Devils/Habs Can’t Carry Hockey Day Momentum, and Other Recent NHL Ratings Numbers

Curiously, a Hockey Day in America that started out with 1.9 million people spread out watching three games across this country dropped to extremely low numbers towards the end of the celebration.

The Devils/Canadiens game on NBC Sports Network, which followed NBC’s doubleheader and was very well-promoted during the Bruins/Wild Game of the Week on NBC, drew just 203,000 viewers, fairly low numbers for NBCSN. To be fair – as I always am – New Jersey isn’t exactly a heavy hitter on TV (see below) and the Canadiens don’t have a US home market to draw upon to boost figures, but the lack of crossover between NBC and NBC Sports Network is a bit depressing. Maybe people were just all hockey’d out.

To improve next year, make both teams playing in the NBCSN late game American-based, and promote it more as part of the whole Hockey Day package. Devils-Habs was often promoted separately from Hockey Day.

The number is part of a larger slump that NBC Sports Network has seen in February. Aside from the Philadelphia/Detroit game, which hit the second highest figures of the year on the network, there have been some lower scores. Four of the 10-least watched games this season on NBCSN came from February, the most since October, which also has four.

The week following Hockey Day didn’t exactly pick things up. Monday’s Caps/Canes showdown, blacked out in Washington, drew just 171,000 viewers. The following nights Red Wings/Blackhawks rivalry game, which was blacked out in both home markets, drew 228,000 viewers. However, most embarrassingly perhaps was Wednesday night’s Kings/Avalanche game, an uncompetitive game that was seen by a mere 166,000 viewers, despite the fact that both local markets saw the games.

The numbers for Sunday’s Chicago/Anaheim game were unavailable, but Monday night’s Devils/Rangers barnburner, which featured just 28 total shots between the two teams, drawing 287,000 viewers, still not exactly big stuff. Hopefully the network can improve with the Penguins playing tonight, the Flyers/Caps showdown Sunday, and better match-ups coming through as they season rolls to a close.

October 6
7:00 
Boston vs. Philadelphia – 874,000
10:00 
Pittsburgh vs. Vancouver – 342,000

October 7
1:00 
NY Rangers vs. Los Angeles – 101,000

October 8
1:00 
NY Rangers vs. Anaheim – 124,000

October 10
7:00 
Tampa Bay vs. Washington – 162,000

October 11
7:30 
Florida vs. Pittsburgh – 216,000

October 12
7:30 
Boston vs. Carolina – 312,000

October 17
7:30 
Colorado vs. Toronto – 218,000

October 18
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota – 286,000

October 25
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo – 338,000

October 31
7:00 
San Jose vs. NY Rangers – 169,000

November 1
7:30 
Anaheim vs. Washington – 258,000

November 2
7:30 
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo – 558,000

November 7
7:30 NY Islanders vs. Boston - 195,000

November 8
7:30 Carolina vs. New Jersey - 241,000

November 9
7:30 Philadelphia vs. Tampa Bay - 411,000

November 14
7:00 
Buffalo vs. Montreal – 323,000

November 15
7:30 
Colorado vs. Pittsburgh – 392,000

November 16
7:30 New Jersey vs. Buffalo - 285,000

November 21
7:30 
NY Islanders vs. Pittsburgh – 198,000

November 22
7:30 
Los Angeles vs. St. Louis – 245,000

November 28
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota – 232,000

November 29
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. NY Rangers – 394,000

November 30
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Detroit – 393,000

December 5
8:00 
Phoenix vs. Chicago – 302,000 viewers

December 6
7:30 
Detroit vs. St. Louis – 259,000

December 7
7:30 
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo – 585,000

December 12
7:30 
New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay – 201,000

