The NHL announced its national TV schedule today for the 2015-16 season, and the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers dominate the slate. The Blackhawks will appear in 21 nationally televised games next season, up one game from 2014-15. Success sells, and the NHL is banking on the Blackhawks’ recent success to boost its nationally televised game ratings because they help NBC’s ratings as a whole.
Last season the Blackhawks were one of the top-rated teams on NBC.
The ratings do not lie: The Blackhawks draw well on NBC. One of the main reasons for the Blackhawks’ high rating is their monster fan base. When games were televised locally on Comcast SportsNet in 2014-15, they have averaged a 4.3 rating for 150,000 households watching per game. That number is higher than the 3.11 the Blackhawks averaged in 2011-12. There other local regular-season games were played on WGN TV. WGN TV did not disclose its ratings for the Blackhawks last season.
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Here is the list of the Blackhawks nationally televised games for next season:
- Wed., Oct. 7, N.Y. Rangers at Chicago, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m.
- Wed., Oct. 14, Chicago at Philadelphia, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Wed., Nov. 4, St. Louis at Chicago, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Wed., Nov. 25, Chicago at San Jose, NBCSN, 10 p.m.
- Fri., Nov. 27, Chicago at Anaheim, NBCSN, 5 p.m.
- Tues., Dec. 1, Minnesota at Chicago, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Tues., Dec. 15, Colorado at Chicago, NBCSN, 8:30 p.m.
- Wed., Jan. 6, Pittsburgh at Chicago, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Thur., Jan. 14, Chicago at Montreal, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m.
- Tues., Jan. 19, Chicago at Nashville, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Tues., Jan 26, Chicago at Carolina, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m
- Wed., Feb. 17, Chicago at N.Y. Rangers, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Sun., Feb. 21, Chicago at Minnesota, NBC, 3:30 p.m. (Stadium Series)
- Thurs., Feb. 25, Nashville at Chicago, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Wed., March 2, Chicago at Detroit, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Wed., March 9, Chicago at St. Louis, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Mon., March 14, Los Angeles at Chicago, NBCSN, 8 p.m.
- Sun., March 20, Minnesota at Chicago, NBCSN, 8:30 p.m
- Sun., April 3, Boston at Chicago, NBC, 12:30 p.m.
The Blackhawks will face the other top-rated teams on NBC in Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Buffalo and Boston in at least one nationally televised game next season. NBC also chose to televise Blackhawks games against some of Chicago’s top-drawing opponents on Comcast SportsNet. The top-rated regular-season Blackhawks games on CSN last season were:
1. 6.25 — Dec. 29 vs. Nashville
2. 5.66 — April 2 vs. Vancouver
3. 5.53 — Dec. 16 vs. Minnesota
4. 5.40 — Jan. 16 vs. Winnipeg
5. 5.39 — Oct. 9 at Dallas
The Blackhawks will be getting a steady dose of Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will be on an even larger display for the rest of the world to see. I think people might be getting sick of seeing the Blackhawks on national TV. Blackhawks fans are not included in that group.