The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the NHL in local TV ratings for the first month of the season, according to figures published today by the Sports Business Journal.
The Penguins' rating of 7.88 for games on AT&T SportsNet leads all U.S.-based NHL teams through February 9, the publication reported.
Although the Penguins have ranked first or second in local TV ratings in the U.S. for the past decade, these numbers represent a 50 percent increase over last season.
They are even more impressive when you consider that two of the Penguins' premier matchups - the season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers and a January 19 game against the Washington Capitals- were exclusive national broadcasts and not shown on AT&T SportsNet.
"We have the greatest fans in hockey," said James Santilli, the team's Chief Experience Officer. "The loyalty and passion they show for the team is off the charts, as these numbers show. We salute them for this amazing support during a challenging time. We also want to thank our friends at AT&T SportsNet for their outstanding work in broadcasting our games."
The Penguins return to action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the rival Capitals on AT&T SportsNet.