SBD/June 16, 2014/Media

Stanley Cup Final, Playoffs Down From '13, But Among Better Audiences In Recent Years

NBC and NBCSN’s coverage of the Kings' five-game win over the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final averaged a 3.0 final rating and 5.0 million viewers. Last year, the two networks combined to average a 3.3 rating and 5.76 million viewers for the six-game Blackhawks-Bruins series. Kings-Rangers is up significantly from the six-game Kings-Devils series in ’12, which finished with a 1.8 rating and 3.01 million viewers. Friday night’s series-clinching Game 5 from 8:13pm-12:45am ET, which the Kings won in double OT, finished with a 3.7 rating and 6.0 million viewers, marking the best Game 5 since the '08 triple OT Red Wings-Penguins game averaged 6.2 million viewers. The game also helped NBC to a primetime win on Friday. Kings-Rangers Game 5 was up from the comparable Blackhawks-Bruins Game 5 last season. The entire Stanley Cup Playoffs across NBC/NBCSN/CNBC finished with an average of 1.45 million viewers, marking the second-best audience for NBC Sports Group since the net began airing the entire playoffs in '06. Only last year's average of 1.47 million viewers was higher. This year's mark also is the NHL's fourth-best playoff average since at least '94, when viewership records began (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).

NHL STANLEY CUP FINAL AUDIENCE TREND ON NBC/NBCSN
YEAR
MATCHUP
GAMES
RATING
VIEWERS (000)
'14
Kings-Rangers
5
3.0
5,001
'13
Blackhawks-Bruins
6
3.3
5,764
'12
Kings-Devils
6
1.8
3,012
'11
Bruins-Canucks
7
2.7
4,590
'10
Blackhawks-Flyers
6
2.9
5,170
'09
Penguins-Red Wings
7
2.7
4,906
'08
Red Wings-Penguins
6
2.6
4,555
'07
Ducks-Senators
5
1.2
1,800
'06
Hurricanes-Oilers
7
1.8
2,831
         

THE DOC IS IN: SI.com’s Richard Deitsch noted NBC’s Mike Emrick “stopped talking for 1 minute and 50 seconds on Friday night following his call” of Kings D Alec Martinez's Stanley Cup-winning goal. Viewers “heard crowd horns blaring, Kings players whooping it up on the ice, and the winning goal announcement from the public address announcer.” What they “did not hear was Emrick, which was perfect.” Deitsch noted he has praised Emrick's work previously and wrote Emrick is the "rare sports broadcaster who is exalted both by fans and those who write about sports media.” Viewers can “feel his love of hockey with every broadcast, as well as his respect for storytelling and word play.” In a world of “back-back-back! vanity sports broadcast players, he is a rarity” (SI.com, 6/15).

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