Detroit vs. Chicago Sets Ratings Mark for NHL on NBC
According to Sports Business Daily, via Steve Lepore at Puck The Media, Sunday's game drew a 2.0/5 overnight rating, which is the highest mark the NHL has received on NBC (excluding Stanley Cup Finals games and Winter Classic games) since the network started airing games following the lockout.
While skeptics and outsiders might scoff at hockey fans celebrating a 2.0/5 national rating, it's still a nice step for the NHL, especially since it's a game that didn't take place in a baseball stadium or involve Sidney Crosby and/or Alex Ovechkin. Even more impressive is the fact it was going up against the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets game 7 in the NBA. A year ago, game 5 of the Penguins-Flyers conference final, a series-clinching game, drew a 1.7/4 on NBC.
According to Lepore, NBC's Brian Walker claims this was the highest rated national NHL telecast since May 25, 2002, when the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings were renewing their classic rivalry in the Western Conference Finals. The local ratings in Detroit and Chicago were 16.9/38 and 7.7/19 respectively.
Games 2 and 3 are scheduled to be broadcast on VERSUS on Tuesday and Friday before the series returns to NBC on Sunday. Every other conference final game, including all of the Pittsburgh-Carolina series, will be broadcast on VERSUS. NBC has the rights to games 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. VERSUS has the rights to games 3 and 4.