With bowl games in full force on other networks, NBC’s counterprogramming for the sports fan, the NHL Winter Classic, delivered the league’s best regular-season rating in more than a decade.
The event scored a 2.6 overnight rating and a 5 share on New Year’s Day, as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in the first U.S. outdoor game in NHL history.
“The best regular-season rating in more than a decade is a result of the tremendous efforts of the NHL, and we’re delighted by the success of this historic event,” said Ken Schanzer, President of NBC Sports. “Sam Flood, his production team and our broadcasters also deserve credit for conveying the great atmosphere in Buffalo and producing a memorable broadcast. The Winter Classic exposed hockey to a larger audience and definitely made new fans of the game.”
Among the top 10 metered markets were a few surprises, including Las Vegas.
top 10 metered markets:
1. Buffalo, N.Y., 38.2/58
2. Pittsburgh 17.7/30
3. Minneapolis 5.1/11
4. Denver 3.7/7
5 (tie). Providence, R.I., 3.5/7
5 (tie). Las Vegas 3.5/6
7. St. Louis 3.3/5
8. Boston 3.2/6
9. Sacramento 2.9/6
10 (tie). Richmond, Va., 2.8/5
10 (tie). Hartford, Conn., 2.8/5
Source : http://www.tvweek.com/in-depth/2008/01/viewers-warm-to-nhls-winter-cl/