The 2012 Winter Classic pulled the worst TV ratings in the event's five-year history, despite an exciting game featuring the New York Rangers three-goal comeback to beat the host Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at Citizens Bank Park on Monday.
The NHL Winter Classic is traditionally held on New Year's Day, but was pushed back to Jan. 2 to prevent head-to-head competition with the all-mighty NFL on Sunday. Still the event managed to pull just a 2.4 overnight rating, down from 2.8 last season, which was in prime time.
Sports Business Journal's John Ourand offered some insight into the low ratings via Twitter:
Games in primetime typically get better ratings than games during the day. Last year, two stars (Crosby, Ovechkin) were in prime. ... Hosting it onJan. 2 hurt, I'm sure. The time change also put it up against college football. ... Ratings are higher on Jan. 1. But the NFL owned that day this year.
Here are the previous Winter Classic overnights, via Puck The Media:
• 2008: Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo: 2.6
• 2009: Detroit vs. Chicago: 2.9
• 2010: Philadelphia vs. Boston: 2.6
• 2011: Washington vs. Pittsburgh: 2.8
• 2012: NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia: 2.4
For more on this year's Winter Classic, head over to SB Nation's Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter and Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey. For everything Winter Classic in the build-up to the game, head over to our NHL Winter Classic StoryStream.