NBC Sports Network Adds Seven More West Coast Games Down the Stretch

If you enjoyed last night’s Flyers-Sharks game and doubleheader on NBC Sports Network, you’re in for a treat, as the network is adding seven games down the stretch, both for doubleheaders and new hockey nights we haven’t seen before.

All the games take place at 10:00 p.m. ET or later, five of which are airing after already planned games, giving NBCSN a total of 12 doubleheaders to finish the season, the most in NBCSN/VERSUS/OLN history. Four of the games are being simulcast from CSN California, while the other three are picked up from TSN. The Sharks (four games) add the most appearances out of this boost, while the Canucks (three games), Ducks (three games) and Kings (two games) also get a boost.

The following is the NBCSN schedule for the nights these games are being added. Bonus games are italicized.

Saturday, March 17
10:30
 Detroit vs. San Jose

Monday, March 19
7:30 New Jersey vs. NY Rangers
10:00 Anaheim vs. San Jose 

Tuesday, March 20
8:00 
Phoenix vs. Dallas
10:30 San Jose vs. Los Angeles 

Monday, March 26
7:30 
Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia
10:00 Los Angeles vs. Vancouver

Wednesday, March 28
7:30 
Detroit vs. Columbus
10:00 San Jose vs. Anaheim

Friday, March 30
7:30 MLS on NBC: DC United vs. FC Dallas
10:00 Dallas vs. Vancouver 

Tuesday, April 3
7:30 
Pittsburgh vs. Boston
10:00 Anaheim vs. Vancouver

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North Dakota/Denver Draws Best College Hockey Audience of the Season for NBCSN

Now here’s another interesting way that college hockey is different from the professional game: a 10 p.m. ET game out-drew a 7:30 p.m. ET game Friday night on NBC Sports Network.

The Denver/North Dakota night cap on NBCSN drew 86,000 viewers on Friday night, for a game that started at 10 p.m. ET. Not only is that better than the game that aired before it, it’s the top college hockey numbers for NBC this season, according to the numbers I’ve found throughout this season. North Dakota is an extremely well known program as hockey schools go, so this is no surprise.

The aforementioned early game, Boston University vs. lowly Vermont, was less impressive, scoring 38,000 viewers.

(Source: @TVSportsratings)

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.