Blackhawks’ season opener scores record ratings for NBC Sports Network

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The Blackhawks’ 2013 Stanley Cup Champion banner wasn’t the only thing that went up during Tuesday’s game. The ratings did, too.

Last night’s Capitals-Blackhawks duel on NBC Sports Network was seen by an average of 935,000 viewers, making it the most-watched season opener on cable on record, according to data available since 1993.

It also ranks as the second-most watched regular-season game ever on NBC Sports Network, which began its NHL coverage in 2005-06. (The most-watched regular-season game was the Jan. 23, 2013 bout between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, when 956,000 viewers tuned in.)

Chicago scored a 7.32 rating for Tuesday’s game. That’s a record high among Chicago viewers for a regular-season NHL game on NBC Sports, which ranked as the top cable channel in the Chicago market during the match that saw the Hawks beat the Washington Capitals 6-4 at the United Center.

Washington delivered the net’s second-highest ratings with a 2.3 followed by Buffalo (1.4), Baltimore (1.3) and Ft. Myers (1.0) to round out the top five.

The Hawks face the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7 p.m. Saturday at the United Center. That game will be shown on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

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