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Report: NHL regular season viewership dips 2% on ABC and ESPN

Disney-owned networks averaged 583k viewers for its 50 broadcasts.

18 April 2023 Josh Sim

Getty Images

The National Hockey League (NHL) saw its 2022/23 regular season viewership drop slightly on US broadcasters ABC, ESPN and TNT, according to Sports Business Journal (SBJ).


  • ABC and ESPN averaged 583,000 viewers for its games, down two per cent year-over-year (YoY)
  • ABC on its own averaged around one million viewers for this season’s games, up 19 per cent
  • TNT averaged 364,000 viewers, up one per cent
  • TNT also saw 1.78 million viewers tune in for the Boston Bruins’ Winter Classic win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on 2nd January, up 31 per cent on last season’s game


Disney-owned ABC and ESPN showed 50 NHL games this season, 22 more than the previous year. The expanded slate saw the league pitted against the NFL in six TV windows. SBJ notes that, excluding those NHL versus NFL windows, ABC and ESPN averaged 629,000 viewers, up six per cent from the full 2021/22 campaign. 

Meanwhile, TNT broadcast 61 games this season, 20 per cent more than last year. However, it had multiple blackouts in key markets such as Boston and New York, limiting audience growth.

Coming next:

The broadcasters will be holding out for a bump in viewership from the ongoing NHL playoffs.

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