Versus skated before an average of 730,000 viewers with its coverage of the 2010-11 NHL season-opening game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.
That, according to Nielsen data, marked the best start to a pro pucks season since 2002 and the most-watched NHL regular-season telecast on cable since 2004.
The Oct. 7 telecast now ranks as Versus' most-watched regular season game ever, surpassing the previous high set of 622,000 set by the Penguins/Detroit Red Wings on March 22, 2010.
Locally, Versus earned a 13.4 household rating in Pittsburgh, making it the highest-rated regular season game in Pittsburgh in network history. Versus ranked at the No. 1 network overall -- both broadcast and cable-- in the Iron CIty DMA, according to network officials.
The Comast-owned network's coverage of the Colorado Avalanche/Chicago Blackhawks game averaged 430,000 viewers, its best ever for a post 9 p.m. (ET) face-off and its most for a season-opening late game. Chicago-Colorado scored a 30% spike in viewership over the second game to start the 2009/10 season (332,000 viewers), according to Nielsen.