Hockey Day in America returned for it's third year on NBC, and the numbers were, overall, up from last year.
Both the early game (Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo) and the late game (Los Angeles vs. Chicago) drew 1.3 overnights, meaning Hockey Day's six-hour average (1.3) was up a tick from last year's (1.2). The Penguins vs. Sabres game's 1.3 overnight was down a tick from last season's early window (1.4), but don't forget, that window had the benefit of three regional games featuring a lot of large NHL markets (Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, St. Louis) so drawing a 1.3 in the 12:30 p.m. ET slot is pretty impressive. The game is the second-highest rated 12:30 p.m. ET game of the season, behind Philadelphia vs. Buffalo on Jan. 20.
The late game, Los Angeles vs. Chicago, drew the highest ratings for the 3:30 p.m. ET Hockey Day game ever, and was up 30 percent from last year's entry, Boston vs. Minnesota (1.0). The Chicago market drew a 6.7 rating, which made it the highest-rated regular season game in the market aside from the Winter Classic. We'll look into getting more local ratings as the day goes on.
Through six telecasts, The NHL on NBC is averaging a 1.3 overnight, still well ahead of last year's average at this time (1.1, not counting Winter Classic). Overall, it's good to see more and more growth for Hockey Day in America, and the early game showing barely any ratings drop is huge. Be interesting to see how NBC tries to grow it from here.
Viewership numbers for the third game of the day, Capitals vs. Rangers on NBC Sports Network, should be available tomorrow.
2013 NHL on NBC overnights
Jan. 19 - Regional Coverage (PIT/PHI, CHI/LA): 2.0
Jan. 20 - Philadelphia vs. Buffalo: 1.4
Feb. 3 - Pittsburgh vs. Washington: 1.2
Feb. 10 - Los Angeles vs. Detroit: 1.1
Feb. 17 - Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo: 1.3
Feb. 17 - Los Angeles vs. Chicago: 1.3
Hockey Day in America overnights
12:30 p.m. ET - Regional Coverage (PHI/NYR, WSH/BUF, DET/MIN): 1.2
3:30 p.m. ET - Pittsburgh vs. Chicago: 1.2
12:30 p.m. ET - Regional Coverage (PIT/BUF, SJ/DET, STL/CHI): 1.4
3:30 p.m. ET - Boston vs. Minnesota: 1.0
12:30 p.m. ET - Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo: 1.3
3:30 p.m. ET - Los Angeles vs. Chicago: 1.3