NHL Scores Best TV Viewing In 8 Seasons

Amid a sharp focus on the value of live TV sports on TV and streaming platforms, the NHL says it has posted its best national TV regular-season viewing in eight seasons -- up 8% to average 504,000 viewers per game on TNT, ESPN, and ABC.

Looking at just cable networks -- ESPN and TNT -- ratings were 8% higher to average 410,000. This was the best result in 30 years.

Overall TV viewing had its best results since the 2015-2016 season.

The hockey league says more than 58.6 million viewers in North America tuned into NHL games in the 2023-2024 season.

Estimated national TV spend on ESPN and TNT totaled $76.74 million for the October 10-April 18 regular season coming from 8,430 commercial airings, according to EDO Ad EnGage.

Top spending brands included Geico, Honda, AT&T Wireless, Wells Fargo, Lexus, and Domino’s Pizza.

In terms of live in-arena attendance, there was also another record -- 22,87 million for the entire 2023-2024 season, with 1,312 games and 82 games per team.

Canadian TV viewing rose 7% to 1.3 million average viewers per game.

The rise of streaming platforms has infused a sharp new competition around live TV sports -- including that of the NBA, which is now in the midst of negotiations for a new long mult-year round of TV and streaming deals where the result is expected to significantly increase TV rights fees.

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