NBC Sports Network's inaugural Wednesday Night Rivalry telecast netted the national cable network its most-watched NHL regular-season game in its history.
The Jan. 23 telecast of the New York Rangers' 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins averaged 956,000 viewers, according to Nielsen data, the service's top NHL regular-season telecast dating back to when predecessor service OLN began airing hockey action during the 2005-06. The previous record was set on opening night last season when 874,000 viewers tuned in to see the then-defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins take on the Philadelphia Flyers.
Wednesday's contest was also the most-watched NHL regular-season game on any cable channel in 11 years, since ESPN drew 1.28 million for San Jose Sharks-Detroit Red Wings in on Jan. 23, 2002. Rangers-Bruins peaked in the second period with 1.09 million viewers in the 8:45 p.m. quarter hour.
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