Jan. 2 (Bloomberg) — The Detroit Red Wings’ 6-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday at Wrigley Field topped last year’s National Hockey League outdoor game by 12 percent in preliminary television ratings.
The game at the home of baseball’s Chicago Cubs was the third annual outdoor contest and had an overnight rating of 2.9, according to Nielsen Media Research. That tops the 2.6 rating for last year’s match in snowy Buffalo, New York, between the Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins, which had the biggest television audience for an NHL game since 1996.
Ratings points are the percentage of the estimated 111.3 million U.S. households with televisions that watched the broadcast. Preliminary local ratings were 11.8 in Chicago and 10.5 in Detroit, according to Nielsen data.
I was expecting it to do a bit better, probably somewhere in the low 3’s. However, an increase is only good news for the league.
I still say the NHL needs to do more than just preach to the choir. I didn’t see any Winter Classic commercials on ESPN and saw it only once on NBC and that was it. The only other times of course were on my local station during a hockey game or on Versus.