NBC Draws Solid Numbers For Winter Classic Highlights

When it rains, it pours seemingly for the NHL, it’s fans and the Winter Classic.

NBC, faced with three hours in daytime to fill after the Winter Classic was rescheduled from 1:00 PM ET to 8:00 PM ET, decided to air highlights of past Winter Classic, segments from Bob Costas and Mike Milbury previewing the game, and interviews. They drew a pretty solid 1.1 overnight rating for their coverage.

To put this into perspective, the 1.1 rating is better than 5 of NBC’s 10 NHL telecasts from the 2009-10 season, and at least four that we can count from the 2008-09 season (we’re looking further into this). The segments did better than NBC’s other sports programming, a celebrity golf challenge, that weekend as well. They weren’t far behind a live, big-name college basketball game (Louisville-Kentucky) on CBS either, as that game drew a 1.1.

So, a suggestion to NBC: How about, when airing the Winter Classic in primetime, an afternoon game featuring two big market teams on the day of the game? Just my two cents after being pleasantly surprised (as I’m sure the network is) by these numbers.

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