There is a reason last Saturday's Rangers-Flyers game was believed to be the first indoor, regular-season, prime-time NHL contest on a U.S. broadcast network in 41 years.

That reason is regular-season hockey is an extremely modest ratings attraction nationally.

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Sure enough, the game averaged a mere 1.0 percent of homes in 56 major markets measured by Nielsen, roughly what those who follow hockey ratings had expected.

The game did well in New York, averaging 2.56 percent of homes -- 45 percent higher than the Rangers' regular-season average last season, not counting its Stadium Series game against the Islanders.

New York ranked second among all markets, behind only Philadelphia at 2.99.