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'Wednesday Night Rivalry' Heats Up NBC Sports Net's Top Hockey Rating

Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Telecast Registers Net's Best Regular-Season Mark; Second-Largest NHL Audience 2/21/2013 6:14 PM Eastern

NBC Sports Network’s "Wednesday Night Rivalry" franchise continues to score big with the Nielsens.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 20 stands as NBC Sports Network’s highest-rated and second-most-watched regular-season National Hockey League telecast.

The game netted a 0.55 household rating, topping the 0.53 mark for the inaugural game under the Wednesday Night Rivalry banner on Jan. 23, according to Nielsen data. The Keystone State confrontation averaged 901,000 viewers from 7:30 p.m. to 10:17 p.m., ranking behind the 956,000 who watched Bruins-Rangers last month.

Four of the top five most-watched NHL regular-season games in NBC Sports Network’s history are now Wednesday Night Rivalry games. The Feb. 6 game between Boston and Montreal, which ranks fifth, is the most-watched NHL regular-season game involving a Canadian team in network history and on cable in nearly 13 years.

Overall, Wednesday Night Rivalry games have averaged 783,000 viewers, up 83% from the 427,000 for Wednesday night exclusive games last year (427,000).

The following are the top five most-watched NHL regular-season games in NBC Sports Network history. All are Wednesday Night Rivalry games save for the Flyers-Bruins matchup in 2011.

 

DATE

GAME

VIEWERS

Jan. 23, 2013

Boston-N.Y. Rangers

956,000

Feb. 20, 2013

Philadelphia-Pittsburgh

901,000

Oct. 6, 2011

Philadelphia-Boston

874,000

Jan. 30, 2013

Chicago-Minnesota

827,000

Feb. 6, 2013

Boston-Montreal

771,000

 

September