The Flyers/Penguins rivalry earned the second-largest NHL regular season audience ever on NBC Sports Network. In other news, the Celtics/Lakers rivalry was less of a draw for ESPN, and the top five clash between Indiana and Michigan State came close to a Big Ten record on ESPN.
- Wednesday’s Flyers/Penguins NHL game earned 901,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network, the second-largest NHL regular season audience ever on the network (previously Versus and OLN). Only Rangers/Bruins in January (956K) drew larger numbers. Four of the five most-viewed NHL regular season games on NBCSN have taken place this season alone, and all four have been part of the network’s “Wednesday Night Rivalry” coverage. Locally, the Flyers’ win set NBCSN records in both Pittsburgh (14.5) and Philadelphia (4.8). (NBC Sports Group)
- The latest chapter of the Celtics/Lakers rivalry earned 2.3 million viewers on ESPN Wednesday night, down 12% from Lakers/Mavericks in an earlier timeslot last year (2.6M), and the smallest audience for a game between the teams since the Kevin Garnett trade in 2007. Both meetings between the Celtics and Lakers this season earned fewer than three million viewers, compared to just one of eight games to fall below that mark from 2008-12. Earlier Wednesday, Hornets/Cavaliers drew 1.2 million viewers — down 24% from Celtics/Thunder last year (1.5M). (Thu. numbers from The Futon Critic)
- ESPN earned a 2.3 U.S. rating and 3.7 million viewers for Tuesday’s Indiana/Michigan State men’s college basketball game, up 64% in ratings and 76% in viewership from Kentucky/Mississippi State last year (1.4, 2.1M), and the second-most viewed Big Ten conference game ever on the network. Only Michigan/Indiana earlier this season drew a larger audience (4.0M). Michigan/Indiana and Indiana/Michigan State also rank as ESPN’s two-most viewed games of the season. (ESPN Media Zone)