NBC's primetime coverage of Saturday night's NHL Stadium Series game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks (8-11:15 p.m.) from Soldier Field in Chicago averaged 2.8 million viewers and produced a 1.7 HH rating, making it the most-watched and highest-rated NHL regular-season game, excluding Winter Classics and regional coverage, since the advent of People Meters (1987), according to Fast National data from The Nielsen Company.
Average viewership for Saturday night's primetime telecast on NBC, in which the Blackhawks defeated the Penguins, 5-1, was up 33 percent compared to NBC's previous NHL Stadium Series game on Jan. 26, which was between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils (1:27-4:30 p.m., 2.1 million).
Saturday night's NHL Stadium Series matchup capped two months of record-breaking, multi-platform viewership milestones for hockey across NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra, including the most-watched hockey games on NBCSN, local-market NHL ratings records, and multiple streaming records.
NBC Sports Group's Hockey Viewership Milestones
•Record Monthly Reach Across NBC and NBCSN: NBC Sports Group's NHL regular-season coverage reached 14.8 million viewers across NBC and NBCSN in the calendar month of January, the most for a month of coverage across the two networks since they both began televising NHL games in 2006.
•Highest-Rated NHL Regular-Season Game in Four Decades (Jan. 1): The 2014 NHL Winter Classic (Maple Leafs-Red Wings) on NBC on New Year's Day tied as the highest-rated NHL regular-season game in nearly four decades (2.5 HH rtg), and became the second-most watched such game in 39 years (4.4 million avg. viewers).
•Most-Watched and Highest-Rated Hockey Games in NBCSN History (Feb. 15 and 21): The USA-Russia Olympic men's hockey game Saturday, Feb. 15 (7:30-10:30 a.m., 4.1 million viewers) and the Team USA-Canada Olympic men's hockey game Friday, Feb. 21 (noon-2:30 p.m., 2.7 HH rating), ranked as the most-watched and highest-rated hockey games in NBCSN history, respectively.
•Most-Watched Non-Stanley Cup Final Game on NBC Since 2010 (Feb. 20): The U.S.-Canada women's gold medal final averaged 4.9 million viewers on NBC (noon-3:30 p.m.) to rank as the most-watched hockey game in the U.S., excluding Stanley Cup Finals, since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics men's gold medal game.
•Most-Streamed Authenticated Event Ever (Feb. 21): The NBC Olympics live stream of Team USA-Canada generated more than 2.1 million unique users (2,122,447) - the most unique users ever for any NBC Sports Digital stream, topping NBC's non-authenticated stream of Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012 (2.105 million uniques). USA-Canada is believed to be the most-watched authenticated stream for any event ever.
•NHL Winter Classic and NHL Stadium Series Set Local Market Records: The NHL Winter Classic and NHL Stadium Series games on NBC and NBCSN all set local-market records.