Fast Early Numbers For NHL Winter Classic

Ken from Fang’s Bites giving you the overnight ratings from last night’s Winter Classic. Looks like we have a hit on our hands.

According to TV By The Numbers, the Winter Classic won the night in the coveted 18-49 demo with 4.56 million total viewers. CBS and Fox had more viewers, but among younger demos, NBC was the winner with a 1.8 rating and a 5 share.

With the game being postponed just the day before and scheduled for primetime, there’s no doubt that the ratings were helped by having just one college football bowl game opposite (the boring Fiesta Bowl) rather than four had the Winter Classic been played as scheduled at 1 p.m Eastern.

So we may see the Winter Classic played under the lights in the future. Consider this, CNBC’s Darren Rovell noted that the Winter Classic and UFC were trending worldwide on Twitter while the Fiesta Bowl was not.

Adults 18-49 Rating/Share: NBC: 1.8/5; Fox: 1.6/5;  CBS: 1.2/3; ABC: 0.9/3
Total Viewers (million): NBC: 4.56; Fox: 4.77; CBS: 6.14; ABC: 3.14

UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: Received a note from ESPN. The Fiesta Bowl received a 6.7 overnight rating beating everything on broadcast and cable, but according to USA Today, the rating was down considerably from last year.

20 Responses to Fast Early Numbers For NHL Winter Classic

  1. Larry says:

    those ratings are horrible.

  2. Christian T. says:

    Couldn’t the number go up considering how those numbers are prime time and the WC wasn’t in prime time on the West coast?

  3. Larry says:

    make whatever execuses you want. they are horrible. Re-runs on all networks nearly beat the WC. Are you kidding me. Cops pulled in almost identical #’s. a overhyped WC with the biggest stars, and a huge push by HBO and you draw on par with re-runs. HORRIBLE! Whatever numbers go up for WC will also mean numbers go up for the other networks. argue and justify it however you want….it’s laughable.

  4. kevin says:

    It’s scary that the Fiesta Bowl was actually watched by anyone…..two terrible teams (didn’t UConn lose to Michigan this year?) on a Sat. nite. The numbers for the WC were about the same (4.5M viewers) when the game was played in the afternoon. I don’t think moving it to nite time actually helped that much. Many other NHL teams were playing at the same time which would reduce viewers. Sat. nite is a terrible nite for TV and I would think Sat nite on Jan 1 is even worse for TV numbers. I don’t think the TV numbers for the WC are good or bad. They are pretty much what they have been in the past. In the big picture its not American Idol or DWTS….but thank god for that. I’m pretty sure WC viewers don’t watch those other two shows so it has its own demographic which is good.

  5. kevin says:

    And another point….this is the best rating NBC has gotten on a Sat nite in six months. Yes I know its NBC but stil NBC will gladly take a win on any nite. What I find strange is all the hockey fans that want this game to fail because they hate Crosby and Ovechkin. Do they complain when ESPN gives us Kobe and Lebron every nite? They are really a pathetic bunch of whiners.

  6. Larry says:

    I don’t watch NBA. But I don’t think NBA fans complain in seeing Lebron and Kobe. Besides they typically perform and show up. Can’t say Ov and Crosby did. As far as what I was expecting, not much just don’t barely beat out re-runs which it barely did. Again overhyped and the big stars didn’t show. Backed by HBO and ya barely beat Cops V Csi….give me a break…horrible.

  7. Larry says:

    Oh and I’m sure some fans wanted to see it fail because of the stars involved, I really didn’t care either way, but seriously, the ratings barely beat cops. It is what it is, and sure the production cost Nbc spent didn’t justify it. In fact I bet law n order which was suppose to be seen (re-run) would be good enough for them in the end.

  8. kevin says:

    Do you understand hockey at all? It’s not basketball. You can’t play the whole game like Kobe or Lebron and take every shot. It’s a difficult sport and a TEAM sport. As for ratings its the first time NBC actually won a Sat nite in six months. If its so easy why haven’t they done it in six months? As far as Law and Order…the people that watch that don’t watch hockey and vice versa for the most part…totally different demographics. If NBC could have shown some re-runs for the last six months and won one Sat nite don’t you think they would have done it? The ratings are decent for a regular season hockey game on a Sat nite which is the worst nite for TV viewers.

