In a rarity, the NHL on NBC earned a higher overnight than the NBA on ABC on the same weekend.
The Penguins/Blackhawks NHL outdoor game earned a 2.1 overnight rating on NBC Saturday night, the network’s highest regular season NHL overnight ever outside of the Winter Classic. The game was the first primetime regular season game on broadcast since the Penguins/Capitals Winter Classic in 2011, which was pushed back due to inclement weather.
Penguins/Blackhawks earned a higher overnight than the Knicks/Bulls NBA game on ABC the next day. Knicks/Bulls drew a 2.0 overnight, down 46% from Heat/Knicks last year (3.7), down 54% from Knicks/Celtics in 2012 (4.3), and the lowest overnight for any NBA game on ABC since April 2011.
It should be pointed out that the Knicks/Bulls game easily topped the NHL head-to-head Sunday afternoon, doubling NBC’s Flyers/Capitals game (1.0).
(Weekend overnights from NBC Sports Group Press Box, Sports Business Daily)