Here’s the news direct from an NBC press release issued Wednesday:
“NBC’s late-game coverage, in which the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the visiting Los Angeles Kings, 3-2, averaged 1.81 million viewers and a 1.15 household rating (3:30-6:02 p.m. ET). Viewership was up 31% compared to last year’s late-game (1.38 million, Boston-Minnesota). Locally, Chicago delivered a 6.7 rating, the market’s best-ever for an NHL regular-season game on NBC, excluding Winter Classics (since 2006).”
The press release didn’t reveal the ratings for the Los Angeles market, which historically has lagged behind the hockey hotbeds in the East and Midwest. But at least there was quite a bit of national interest for the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings.