It appears hockey fans were in a
forgiving mood after all.
NBC's belated opening day of NHL coverage posted the best
viewership numbers in network history and the best overall for the league in 14
years, according to Nielsen data.
Regional coverage of Chicago Blackhawks-Los Angeles Kings
and Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers was watched by 2.77 million viewers
(1.6 HH rating). The coverage (3:25-6:09 p.m. ET) peaked at 3.82 million
viewers in the final minutes of the broadcast, when most viewers were watching
a one-goal Penguins-Flyers game.
Excluding Winter Classics, it was the most-watched NHL
regular-season coverage since NBC began broadcasting the league in 2006, and
the most for any network since 1999.
Locally, Pittsburgh (19.4), Philadelphia (7.8) and Chicago
(6.6) scored their best-ever NBC ratings in those markets.