The Boston Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in the NHL season opener last night, but the other winner was NBCSN. The Comcast-owned sports network scored an overnight rating of 0.79 from the Wednesday Night Rivalry game. While nowhere near the kind of numbers you see during the playoffs, that’s NBCSN’s best overnight ever for a regular-season NHL game. In that vein, last night’s game from Boston was up 16% from last year’s NHL season opener on October 1. That Washington Capitals-Chicago Blackhawks game in the Windy City pulled in a 0.68 overnight.
The Top 5 markets for last night’s game were unsurprisingly led by Boston (7.8), Providence (5.1), the City of Brotherly Love (4.68) Minneapolis/St. Paul (1.3) and Buffalo (1.19). That Boston result made NBCSN the top network in the city last night.
The second NHL matchup of NBCSN’s doubleheader opener didn’t do that bad either. While defending Stanley Cup champions the LA Kings were soundly defeated 4-0 by the San Jose Sharks, the 0.41 overnight rating was the second-best result the channel has had ever for a late game. Last January’s outdoor game between the Kings and the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium, which the Ducks won 3-0, garnered a 0.46 overnight rating.
The Top 5 markets for last night’s Sharks-Kings game were San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (1.4), Boston (1.34), LA (1.13), Minneapolis/St. Paul (0.94) and Philadelphia (0.93).
Tonight sees the Colorado Avalanche taking on the Minnesota Wild on NBCSN. Games debut on NBC itself on the afternoon of November 28, with the Flyers playing the New York Rangers.