NBC Sports Network adds more Penguins-Flyers, for good reason

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Battle of Pennsylvania has proved fruitful for the NBC Sports Group this season.

The NHL on NBC Sports Network is adding more action from what many are calling the best rivalry in the game, and another from another Eastern Conference battle that has heated up in recent years.

On Mar. 24, NBC Sports Network was originally slated to air the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers. Both those teams' local carriers (CSN-DC and MSG) will get that game back, as NBCSN will use the slot to air another Penguins-Flyers showdown. The game will air exclusively on NBC Sports Network in Philadelphia, but will remain on ROOT Sports in Pittsburgh.

Previous matchups between the two Pennsylvania rivals have drawn blockbuster ratings. Their meeting on the first day of the season (paired with a Kings-Blackhawks game in that timeslot) drew 2.8 million viewers to NBC. Later in the season, their wild game on NBC Sports Network drew 901,000 viewers, and was the highest-rated game on NBCSN ever. The two teams met last night on NHL Network, which does not count viewership.

Because NBCSN is adding a Flyers exclusive game in Philadelphia, one must be removed to keep them under the limit, as each local network must get at least 41 exclusive telecasts this season. The game removed will be a week later, as the Mar. 31 game between the Capitals and Flyers will be replaced by a Bruins-Sabres showdown. The game will not air exclusively in Buffalo or Boston, as both NESN and MSG keep the rights to that game.

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