SBD/April 22, 2014/Media

NBC, NBCSN Have Best Full Season NHL Audience, But Short Of '12-13 Figures

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The return of a full season of NHL games led to strong numbers for NBC and NBCSN. Regular-season games on NBCSN averaged 351,000 viewers over 88 telecasts in ’13-14, down 10% from the lockout-shortened ’12-13 campaign (57 games), but still the net’s best figure on record for a full season. This season was up 6% from the last full season in ’11-12 and up 1% from the previous record of 348,000 viewers in ’10-11. The audience for last year’s lockout-shortened schedule was the NHL’s best on cable TV since ESPN and ESPN2 combined to average 474,000 viewers in ’93-94. Meanwhile, NBC had its best NHL audience since acquiring rights prior to the ’05-06 season. NBC averaged 1.68 million viewers for its regular-season games, up 19% from last season and topping the net’s previous high of 1.62 million viewers in ’10-11. The NHL average on NBC this season also is the league’s best on broadcast TV since ABC averaged 2.0 million viewers in ’01-02.

NHL REGULAR-SEASON AUDIENCE TREND ON BROADCAST TV
YEAR
NETWORK
GAMES
VIEWERS (000)
'13-14
NBC
13
1,683
'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
NHL Lockout-Season Cancelled
'03-04
ABC
5
1,547
'02-03
ABC
5
1,656
'01-02
ABC
5
1,999
NHL REGULAR-SEASON AUDIENCE TREND ON CABLE TV
SEASON
NETWORK
GAMES
VIEWERS (000)
'13-14
NBCSN
88
351
'12-13*
NBCSN
57
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
NHL Lockout-Season Cancelled
'03-04
ESPN2
n/a
209

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