SBD/May 31, 2013/Media

Blackhawks-Red Wings Game 7 Marks NBC Sports Net's Best NHL Rating Yet

NBC Sports Network averaged a 2.1 U.S. rating and 3.4 million viewers for Blackhawks-Red Wings Western Conference Finals Game 7 on Wednesday night, marking the net's highest-rated NHL game on record, with viewership ranking third. The game was also the highest-rated NHL Conference Semifinal game ever on cable, with records dating back to '94. The 2.1 rating marks the highest-rated non-Stanley Cup Final telecast on cable since the Red Wings-Avalanche Western Conference Finals Game 6 in '02. NBC Sports Net's lone Conference Semifinal Game 7 last year was Rangers-Capitals, which drew a 1.0 rating and 1.7 million viewers. In Chicago, Wednesday night's game drew a 17.2 local rating, marking the best figure on record for an NHL broadcast on NBC Sports Net. The game also earned a 15.0 local rating in Detroit. Meanwhile, NBC Sports Net averaged 1.4 million viewers for Kings-Sharks Game 7 on Tuesday night, marking the most-viewed Western Conference semifinal telecast on cable TV (not involving the Red Wings or Blackhawks) since '01 (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

TOP FIVE MOST-VIEWED NHL GAMES ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK
DATE
GAME
RAT.
VIEWERS (000)
6/2/10
Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks-Flyers: Game 3
2.0
3,600
6/4/09
Stanley Cup Final: Penguins-Red Wings: Game 4
1.8
3,448
5/29/13
Western Conference Finals: Blackhawks-Red Wings: Game 7
2.1
3,354
6/4/10
Stanley Cup Final: Blackhawks-Flyers: Game 4
1.7
3,126
6/2/09
Stanley Cup Final: Penguins-Red Wings: Game 3
1.7
2,955
       

THAT'S A WRAP: The 24 NHL Conference Semifinal games across NBC, NBC Sports Net and CNBC averaged 1.5 million viewers this year, marking the most-viewed Conference Semifinal round on record (dating back to '94). NBC averaged 2.3 million viewers for its games, up 27% from last year's 1.8 million viewers. NBC Sports Network averaged 1.4 million viewers for the round, up 12%, while CNBC was up 207% (NBC).

PEACOCK STRUT: In Detroit, Steve Schrader writes NBC has been "a good thing for hockey," and hockey "hasn't been too bad for NBC, either." Schrader writes of the lockout, "Guess hockey fans don't hold a grudge after all" (FREEP.com, 5/31). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes, "Everything the NBC production crew did wrong throughout Bruins-Rangers -- especially eliminating the live view of the handshake line -- an NBC crew did right throughout Red Wings-Blackhawks" (N.Y. POST, 5/31). In Boston, Chad Finn notes NBC's Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire will call the Eastern Conference finals, and "judging by a decent-sized sample of feedback on Twitter, Boston fans are thrilled with Emrick, indifferent about Olczyk, and desperately wish they had access to McGuire’s mute button" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/31).

CHANNEL SURFING: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes NBC Sports Net "might continue to be inconveniently available on various sports premium channel tiers," but that is "where you'll have to scramble if you're interested in locating  most of the Kings' games" against the Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals. It begins with the "awkward made-for-TV Games 1 and 2 condensed into a Saturday-Sunday package." Only Game 5 in Chicago on June 8 will air on KNBC-NBC. Hoffarth writes he "did enjoy the work by John Forslund in the booth and Joe Micheletti as the analyst on the ice" during the Kings-Sharks series (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/31).
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