NBC Winter Classic Ratings Down

03 Jan

As expected, the Winter Classic on NBC saw a drop in viewership. From John Ourand of SportsBusiness Daily –

SBD: NBC’s Winter Classic overnight is a 2.4, down from last year’s 2.8 (in primetime on New Year’s Day) and ’10’s 2.6 on New Year’s Day.

The local ratings –

One more Winter Classic ratings tidbit: the game pulled an 11.9 overnight in Philly; and a 4.3 overnight in New York

To add to these numbers, the inaugural game had a 2.6, while the ’09 edition had a 2.9. Why are these numbers not a surprise?

  1. The time change helped confuse viewers. I’m sure the diehards showed up but some casual viewers might’ve gone elsewhere and never came back.
  2. The game aired on a Monday afternoon. While many people had the day off, just as many were at work unlike on an actual holiday. That was reflected in college football’s ratings as well.
  3. This game didn’t air in primetime. That certainly boosted the numbers last year even though there were plenty of NHL games airing against it regionally.
  4. There was some stiff competition including a college football overtime thriller on ABC. That game featured Michigan State, which meant that a key NHL market was likely going back and forth between events.
  5. This game lacked buzz. I just didn’t feel the buzz as I did prior games. It wouldn’t surprise me if others felt the same way. Yes, I was interested, but it just didn’t captivate me, especially after the Sid/Ovie hype of last year or the Original 6 battle in 2009. Perhaps it was the rather boring venue as Fenway Park, Wrigley bring cache, Citizens Bank Park doesn’t.

While the NHL has to be a little disappointed in these numbers, these are still very good ratings for any hockey game. Looking at the bigger picture, that’s a positive. Here’s the total viewership via Darren Rovell –

3.74 million watch 2012 Winter Classic, up 2% vs last afternoon game (2010). Is the 5th most watched regular season NHL game since ’75

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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in NBC, NHL, Ratings, Television


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