NBC Sports Network averaged 3.96 million viewers for the Bruins’ OT win over the Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday from 8:30-11:34pm ET, marking the net’s best NHL audience on record and the most-viewed Stanley Cup Final game on cable TV in 11 years. The audience on Saturday night is second on NBCSN all-time, behind only the 4.35 million viewers for the U.S.-Japan Gold Medal women's soccer match from the '12 London Games. Game 2 on Saturday peaked with 4.82 million viewers during the 10:30-11:00pm window. Ratings for Game 3 will be available later today (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
THE P-WORD: In K.C., Sam Mellinger notes former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli is "making the predictable career move to join" NBC's "Football Night In America" studio show. But he is "kidding himself if he thinks this is the fix to a diminished reputation around the NFL." Pioli's name is "a virtual curse word for many in the place he still calls home." The man who "never saw much use for the media is now a member of the media." Pioli was "generally awful with the media, especially in his last year with the Chiefs" (K.C. STAR, 6/18).
IT'S A MAD, MAD WORLD: In N.Y., Bob Raissman reported Sirius/XM host Chris Russo is "still in negotiations with SXM suits for a show, which will likely be reduced to four hours." His previous show, "Mad Dog Radio," will be "history, and the channel will be re-branded." There have "been casual conversations" between Russo and ESPN Radio 98.7 N.Y. The "concept of Russo doing a 98.7 show (not afternoon drive) and still doing his SXM program was proposed." With a "little more than two months until Russo's SXM deal expires, his radio future is up in the air." The "safe play has him staying at SXM, likely making less than" the $3M per year he earns in his current deal. ESPN Radio 98.7 N.Y. has been "beaten to a pulp in the afternoon ratings" by WFAN and Mike Francesa. If 98.7 execs are "actually in the business of trying to win that valuable time slot, they are likely considering the value of Russo in the afternoon drive" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/16).
RETURN OF THE CHIEF: In K.C., Randy Covitz noted KSHB-NBC has "acquired over-the-air broadcast rights to televise" the Chiefs-Eagles game on Thursday, Sept. 19. The game, which will be "produced and carried nationally by NFL Network, will mark the return of new Chiefs coach Andy Reid." KSHB will "produce a pregame show leading up" to the 7:25pm ET kickoff, "as well as a postgame show" (K.C. STAR, 6/14).