WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY, NBC Sports Network
Last night's thrilling Wednesday Night Rivalry game, in which the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-5, scored a 0.55 household rating, making it the highest-rated NHL regular-season game in the history of NBC Sports Network*. The spirited game, which featured 11 goals, including six in the third period, also marked another successful iteration of Wednesday Night Rivalry, NBC Sports Network's new NHL franchise, which has produced four of the Top 5 most-watched regular-season NHL games in the network's history.
In addition to the rating, Flyers-Penguins (7:30-10:17 p.m. ET) averaged 901,000 viewers, making it the second-most watched game in NBC Sports Network history. It peaked with 1.2 million viewers from 10-10:15 p.m. ET.
Locally, both Pittsburgh (14.50 household rating) and Philadelphia (4.84) scored their highest rating ever for a NHL regular-season game on NBC Sports Network. The channel was rated No. 1 overall in Pittsburgh during the game, and No. 1 among cable networks in Philadelphia.
Flyers-Penguins was the fifth game in the new NBC Sports Network Wednesday Night Rivalry series, which debuted this season and focuses on bringing viewers some of the best rivalries in the NHL. In setting the ratings record, last night's game surpassed the inaugural Wednesday Night Rivalry game between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, which scored a 0.53 household rating. However, Bruins-Rangers averaged 956,000 viewers and remains the most-watched regular-season NHL game in the network's history.
Four of the Top 5 most-watched NHL regular-season games in NBC Sports Network's history are Wednesday Night Rivalry games. The February 6 game between Boston and Montreal, which ranks fifth, was the most-watched NHL regular-season game involving a Canadian team in network history and on cable in nearly 13 years.
Overall, Wednesday Night Rivalry games are averaging 783,000 viewers, up 83% vs. Wednesday night exclusive games last year (427,000). Following are the Top 5 most-watched NHL regular-season games in NBC Sports Network history (Wednesday Night Rivalry games are in bold):
DATE GAME VIEWERS
Jan. 23, 2013: Boston-N.Y. Rangers - 956,000
Feb. 20, 2013: Philadelphia-Pittsburgh - 901,000
Oct. 6, 2011: Philadelphia-Boston - 874,000
Jan. 30, 2013: Chicago-Minnesota - 827,000
Feb. 6, 2013: Boston-Montreal - 771,000
*NBC Sports Network was previously known as VERSUS (2006-2011) and OLN before that.