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'Classic' delivers 13 year high for NBC

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
NEW YORK – NHL Winter Classic 2009, broadcast New Year's Day on NBC from historic Wrigley Field in Chicago, earned a 2.9 overnight rating and a 6 share (1-4:15 p.m. ET), the best overnight NHL regular-season rating in nearly 13 years.

Thursday's overnight was the best for an NHL regular-season game since Feb. 3, 1996 on Fox, six-game regional, 3.0/7.

This year's Winter Classic also saw a 12 percent increase over last year's inaugural event (2.6/5, 1-4:45 p.m. ET).

The Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4 in the second U.S. outdoor game in NHL history.

"Year one was an extraordinary experience. Year two was the establishment of what promises to be a great tradition," said NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer.

Top 10 Metered Markets:
1. Chicago 11.8/21
2. Detroit 10.5/20
3. Buffalo 10.1/20
4. St. Louis 5.3/10
5. Pittsburgh 4.4/8
6. Denver 4.2/10
7. Providence 3.5/7
8. Indianapolis 3.4/6
9. West Palm Beach 3.3/6
10. Orlando  3.2/5
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