If the novelty of outdoor hockey games is starting to wear thin, it's not being reflected very much in the television ratings.
The NHL opened the Stadium Series with two outdoor games this weekend, one on Saturday night in Los Angeles on NBCSN -- hardly an ideal setup for big ratings -- and then another on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium between the Rangers and Devils that was aired on NBC. Both yielded good numbers for NBC in comparison to your average regular-season broadcasts.
NBC's NYR-NJD NHL Stadium Series game from Yankee Stadium did 1.6 overnight, a record NBC o'night for a NHL reg-sn gm (exl regionals & WCs)— NBCSportsPR (@NBCSportsPR) January 27, 2014
Hard to read through the short-hand but the game at Yankee Stadium was NBC's best completely national broadcast of a regular-season game in the non-Winter Classic division.
In the New York area the game drew a rating of 5.1 and in a market the size of New York, that equates to a lot of eyeballs. Of course that doesn't count the 50,000 that were in attendance at the game, either.
Like New York, the 2.38 isn't a huge number ratings wise but 1) it's a record for the network that just so happened to come on the worst TV night of the week and 2) in LA that still equates to a lot of people watching when you talk about the sheer volume in the market.
All in all, not bad when you're talking about regular-season games in late January. The NHL's gamble on the attraction lasting seems to be paying off as you can't complain about setting ratings records.