NHL’s Return Huge For NBC Sports Network, But Rest of Line-Up Still Weak

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The return of the National Hockey League has provided an expected boost to the beleaguered NBC Sports Network.

From the January 19 start of the NHL season to last Sunday, fourteen of the fifteen most-viewed programs on NBC Sports Network have been NHL-related, including the top ten.

The only other program in the top 15 was the Super Bowl edition of “NFL Turning Point” on February 6 (226K). Excluding the NHL and NFL, the top program on NBCSN over the past month was “Brian’s Song” last Sunday night (184K) [see chart].

Dating back to November 26, only 16 programs on NBCSN have earned at least 200,000 viewers. Of the 16 programs, 13 have been NHL-related, two have been NFL-related (including bonus coverage of a 49ers/Patriots game in December), and one was a boxing telecast.

In other NHL/NBC news, last Sunday’s Kings/Red Wings NHL regular season game earned a 0.9 final rating on the NBC broadcast network — up a tick from both Capitals/Rangers last year (0.8), and Bruins/Red Wings in 2011 (0.8).

Most-Viewed Programs on NBCSN, January 13-February 10

# Date Time Show Type Rating Viewers (000)
1 Wed., 1/23/13 7:30 PM Bruins/Rangers NHL
0.5
956
2 Wed., 1/30/13 8 PM Blackhawks/Wild NHL
0.5
827
3 Wed., 2/6/13 7:30 PM Bruins/Canadiens NHL
0.4
771
4 Sun., 2/10/13 7:30 PM Devils/Penguins NHL
0.3
556
5 Tue., 1/22/13 7:30 PM Flyers/Devils NHL
0.3
449
6 Sun., 1/27/13 8 PM Wild/Blues NHL
0.2
401
7 Mon., 1/21/13 7:30 PM Red Wings/Blue Jackets NHL
0.2
390
8 Tue., 2/5/13 7:30 PM Lightning/Flyers NHL
0.2
300
9 Sun., 1/20/13 10 PM Blackhawks/Coyotes NHL
0.1
260
10 Tue., 1/29/13 7:30 PM Islanders/Penguins NHL
0.1
245
11 Wed., 2/6/13 10:15 PM "NFL Turning Point" NFL
0.1
226
12 Sun., 2/10/13 7 PM "NHL Live" pregame NHL
0.1
226
13 Wed., 1/23/13 6:30 PM "NHL Live" pregame NHL
0.1
214
14 Tue., 2/5/13 10:15 PM "NHL Live" postgame NHL
0.1
206
15 Tue., 1/22/13 10:12 PM "NHL Live" postgame NHL
0.1
193
16 Sun., 2/10/13 11 PM "Brian’s Song" Movie
0.1
184

(NBCSN numbers from Son of the Bronx [1], [2], [3], [4]; last weekend’s NHL on NBC rating from Sports Business Daily)

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