The Philadelphia Flyers' 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins ended Sidney Crosby's team's 12-game winning streak, but it set a new viewer mark for Versus.
The Dec. 14 contest, in which the Flyers skated past the Penguins to the top of the Atlantic Division and the NHL with 45 points, averaged 750,000 viewers, according to Nielsen data, to rank as the most-watched regular-season NHL telecast in Versus history.
Tuesday night's game, which outscored the club's season-opening meeting on Oct. 7 that drew 730,000 watchers on average, was the most-viewed NHL regular-season contest on cable since December 2003, according to Versus officials. The telecast peaked with nearly 1 million viewers in the 9:15 p.m. (ET) quarter hour.
The NHL's national cable carrier, Comcast-owned Versus -- which is in its exclusive negotiating window with the league to renew a rights deal -- also scored big locally with its Dec. 14 coverage. Penguins-Flyers was the No. 1-rated cable network in both the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia DMAs on Tuesday night. Both markets saw significant increases over their 2009-10 regular-season averages with Pittsburgh scoring an 11.2 household rating (up 50%), while Philadelphia netted a 3.5 mark (ahead 42%), according to Nielsen.
The game was also the highest rated regular-season game ever on Versus in the Philadelphia market, beating the previous record set by the New Jersey/Philadelphia game on March 23, 2009, said Versus officials.