Bloomberg News

Winter Classic Has 5th-Biggest TV Rating Since 1975

January 04, 2012

(Corrects team that plays in Heinz Field in fourth paragraph.)

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers was the fifth most-watched regular-season National Hockey League game since 1975, NBC said, citing Nielsen Media Research.

Five of the six most-watched NHL games in the past 37 years have been Winter Classics, played outside over the New Year’s holiday, NBC said.

An average of 3.74 million viewers watched the Jan. 2 contest at Citizens Bank Park, the Philadelphia Phillies’ baseball stadium. The Rangers beat the Flyers 3-2 as Mike Rupp scored twice and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped a penalty shot with 19.6 seconds left.

Last year’s Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals -- on Jan. 1 at Heinz Field, home to the Pittsburgh Steelers -- was the most-watched NHL regular-season game with 4.5 million viewers, NBC said.

--Editor: Dex McLuskey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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