The Blues win over the Red Wings in overtime on Wednesday night continued to show decent numbers for the network's Wednesday Night Rivalry series, but saw what was by far the lowest numbers of the series.
The game, which faced tough competition from the rare not when regular season college basketball is worth anything (Syracuse/UConn and North Carolina/Duke drew huge numbers on ESPN) drew 453,000 viewers to NBC Sports Network, according to a network spokesperson. It marks a big drop from last week's 771,000 for Boston/Montreal. It's the first time this season a Wednesday night game hasn't been the most-watched game of the week for NBCSN (Sunday's Devils/Penguins game took those honors with 556,000).
In Detroit, the game drew a 4.06, up 17 percent from the Red Wings' 2011-12 NBCSN average, but still well below the 7.4 Kings/Red Wings drew on Sunday. NBC Sports Network was still the No. 1 cable network in Detroit Wednesday during it's time period, as was the case in St. Louis, which scored a 3.37 rating.
I imagine this dip has more to do with there being a bit of apathy about the Red Wings and Blues both having middling starts to the season and college basketball than anything else. Next week features a doubleheader that's kicked off by what seems to be the granddaddy of hockey rivalries in Penguins-Flyers. The Blues are on Wednesday again in the second half of the double-header, as they travel to visit the Avalanche.
Viewership for NBC Sports Network Wednesday Night Rivalry Games
Jan. 23, Boston vs. NY Rangers - 956,000 viewers
Jan. 30, Chicago vs. Minnesota - 827,000 viewers
Feb. 6, Boston vs. Montreal - 771,000 viewers
Feb. 13, St. Louis vs. Detroit - 453,000 viewers