By Alan Pergament
It is no surprise that the United States' 3-2 shootout victory over Russia Saturday morning is the most-watched hockey game ever carried on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).
The cable game averaged 4.1 million viewers nationally, beating the 4 million average that game 3 of the 2013 Stanley Cup finals had in the Chicago-Boston series.
It also isn't any surprise that the Buffalo market had the third-highest ratings Saturday morning, averaging an 8.5 rating, with only Pittsburgh (9.8) and Boston (9.2) ahead of it. Of course, many people here also watch CBC's coverage of Olympic coverage and aren't counted.
Buffalo is typically in the top five in ratings nationally during the Stanley Cup playoffs, sometimes only behind the two cities the participating teams play in.
The big network, NBC, also carried the overtime and the shootout at the start of its prime time coverage Saturday. It didn't carry Al Michaels' interview with shootout star T.J. Oshie until 10 minutes before it signed off at 11:30 p.m.
Interestingly, the hockey coverage was outside the nationally-rated portion of prime time from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
NBC reported that the Minneapolis market was No. 1 in those prime time hours Saturday with a 15.7 average rating. Channel 2 in Buffalo averaged a 12.9 rating for eighth place, one spot ahead of Boston (12.6) and Seattle (12.6), which tied for ninth place.
Besides Minneapolis, Buffalo was behind Denver (14.9), Milwaukee (14.3), Salt Lake City (13.7), Ft. Myers (13.4), Kansas City (13.3) and Indianapolis (13.1).
taggedSports on TV | Television