“Hockey Day in America” is not exactly a ratings blockbuster, but still performed well enough for NBC last week.
NBC earned a 1.2 final rating and 1.8 million viewers for Sunday’s Kings/Blackhawks NHL regular season game, up 22% in ratings and 31% in viewership from Bruins/Wild last year (0.9, 1.4M), and up 9% and down 5%, respectively, from Penguins/Blackhawks in 2011 (1.1, 1.9M).
The telecast ranks as the second-highest rated of the season on NBC (six telecasts), trailing only regional coverage on Opening Day (1.6).
Earlier Sunday, Penguins/Sabres earned a 1.1 and 1.7 million — down 15% in ratings and 12% in viewership from regional action featuring Sharks/Red Wings last year (1.3, 1.9M), but up 10% and 12%, respectively, from regional coverage featuring Rangers/Flyers in 2011 (1.0, 1.5M). Prior to this year, the early “Hockey Day” window included multiple regionalized games.
Keep in mind this year’s edition of “Hockey Day in America” did not face competition from either the NBA regular season or NASCAR’s Daytona 500, as in previous years.
Even so, Sunday’s telecasts finished behind other sporting events on competing networks. The early game was outdrawn by college basketball on CBS (1.4) and Daytona 500 qualifying on FOX (2.0), and the late game was topped by PGA Tour golf on CBS (2.5).
Wrapping up the “Hockey Day” coverage, Capitals/Rangers earned a 0.4 and 609,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network — up 100% in ratings and 200% in viewership from Devils/Canadiens last year (0.2, 203K), and up a tick in ratings and flat in viewership compared to Canadiens/Flames in 2011 (0.3, 608K). The 2011 Canadiens/Flames game took place outdoors.