NHL Network finds New Year’s Day Ratings Success

The NHL Winter Classic, broadcast New Year’s Day on NBC, earned a 2.6
overnight rating and a 5 share (1-4:45 p.m. ET), the best overnight NHL
regular season rating in more than a decade (Feb. 3, 1996 on Fox,
six-game regional, 3.0/7). The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo
Sabres 2-1 in the first U.S. outdoor game in NHL history.
Twenty-year-old Sidney Crosby, the NHL’s reigning MVP, scored the
game-winning goal in a shootout.

The overnight rating also surpasses Wayne Gretzky’s last game, which was broadcast on Fox (April 18, 1999, 2.5/6).

Top Ten Metered Markets:

1. Buffalo 38.2/58

2. Pittsburgh 17.7/30

3. Minneapolis 5.1/11

4. Denver 3.7/7

T5. Providence 3.5/7

T5. Las Vegas 3.5/6

7. St. Louis 3.3/5

8. Boston 3.2/6

9. Sacramento 2.9/6

T10. Richmond 2.8/5

T10. Hartford 2.8/5

“The
best regular season rating in more than a decade is a result of the
tremendous efforts of the NHL and we’re delighted by the success of
this historic event,” said Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports. “Sam
Flood, his production team and our broadcasters also deserve credit for
conveying the great atmosphere in Buffalo and producing a memorable
broadcast. The Winter Classic exposed hockey to a larger audience and
definitely made new fans of the game.”

Eddie Olczyk, NBC’s NHL
game analyst said: “This was one of the best events I’ve ever been a
part of as a player, coach or broadcaster. It truly was a memorable
experience and a great day for the sport of hockey.”

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