NBC earned a 5.7 overnight Nielsen rating for the Bruins' 4-0 win over the Canucks in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final, which is tied with the Devils-Ducks '03 finale as the best Game Seven overnight ever. Bruins-Canucks is also behind only last year's Blackhawks-Flyers series-clinching Game Six (5.8 overnight) as the highest-rated Cup telecast in 37 years, dating back to Flyers-Bruins Game Six in '74 which earned a 7.6 overnight. The 5.7 overnight is up 14% from Penguins-Red Wings Game Seven in '09. Last night's game earned a 43.4 local rating in Boston, marking the best NHL overnight in the market on record, as well as the best overnight in Boston for any major sports championship since the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl XLII telecast in '08. The Boston market averaged a 28.1 local rating for the seven games across NBC and Versus, up 12% from a 25.0 rating in the market last year for the seven games of the Lakers-Celtics series on ABC (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). In Boston, Jessica Heslam notes WHDH-NBC has been "drawing an average of more than a million viewers" in the market for Bruins playoff games, and "throngs of listeners" have tuned into games on WBZ-FM. WHDH averaged "more than a million viewers" for Game One of Bruins-Canucks,"while Game 2 had nearly 890,000 and Game 5 fetched 1.1 million." WHDH averaged "nearly 1.4 million viewers" for Monday's Game Six, the most viewers before last night's game (BOSTON HERALD, 6/16).
WORTH THE INVESTMENT: Comcast Chair & CEO Brian Roberts said the company is "delighted to have just extended for 10 years" its deal for the NHL. Roberts: "I think we have momentum with the league, with the sport, with the channel Versus -- there’s been some discussion on whether that will change the brand which we're really looking at -- and building upon our Olympics of last week renewal for a decade. We think we've got some compelling content as you pointed out that is ultimately what the consumer wants on whatever device and from whatever provider” ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 6/16).
DEVELOPING A ROOTING INTEREST: In N.Y., David Hinckley writes he was "delighted" by the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final, as both were "wins for the good guys." The Heat "came into the finals swaggering ... all but declaring they were the smartest, baddest kids on the block." So when the team "had already won the first game of this year's championship finals and was ahead up by 15 points toward the end of the second game," Heat F LeBron James and G Dwyane Wade "started trading signals that this check was written." That is a big part of the reason "so much of America smiled when Miami managed to blow that game and three of the next four." Meanwhile, Hinckley noted the Canucks won the first two games of the Cup Final over the Bruins and were "looking, honestly, like the better team." But then a "disposable, mediocre Vancouver player named Aaron Rome took a blindside cheap shot at Boston's best wing, Nathan Horton," in Game Three. Hinckley: "That one unnecessary hit turned the Canucks' image from young, likeable and talented into arrogant bully" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 6/16).