SBD/June 5, 2014/Media

Rangers-Kings Overnight Rating Marks NBC's Second-Best Ever For Cup Final Game 1

Game 1 ratings were down 21% from last year's opener, but up 58% from '12
NBC drew a 3.8 overnight rating for the Kings' 3-2 OT win over the Rangers in Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final last night, down 21% from a 4.8 for the Blackhawks-Bruins triple OT opener last year, but still good enough to rank as NBC’s second-best Game 1 overnight on record. Rangers-Kings Game 1 also is up 58% from the Kings-Devils opener in ’12, which also went to OT. N.Y. led all markets with a 10.1 local rating. That is the market’s best rating ever for an NHL broadcast on NBC or NBCSN. Buffalo ranked second with an 8.5 local rating. L.A. finished third with a 7.1 rating, which is the market’s third-best NHL rating on NBC, trailing only Stanley Cup Final Games 5 and 6 from ’12. Rounding out the top five markets were Boston (6.8) and Providence (5.4) (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). The Toronto Star's Bruce Arthur prior to Game 1 said, "When you look at this Final, you have New York, you have L.A. You’re going to get better ratings (than normal), but I don’t think you’re necessarily going to pull in an enormous amount of casual viewers because it is such an intensely local sport” (“Outside The Lines,” ESPN, 6/4).

VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth notes the Kings' flagship station KTLK-AM "threw a much-needed delay tactic" into last night's game, so the audio coming from broadcasters Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans" could match up better with the lag-time video provided by NBC." It was still "far from a captivating ... experience," as "gaps between the call on radio" and the action on KNBC-NBC "lasted as much as 15 seconds, with radio far ahead." With TV broadcasters Bob Miller and Jim Fox "gone from the Kings’ live broadcasts since the second round of the playoffs," the opportunity for fans to "listen to a more familiar voice like Nickson’s could have made this momentous occasion a more L.A.-centric experience with the action put into some context of the season-long journey" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/5).

CORPORATE SYNERGY: This morning's edition of NBC's "Today" displayed a picture from Bryant Park, with the net's Natalie Morales noting the Rangers hosted "thousands" of fans there to watch Game 1 "on the big-screen." Morales said, "Clearly so much enthusiasm, a lot of people into this Stanley Cup." NBC's Savannah Guthrie said of the Bryant Park picture, "I think I see Matt Lauer crying in that little scene." Lauer said the loss was a "heartbreaker" and there have been a "lot of overtime games in these playoffs" ("Today," NBC, 6/5).
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