NHL TV ratings 2013: Flyers vs. Penguins draws nearly a million

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday Night Rivalry drew another huge audience with a wild Flyers vs. Penguins battle.

Afterwards, NBC Sports Network host called it "the game of the year", and the TV ratings certainly lived up to that assessment, as the Penguins and Flyers soared on Wednesday night.

The game was the highest-rated in network history, drawing an 0.55 and 901,000 viewers. That makes it the second-most watched game ever on NBC Sports Network (which, as we all know, was VERSUS from 2006-2011 and OLN in 2005). Only January 23rd's Bruins vs. Rangers game (956,000) had more viewers. Wednesday Night Rivalry is now responsible for four of the five most-watched NBC Sports Network games ever.

Locals were, as they often are, the key to any high-rated NHL broadcast. In Pittsburgh, the game drew a 14.5 rating. That's slightly below the 15.0 for the Penguins game against Buffalo on Sunday, but it was the highest-rated NBCSN/VERSUS/OLN game ever in Pittsburgh, and the No. 1 television program on Wednesday night in the market, beating out, you know, American Idol and Modern Family and such. Similarly, in Philadelphia, the game drew a 4.84, a record on the network in that market. It was the No. 1 cable program on Wednesday in Philly.

The second game of the doubleheader, a 1-0 overtime winner by the Colorado Avalanche over the St. Louis Blues, drew 291,000 viewers.

Viewership for 2013 NHL on NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry

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

Feb. 20, Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh - 901,000 viewers

Feb. 20, St. Louis vs. Colorado - 291,000 viewers

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