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Outdoor Game from “The Big House” Between Maple Leafs and Red Wings Delivers 2.9 Overnight Rating

Yesterday’s Game Ties 2009 Winter Classic for Best Ever & Up 21% vs. 2012 Winter Classic

Detroit Leads all Markets with 18.0 Rating

STAMFORD, CONN. – Jan. 2, 2014 – NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2014 NHL Winter Classic, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in a shootout, delivered a 2.9 overnight rating, tying it with the 2009 Winter Classic as NBC’s best-ever overnight for an NHL regular-season game, according to metered market data from The Nielsen Company.

The game, which featured the first Canadian team to compete in a Winter Classic, was played outdoors at Michigan Stadium, a.k.a., “The Big House,” in front of 105,491 fans, making it the largest crowd ever to watch a hockey game. The Maple Leafs’ Tyler Bozak scored the decisive goal during a shootout after the teams were tied 2-2 through regulation and overtime. Snow fell for most of the game, which began with a temperature of 13 degrees.

The 2.9 overnight for yesterday’s game tied the overnight rating for the 2009 Winter Classic, which was played at Wrigley Field between the then-defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings and host Chicago Blackhawks. Yesterday’s overnight is up 21 percent from the 2012 iteration of the game, played between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Due to last season’s work stoppage, the 2012 Winter Classic was the last Winter Classic played and generated a 2.4 overnight.

The NHL Winter Classic, which NBC Sports co-created along with the NHL, debuted in 2008. Following are overnight ratings for all six games:

1. 2.9Jan. 1, 2014NBCMaple Leafs-Red WingsMichigan Stadium
1. 2.9Jan. 1, 2009NBCRed Wings-BlackhawksWrigley Field
3. 2.8Jan. 1, 2011NBCCapitals-PenguinsHeinz Field
4. 2.6Jan. 1, 2010NBCFlyers-BruinsFenway Park
4. 2.6Jan. 1, 2008NBCPenguins-SabresRalph Wilson Stadium
6. 2.4Jan. 2, 2012NBCRangers-FlyersCitizens Bank Park

Detroit led all markets with 18.0 rating, followed by Buffalo (7.2), Pittsburgh (7.0), St. Louis (4.4) and Chicago (4.3). Following are the top 10 markets:

1. Detroit18.0
2. Buffalo7.2
3. Pittsburgh7.0
4. St. Louis4.4
5. Chicago4.3
6. Boston4.2
7. Minneapolis4.0
8. Philadelphia3.9
9. Providence3.8
10. Washington, D.C.3.6