NBC earned a 4.0 overnight rating for the Blackhawks' 3-1 win over the Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday from 8:15-11:00pm ET, up 54% from a 2.6 overnight for Kings-Devils Game 5 last year. The game earned a 24.4 local rating in Boston, and a 22.1 local rating in Chicago (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). In Denver, Dusty Saunders writes a "not-so-obvious reason" NBC and NBC Sports Network continue to set viewership records is that for the "first time in a long time, the Stanley Cup Finals did not go head-to-head on TV against the NBA Eastern and Western Conference finals." Because of the NHL lockout, Stanley Cup Final play "began later in the spring." The NHL "wisely" scheduled the Final so it would "not compete in time periods with the NBA Finals, which ended Thursday" (DENVER POST, 6/24).
BOWLING FOR SOUP: ESPN today announced a five-year media rights deal with the PBA, continuing a relationship that dates back to '79. Terms of the new deal have ESPN showing more hours (to 36 per year from 25.2), starting with the '13 World Series of Bowling. Former ESPN exec Len DeLuca of Len DeLuca & Associates served as the PBA's media advisor for this deal. ESPN says it was pleased with the performance during the inaugural season of the PBA League, which debuted in January and featured celebrity owners like Billie Jean King, Terrell Owens, Jerome Bettis and Chris Paul. ESPN has committed to carry the next season, which starts Jan. 5 (John Ourand, Staff Writer).
THE GRASS IS GREENER: REUTERS’ Keith Weir noted Wimbledon is “embracing new technology with an iPad app to appeal to a younger audience.” The app allows users to “navigate around the grounds via a photographic map, zooming in on specific courts to get updates on the state of play.” They also can “get alerts telling them how their favorite players are faring.” All England Club Commercial Dir Mick Desmond said, "If you can't come to Wimbledon, we want to try to make it the next best experience" (REUTERS, 6/21).