The rebirth of hockey over the last decade in Chicago has been remarkable. The Blackhawks have gone from having one of the lowest attendance numbers and TV ratings to arguably the biggest market in the NHL.
That was cemented with the latest release of television ratings. So far this season, Blackhawks games on Comcast SportsNet have had the highest per-game viewership of any local broadcast in the nation. From Blackhawks.com:
Through the All-Star break (34 total game telecasts), Chicago Blackhawks game telecasts on Comcast SportsNet are currently delivering an average of over 205,000 total Chicago market viewers per game, which gives the network the distinction of being #1 in the entire nation. Comcast SportsNet’s average audience for Blackhawks games is outpacing other local market telecasts featuring the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers by a margin of over 60,000 more viewers tuning in per game.
The number was likely boosted because of a couple of big streaks from the Blackhawks this season. As a team, they won 12 straight games and individually, Patrick Kane tallied a point in 26 games in a row.
The highest individual rating for the Blackhawks came during the Blackhawks January 9 win over the Predators on the road.
It’s not just Blackhawks games that fans are watching. Despite only having one player involved in the game, Chicago was the third biggest market for NBC during Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game.