Puck Daddy - NHL

According to Versus, a record number of viewers tuned in to watch Mario pour a little out for his homies and the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins open the Consol Energy Center.

From Sports Media Watch:

Thursday's Penguins/Flyers game drew 730,000 viewers on Versus, up 46% from Capitals/Bruins on Opening Night last year (501,000) and the most-viewed regular season NHL telecast ever on Versus. The previous record was 622,000 viewers for Penguins/Red Wings in March of this year.

To put the numbers in perspective, only two regular season telecasts on Versus even topped 500,000 viewers last season -- the aforementioned Capitals/Bruins and Penguins/Red Wings games.

The Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup defense also opened well, via Versus PR:

VERSUS' coverage of the Colorado Avalanche/Chicago Blackhawks game averaged 430,000 viewers, making it VERSUS' best regular season game ever with a post 9 p.m. ET start time and the most-watched season-opening late game.  The game showed a 30-percent spike in viewership over the second game to start the 2009/10 season (332,000 viewers). 

In Chicago VERSUS garnered 3.4 HH rating, making it the network's highest-rated regular season game ever in the market.  The game also propelled VERSUS to the #1 cable network in Chicago.

The "second game to start the 2009-10 season" last year was Joe Sakic(notes) Night for the Colorado Avalanche against the San Jose Sharks, according to Steve Lepore. So a spike may have been expected with the defending champs on TV.

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