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NHL: Blackhawks-Capitals on NBCSN is cable's most-watched season opener on record

by jmaloni

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Wed, Oct 2nd 2013 07:05 pm

Matchup draws 935,000 viewers; Chicago posts regular-season game record 7.3 rating

NBCSN's coverage of last night's game between the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks to start the 2013-14 NHL season was watched by an average of 935,000 viewers, making it the most-watched season opener on cable on record (data available since 1993), and the second-most watched regular-season game ever on NBCSN.

Viewership for the game (8:30-11:07 p.m.), in which the Blackhawks scored three times in the third period to defeat the Capitals, 6-4, at home following a banner-raising ceremony to commemorate their Stanley Cup championship, was up 7 percent compared to the 2011-12 season opener (Philly-Boston, 874,000), the last time the season began in October.

Due to the lockout, last year's season began in January on NBC with regional coverage. Last year's inaugural "WednesdayNight Rivalry" game between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers (1/23/13, 956,000) is the only NBCSN regular-season matchup with more viewers than last night's game. NBCSN began its NHL coverage in 2005-06.

Last night's game peaked with 1.045 million viewers from 10:45-11 p.m., and posted a 0.51 HH rating. Chicago delivered a 7.32 rating, the highest ever for a regular-season game in that market on NBCSN, which was also the most-watched cable channel in Chicago during the game.

TOP FIVE MARKETS (Rating)

Chicago

7.3

Washington

2.3

Buffalo

1.4

Baltimore

1.3

Ft. Myers

1.0

 

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