NBCSN lit the Nielsen lamp with a number of records with its opening night coverage of the 2014-15 National Hockey League season.
The first game of the Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader,the Boston Bruins' 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, netted 956,000 viewers and a 0.57 household rating from 7:27 to 10:06 p.m. (ET) according to Nielsen data. That made it the most-watched opening night game on cable on record (data available since 1993) and the highest-rated NHL regular-season game ever on NBCSN. The game also set live streaming records for uniques and minutes consumed, according to NBC Sports officials.
The second game of the twinbill -- the San Jose Sharks shut out of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings (10:06 p.m. – 1:14 a.m.) -- averaged 446,000 viewers, the most ever on NBCSN for an NHL regular-season “late” game (puck drop after 9 p.m. (ET)), excluding last season’s Ducks-Kings outdoor game at Dodger Stadium.
The two telecasts averaged a 0.43 household rating and 679,000 viewers to rank as the best NHL opening night doubleheader on record (data available since 1993). The contests stood 19% and 13%, respectively, over the 0.36 rating and 601,000 viewers for the most-recent opening night doubleheader that faced off the 2011-12 season.
The Flyers-Bruins’ 0.57 household rating surpassed the 0.55 rating for the first-ever Wednesday Night Rivalry game between the Flyers and Penguins on Feb. 2, 2013, and was up 12% over the 0.51 for last year’s season opener between Washington and Chicago.
In addition to the record rating, the Oct. 8 Wednesday Night Rivalry matchup averaged 956,000 viewers, making it the most-watched opening night game on cable on record (data available since 1993), while tying it for the most-viewed regular-season game ever on NBCSN -- the Bruins-New York Rangers on Jan. 23, 2013. The previous opening night mark came last year with the Capitals-Blackhawks starter that garnered 935,000 viewers.
The Sharks-Kings game scored a 0.31 household rating and 446,000 viewers, up 41% and 30%, respectively, from the 0.22 and 342,000 viewers for the Vancouver-Pittsburgh late game that began the 2011 seaso