'07-08**
NBC
10
1,400
'06-07
NBC
9
1,344
'05-06
NBC
6
1,376
'04-05
LOCKOUT (SEASON CANCELED)
'03-04
ABC
5
1,547
'02-03
ABC
5
1,656
'01-02
ABC
5
1,999
NHL REGULAR-SEASON VIEWERSHIP ON CABLE TV
SEASON
NET
GMS
VIEWERS (000)
'12-13*
NBCSN
56
392
'11-12
NBCSN
90
332
'10-11
NBCSN
53
348
'09-10
NBCSN
52
297
'08-09
NBCSN
54
318
'07-08
NBCSN
56
272
'06-07
NBCSN
58
212
'05-06
NBCSN
56
162
'04-05
LOCKOUT (SEASON CANCELED)
'03-04
ESPN/ESPN2
n/a
209

NOTES: * = Lockout shortened season (no Winter Classic). ** = First season with Winter Classic.
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