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NHL back with best preliminary TV rating for non-Winter Classic regular-season game since 2002

NEW YORK, N.Y. – NHL fans in the United States have tuned in to hockey’s return to television.

NBC’s broadcast Saturday earned the highest preliminary rating for a non-Winter Classic regular-season game since 2002. The network said Sunday its regional coverage of Blackhawks-Kings and Penguins-Flyers averaged a 2.0 overnight rating. That’s up 67 per cent from the average for regular-season games on NBC last year.

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The abbreviated NHL season opened Saturday after a lockout wiped out the first three months.

Ratings represent the percentage of homes with televisions tuned into a program. Overnight ratings measure the country’s largest markets.