NESN netted its biggest NHL audience ever with its Game 7 coverage of the Boston Bruins' OT win against rival Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
With Nathan Horton's winning goal propelling the Bruins into the second-round of the playoffs versus the Philadelphia Flyers, NESN scored averaged a 17.7 household rating in the Boston DMA on April 27, according to Nielsen data. That delivery easily shattered the previous record -- the 14.1 rating scored on May 14, 2009 for Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The RSN also scored new Bruins records last night in the following demos: a 21.5 among men 25 to 54, an 18.3 with guys 18 to 49, and a 15.6 against adults 25 to 54.
While Horton provided his heroics, NESN's coverage peaked with a 26.6 rating in the 10 p.m. quarter hour.
Lifted by the record-setting delivery on Wednesday night, NESN averaged an 11.9 rating for its seven Bruins-Canadiens telecasts to easily skate past the aforementioned Boston-Carolina series, which averaged a 9.9, as its highest-rated NHL series.
All told, NESN's Bruins coverage was the top-rated program in the Boston DMA on four of the seven nights.
"The Bruins have captured the imagination of the region and are playing with an incredible amount of heart, which translates into great television," said Sean McGrail, NESN president and CEO in a statement. "Even though the number of games we will televise in round 2 will decrease due to national network selections, we will continue to provide enhanced and expanded coverage around every Bruins playoff game."
NESN is scheduled to deliver exclusive regional coverage of Game 4 along with Games 6 and 7, if necessary. The RSN will announce its coverage plans for the entire series on April 29. It's a rematch of the teams' 2010 confrontation during which the Flyers erased a three-games-to-none deficit.
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