BOSTON, Mass. — NESN, New England's most watched sports network, set a new single-game ratings record for Bruins hockey on Wednesday night with a 17.7 average household rating in the Boston DMA. The game peaked at a 26.6 rating during the 10 p.m. quarter hour as Nathan Horton scored the game-winner in overtime to propel the Bruins into the Eastern Conference semifinals. NESN's previous best-ever single-game hockey rating was a 14.1, set two years ago on May 14, 2009, in a Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
NESN's ratings numbers in most of the key demographic categories also set new network records, including a 21.5 in men 25-54, 18.3 in men 18-49, and 15.6 in adults 25-54.
Best Playoff Series in NESN History
NESN's coverage of the Bruins-Montreal first-round playoff series dominated the Boston television market over the past two weeks. NESN's seven telecasts averaged an 11.9 household rating, which made it the highest-rated Bruins playoff series in network history. NESN's Bruins coverage was the top-rated program in the Boston DMA on four of the seven nights. The previous ratings record for a series was set in 2009, when NESN garnered a 9.9 average household rating for the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Playoff Pre and Postgame Shows Also Enjoy Ratings Success
NESN's ratings success extended beyond the games with impressive pre and postgame ratings throughout the series. Bruins Faceoff LIVE presented by Hess expanded to 60 minutes for the first round of the playoffs and averaged a 2.1 household rating during the series, including a 2.7 before Wednesday night's deciding game. NESN's postgame show, Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE, averaged a 4.1 household rating that was highlighted by an 8.4 after the Bruins' exciting Game 7 victory.
"The Bruins have captured the imagination of the region and are playing with an incredible amount of heart, which translates into great television," said Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO. "Even though the number of games we will televise in round 2 will decrease due to national network selections, we will continue to provide enhanced and expanded coverage around every Bruins playoff game."
NESN is scheduled to deliver exclusive regional coverage of Game 4 along with Games 6 and 7 if necessary in the second round. Details on NESN's coverage plans for the entire series will be announced on Friday.
NESN is owned by Fenway Sports Group (owners of the Boston Red Sox) and the Boston Bruins and is delivered to over four million homes throughout the six-state New England region and nationally as NESN National. The definitive home for fans of New England sports, NESN has consistently been one of the top rated regional sports networks in the country. In addition to award winning Red Sox and Bruins coverage, the network and its popular website, NESN.com, are dedicated to keeping fans informed and entertained with NESN Daily, a nightly sports news and information program; over 100 NESN University college sporting events annually and distinctive Original NESN Entertainment (ONE) productions.