December 13
9:00 
San Jose vs. Colorado – 193,000

December 14
7:30 
Chicago vs. Minnesota – 540,000

December 19
7:30 Anaheim vs. Dallas - 149,000

December 20
7:30 Chicago vs. Pittsburgh - 634,000

December 21
7:30 Philadelphia vs. Dallas - 462,000

December 26
7:30 Dallas vs. St. Louis - 270,000

December 27
7:30 St. Louis vs. Detroit - 195,000

December 28
7:30 NY Rangers vs. Washington - 327,000

January 2
8:00 
San Jose vs. Vancouver – 267,000

January 3
8:00 
Detroit vs. Dallas – 188,000

January 4
7:30 
Boston vs. New Jersey – 435,000

January 8
7:30 
Detroit vs. Chicago – 587,000 

January 10
7:30 
San Jose vs. Minnesota – 237,000 

January 11
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. Washington – 526,000

January 15
7:30 
NY Rangers vs. Montreal – 202,000

January 16
7:30 
Dallas vs. St. Louis - 238,000

January 17
7:30 
Nashville vs. NY Rangers - 224,000

January 18
7:30 Buffalo vs. Chicago - 466,000 

January 23
7:30 
St. Louis vs. Detroit – 429,000 

January 24
9:00 Minnesota vs. Colorado - 190,000

January 25
7:30 Detroit vs. Montreal - 241,000

January 28
7:00 Super-Skills Competition - 1.1 million

January 29
4:00 All-Star Game - 1.3 million

January 31
7:30 Washington vs. Tampa Bay - 264,000

February 1
7:30 NY Rangers vs. Buffalo - 478,000

February 5
12:30 Boston vs. Washington - 455,000

February 6
8:00 Detroit vs. Phoenix - 263,000

February 7
7:30 Los Angeles vs. Tampa Bay - 155,000

February 8
7:30 Boston vs. Buffalo - 455,000

February 12
7:30 Philadelphia vs. Detroit - 600,000

February 13
7:30 San Jose vs. Washington - 351,000

February 14
7:30 Anaheim vs. Minnesota - 173,000

February 15
7:30 Boston vs. Montreal - 417,000 

February 19
6:00 New Jersey vs. Montreal - 203,000

February 20
7:30 Washington vs. Carolina - 171,000

February 21
8:00 Detroit vs. Chicago - 228,000 

February 22
9:00 Los Angeles vs. Colorado - 166,000 

February 27
7:30 New Jersey vs. NY Rangers - 287,000

10 Most-watched Games on NBCSN This Season
1. Boston vs. Philadelphia (10/6/11) - 874,000
2. Chicago vs. Pittsburgh (12/20/11) - 634,000
3. Philadelphia vs. Detroit (2/12/12) - 600,000
4. Detroit vs. Chicago (1/8/12) - 587,000
5. Philadelphia vs. Buffalo (12/7/11) - 585,000
6. Philadelphia vs. Buffalo (11/2/11) – 558,000
7. Chicago vs. Minnesota (12/14/11) – 540,000
8. Pittsburgh vs. Washington (1/11/12) – 526,000
9. NY Rangers vs. Buffalo (2/1/12) – 478,000
10. Buffalo vs. Chicago (1/18/12) – 466,000 

10 Least-watched Games on NBCSN this Season
1. NY Rangers vs. Los Angeles (10/7/11)* – 101,000
2. NY Rangers vs. Anaheim (10/8/11)* – 124,000
3. Anaheim vs. Dallas (12/19/11) – 149,000 
4. Los Angeles vs. Tampa Bay (2/7/12) – 155,000
5. Tampa Bay vs. Washington* (10/10/11) – 162,000
6. Los Angeles vs. Colorado (2/22/12) - 166,000
7. San Jose vs. NY Rangers* (10/31/11) – 
169,000
8. Washington vs. Carolina* (2/20/12) - 171,000
9. Anaheim vs. Minnesota (2/14/12) – 
173,000
10. Detroit vs. Dallas* (1/2/12) – 
188,000

*-was blacked out in one or both of the home markets.

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

One Response to Devils/Habs Can’t Carry Hockey Day Momentum, and Other Recent NHL Ratings Numbers

  1. David says:

    I hate reading things like this. It makes me fear for the future of what is either my favorite or second favorite sport. I wish I could understand why more people don’t love this game. It just doesnt make sense to me.

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