2012 Winter Classic Produces Lowest Overnight Ratings

Although Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers fans were glued to their televisions yesterday afternoon for the 5th annual Winter Classic, the rest of the country tuned out.

According to Sports Business Daily, NBC drew a 2.4 overnight rating, down 15 percent from last year’s game between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, which was held in prime-time. Yesterday’s game went up against the Outback Bowl and the Rose Bowl.

To put it into perspective, the 2008 game drew a 2.6 and the 2009 matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks drew the highest ever, a 2.9. There was some good news, though, as the game drew 3.74 million viewers, higher than the 2010 game.

There are two trains of thought when I heard this news. Has the casual sports fan gotten over the Winter Classic? With anything, the shock-value of something new and original simmers after several years, and I’m sure the Winter Classic is no different. Sports fans have seen this game before — five times to be exact — and could be over it, which isn’t good news for the NHL. 

The other idea is that the country doesn’t care about the Flyers, as they’ve now been apart of the two lowest-watched Classics in the five-year history of the game. 

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattCalamia

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