William Houston of the Globe and Mail reports the good news those of us who would like to see this wacky Winter Classic thing continue for the NHL wanted to hear:
NBC exceeded audience expectations for its coverage of the Buffalo outdoor game on New Year's Day by earning a 2.4 overnight rating (percentage of the potential U.S. audience tuned in).
Sources said an American network has not produced an audience of that size for an NHL regular season game since the Fox Sports telecasts in the 1990s.
So there you have it: In order for the NHL to succeed on television, it either needs a glow puck or a snow puck. Meanwhile, the local ratings in Buffalo were interesting, according to the Buffalo News:
The rating peaked at 43.1 at 4:30 p.m., shortly before the Pens' Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal in a shootout. It averaged a 37.4 rating from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and a 40.5 rating from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The high ratings are impressive, but not even close to the 46.9 rating that the Buffalo Bills had for a late-season game with the Cleveland Browns that had playoff implications. Somewhat surprisingly, CBC's coverage of the Winter Classic didn't register enough of a rating to register here.
No word yet on how the Winter Classic fared against competition from college football games -- or how "The Music of Seal on Ice" built off of the Classic's massive lead-in.