Buffalo Sabres salute their fans at center ice following a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers during the season opener NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Sabres Opener Sets Viewership Records
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) With the exception of the 2008 Winter Classic, the Sabres' opener against Philadelphia set a ratings record for a regular season game.
Sunday's NBC telecast drew a 20.1 rating, which means 1 in 5 homes with TVs were tuned to the game. The 34 share means 1 in 3 homes watching TV at the time watched the Sabres defeat the Flyers.
The previous record was a 13.0 rating and 22 share – set by a Sabres-Flyers game broadcast on MSG on April 8, 2011.
While the game’s rating bested the market’s previous regular-season high for an indoor game by a significant margin, it topped Buffalo’s previously highest-rated nationally broadcast game, a Versus broadcast on Feb. 25, 2008 vs. Philadelphia (12.2 rating/17 share), and the highest-rated afternoon game, a 12:30 matchup on Feb. 19 vs. Pittsburgh (11.1 rating/23 share) by an even wider margin.