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Old 01-02-2008, 06:39 PM   #10
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Default Winter Classic on NBC delivers

NEW YORK -- The AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic, broadcast New Year's Day on NBC, earned a 2.6 overnight rating and a 5 share (1-4:45 p.m. ET), the best overnight NHL regular season rating in more than a decade (Feb. 3, 1996 on Fox, six-game regional, 3.0/7). The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in the first U.S. outdoor game in NHL history. Twenty-year-old Sidney Crosby, the NHL's reigning MVP, scored the game-winning goal in a shootout.

The overnight rating also surpasses Wayne Gretzky's last game, which was broadcast on Fox (April 18, 1999, 2.5/6).

Top Ten Metered Markets:
1. Buffalo 38.2/58
2. Pittsburgh 17.7/30
3. Minneapolis 5.1/11
4. Denver 3.7/7
T5. Providence 3.5/7
T5. Las Vegas 3.5/6
7. St. Louis 3.3/5
8. Boston 3.2/6
9. Sacramento 2.9/6
T10. Richmond 2.8/5
T10. Hartford 2.8/5

"The best regular season rating in more than a decade is a result of the tremendous efforts of the NHL and we're delighted by the success of this historic event," said Ken Schanzer, President, NBC Sports. "Sam Flood, his production team and our broadcasters also deserve credit for conveying the great atmosphere in Buffalo and producing a memorable broadcast. The Winter Classic exposed hockey to a larger audience and definitely made new fans of the game."

Eddie Olczyk, NBC's NHL game analyst said: "This was one of the best events I've ever been a part of as a player, coach or broadcaster. It truly was a memorable experience and a great day for the sport of hockey."

The NBC NHL "Game of the Week" drops the puck on Sunday, Jan. 20 with an Original Six matchup between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. This season for the first time, the NHL will offer flexible scheduling for NBC's nine regular season dates (see below schedule).

NBC will be able to select from up to four games on Sunday afternoons. Thirteen days prior to the scheduled games (on Mondays), NBC, in conjunction with the NHL, will select one of those games as the "Game of the Week" to be broadcast during NBC's exclusive Sunday afternoon window. The other games will remain available to the teams' regional carrier but will not be televised during NBC's broadcast window.


(All Games Announced 13 Days Prior)

Sunday, Jan. 20, 1:30 p.m. ET
Boston @ New York Rangers

Sunday, Feb. 3, 2 p.m. ET
New York Rangers @ Montreal

Sunday, Feb. 10, 3:30 p.m. ET
Anaheim @ Detroit or
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh or
New York Rangers @ Washington

Sunday, Feb. 17, 3:30 p.m. ET
Detroit @ Dallas or
Pittsburgh @ Buffalo or
San Jose @ New York Rangers or
Colorado @ Chicago

Sunday, March 2, 12:30 p.m. ET
Detroit @ Buffalo or
Philadelphia @ New York Rangers or
Atlanta @ Pittsburgh

Sunday, March 9, 12:30 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh @ Washington or
Boston @ New York Rangers or
Nashville @ Detroit

Sunday, March 16, Noon ET
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh or
Detroit @ Columbus or
Boston @ Washington

Sunday, March 30, 12:30 p.m. ET
New York Rangers @ Pittsburgh or
Nashville @ Detroit or
Boston @ Buffalo

Sunday, April 6, 12:30 p.m. ET
Chicago @ Detroit or
New York Rangers @ New Jersey or
Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia
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