NBC exceeded audience expectations for its coverage of the Buffalo outdoor game on New Year's Day by earning a 2.4 overnight rating (percentage of the potential U.S. audience tuned in).
Sources said an American network has not produced an audience of that size for an NHL regular season game since the Fox Sports telecasts in the 1990s.
Last season, NBC's regular season NHL telecasts earned an average rating of 1.0.
Not sure how many of you tuned in to watch this game but it was truly a spectacle. Even though there were some challenges like the ice and the extended Zamboni stoppages I thought it was a great event.
Futhermore I show up at work this morning and the first thing my co-worker and boss (who seldom watches hockey and is huge into college football) says to me was "did you see that outdoor hockey game?. It was awesome!".
That my fellow fans, is exactly the kind of audience the NHL was going after and judging by these ratings, looks like they did a pretty good job of capturing. Especially when you consider all the sports programming they were up against on New Years Day.
Well done NHL, Pittsburg and the city and team of Buffalo!