Found October 02, 2013 on Awful Announcing:
The NHL has made consistent effort to turn their opening night into a somewhat small-scale edition of what the NFL does. With events such as Kings of Leon playing a pregame concert in Montreal, and the banner-raising in Chicago, they have certainly succeeded in those efforts. Perhaps, then, it is a bonus that the league's opening night has progressively turned into a larger and larger ratings draw. NBCSN's first telecast of the season, a high-scoring showdown between the champion Chicago Blackhawks and Alexander Ovechkin's Washington Capitals, drew an 0.70 rating and 935,000 viewers via Son of the Bronx. The rating was a record for NBCSN's opening night telecasts (NBC televised the opening game in the truncated 2012-13 season) and the viewership figures made it the second-most watched NHL regular season game in network history. In the local markets, Chicago naturally dominated, with a 7.1 rating. According to NBC, that's the highest-rated regular season game ever on NBCSN. In Washington, the game hit a respectable 2.2, though it did get beaten by the competing NL Wild Card Game (3.0). Viewership for NHL Opening Night on cable since 2003: 2003 (ESPN): Regional Coverage (NJ-BOS, CHI-MIN, ANA-DAL): 476,000 2005 (OLN): NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia: 353,000 2006 (VERSUS): Buffalo vs. Carolina: 337,000 2006 (VERSUS): Dallas vs. Colorado: 301,000 2007 (VERSUS): Anaheim vs. Detroit: 421,000 2007 (VERSUS): Dallas vs. Colorado: 289,000 2008 (VERSUS): Toronto vs. Detroit: 573,000 2008 (VERSUS): Boston vs. Colorado: 361,000 2009 (VERSUS): Washington vs. Boston: 501,000 2009 (VERSUS): San Jose vs. Colorado: 330,000 2010 (VERSUS): Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh: 730,000 2010 (VERSUS): Chicago vs. Colorado: 430,000 2011 (VERSUS): Philadelphia vs. Boston: 874,000 2011 (VERSUS): Pittsburgh vs. Vancouver: 342,000 2013 (NBCSN): Washington vs. Chicago: 935,000 5 most watched NHL regular season games on NBCSN* 1. Boston vs. NY Rangers (1/23/13): 956,000 2. Washington vs. Chicago (10/1/13): 935,000 3. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh (2/20/13): 901,000 4. Boston vs. Philadelphia (10/6/11): 874,000 5. Buffalo vs. Boston (4/17/13): 847,000 *-includes VERSUS and OLN  
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