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NHL Winter Classic Local TV Ratings Are Worse Than You'd Think

I know we just did a Winter Classic TV Ratings post, but this is still worth pointing out. As we mentioned earlier, the Winter Classic was the most-watched NHL regular-season game nationally in 36 years, but it appears most of those viewers came from somewhere other than Washington D.C.

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Dan Steinberg has the local numbers, and the Winter Classic wasn't even the most-viewed Capitals game in D.C. in the last calendar year. The game earned a 7.6 rating in the D.C. market, which equates to about 177,000 households. That's less viewers than Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens from last year, which earned an 8.1 rating in D.C. proper. There are many reasons for the low-ish ranking (holiday weekend, the fact that so many Caps fans were actually in Pittsburgh), but it's still surprising.

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The most striking fact, though, is this one that clearly shows D.C. is still a Redskins town.

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↵↵For those crazy folks, like me, that felt this was some sort of transcendent moment for hockey in this market, it's good to think back to the Redskins' season-opening primetime game on NBC. Same time, same network, 869,000 households.

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In other words, the flagship NBC program for the Redskins was viewed by seven times as many people in the D.C. market than the flagship NBC program for the Capitals. Kind of puts it all into perspective, doesn't it?