  9. Larry says:

    No dumb ass I don’t know anything about hockey. Love when people can’t debate their arguments. You brought in NBA not me. You mentioned NBA fans and matchups and NHL fans complaining and wanting the game to fail. Nbc could not show re-runs because they were obligated to show the game during the window. All I said was for those ratings they would gotten near same w a re-run. Check it out from steve on his post w sat night ratings. I never said w a rerun they’d win the night. Read before u shoot ur mouth off. If barely beating reruns is a proud moment then be happy. Imagine if these weren’t reruns….wow. so much for the HBO NBC NHL comparisons of our bird vs magic…oh and to dumb this down for ya…prime time and compare this wc to others. Its a disappointment. Oh and ur lame comment of not bad for reg season game….please that is an insult…it was a not just a reg season game. It was a event that threw it all out there with its stars hype and hbo and on prime time and compared to other Wcs was a disappoint to deliver what it did against reruns.

  10. patrick says:

    Not following ya kevin….larrys points are a little more on point. I liked the game…but on prime time against reruns with our two biggest stars….very disappointing. The NHL chose this matchup to lift the declining winter classic ratings. Really didn’t deliver. Maybe NBC is to blame with the sky cam. Game looked like crap. Ants on ice. Sure it attracted only hockey followers. Because non followers coukdnt see the puck. For once, I couldn’t either.

  11. patrick says:

    Maybe all non hockey followers didn’t notice and watched the reruns that NBC showed during the original time slot? Lol :). Or maybe the NHL should compare that rerun of classic games to the reruns on prime time reruns. Imagine if it beat everything including the WC? Lol that would be something.

  12. Larry says:

    Now Patrick that was funny.

  13. Gilbert says:

    Comparing Ali-Frazier to the wars between the two better players in the league? Give me a break, and my life back, please. NBC overhyped this to absurd levels, non-fans weren’t aware of the delays, I’ll bet. Look, the overhyped Water Closet (er, Winter Classic in springtime conditions) needs be viewed by more than just the dying faithful hockey fans. The league desperately needs some good marketing and promotion, and they once again proved their total ineffectiveness and ineptness to market this unique, very fun, and very exciting game. I’m a Blackhawks fan, and I watched. If the NHL ever got serious about a promotions department (Mr. Betttman, take lessons from Rocky Wirtz and the Blackhawks in Chicago), maybe we would be in a lot better shape. Throwing the NHL on a hardly-watched cable network (Versus) and punting it off ESPN, among many other things, is a great example of how this league needs to wake up about marketing and promotion. Had they:

    1. Had it on a Sunday evening, in primetime
    2. Knocked off the excessive and shameless (and foolish) hype
    3. Not used the cablecam to follow action that was too fast for it (and why didn’t we get an overhead drop the puck from center ice shot? GREAT opportunity missed there…)
    4. Not used the blimp shot during active play (not everyone has a 42″ HDTV with an NBC affiliate with high video bitrate so you can see the puck from it!)
    5. Had promotions that were to draw in NON-fans (the diehards will watch no matter what)

    THEN I think you’d see considerably better results. Or am I a goof?


  14. Gary says:

    Just wanted to say – rip the ratings all y’all want, but its the second highest rated Winter Classic so far. And that just the overnight ratings. We’ll find out in a few days the official numbers, which are expected to be higher.

  15. kevin says:

    Once again for all you idiots…….CHECK THE RATINGS ON SAT. NITE FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS. They sux for all networks. No one watches TV on Sat nite. To think the WC would put up huge numbers on Sat nite after it was rescheduled is stupid. If anything they should have gone down from previous games. They didn’t. They probably went up slightly….And if you know nothing about hockey AND basketball why are you here? You know nothing about TV ratings as well

  16. Patrick says:

    If you’re the NHL you’re thrilled to bits.

    What hasn’t been mention (and should be) is that during the 1pm slot, there was no cannibalisation going on.

    With an 8pm start, you had several NHL games (BOS-BUF among others (and a 7-6 game which kept people watching), which likely siphoned off fans that might otherwise have tuned in in large markets) going against it directly. CBC had to completely blow up their broadcast schedule (that tripleheader plan got killed). You also had NYR playing directly opposite (another big-market city). These markets are almost always strong for NBC hockey ratings.

    Gilbert- Versus is getting better ratings for NHL hockey than ESPN did when they had the rights. Once Comcast (Versus parent corp) acquires NBC expect a lot more synergy. Their market penetration has grown every year since 2005. These aren’t opinions…they’re facts. The NHL is willing to roll the dice on things like the Winter Classic (and the league makes money every year). The NBA lost $400mm last year and is headed for a lockout next year.

  17. Larry says:

    lol now we dont know anything about ratings….ur a moron right to the end, ratings always go down after the inital release….dont believe…go to sportsbusinessjournal or sportsmedia.

    Great for the NHL and the history since 36yrs ago….wont change my opinion that barely beat reruns with everything thrown in to make this the biggest event ever and u pull 100K more viewers than 09 winter classic. Kevin is a god in his own little world, and rest of us just have to unfortunately listen to his reality.

    Gilbert – you made some good points

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