NESN scored a season high with the Nielsens with its coverage of the Boston Bruins' 2-1 win over the Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on March 3.
The regional sports network's Thursday night telecast averaged a 4.6 household rating in the Boston DMA, according to Nielsen data, its best of the 2010-11 National Hockey League season to date. The contest topped the 4.3 NESN notchesd on Feb. 9, when the Bruins beat their longtime rival, the Montreal Canadiens 8-6.
The Bruins-Lightning contest lifted NESN's average with the team to a 2.94 household rating in the DMA through 57 telecasts, up 40% from the same stage of last season. The RSN is on pace to having its highest-rated season ever with the Bruins.
All of other NESN Bruins programming, including The Big Bad Bruins Show with Kathryn Tappen and The Instigators with Mike Milbury, is trending ahead of last year's pace, accordig to network officials.
Next up: Boston plays Pittsburgh and Montreal on March 5 and March 8 on NESN.