Stanley Cup Playoff Audience Remains Up Big Despite Canadian Team In ECF
NBC Sports’ Stanley Cup Playoffs audience remains up 15% through the Conference Finals to date. Games across NBC/NBCSN/CNBC have averaged 1.09 million viewers compared to 947,000 viewers at the same point last season. The Kings-Blackhawks Western Conference Finals rematch has generated 2.03 million average viewers to date, up 12% from last year's matchup at the same point. Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference Finals audience is lower this season with a Canadian team playing. Rangers-Canadiens has averaged 1.54 million viewers, down sharply from the Bruins-Penguins series (2.94 million), but up from 1.5 million viewers for Flyers-Canadiens in ’10, which was the last one to feature a Canadian club (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
MARKET WATCH: Last night’s Rangers-Canadiens Game 5 drew a 7.1 local rating in N.Y., marking the NBC Sports Group’s best NHL figure ever in the market (Karp). In Chicago, Lewis Lazare wrote the Blackhawks’ TV fan base “hasn’t completely turned their backs on the team,” despite it trailing in the Western Conference finals. Blackhawks-Kings Game 4 on Monday night “pulled a very respectable" 11.81 local rating in Chicago on NBCSN. The game telecast peaked at a 14.7 rating early on in the game at 8:15pm CT, “suggesting some fans may have lost interest after the Kings scored three goals in just the first period of play” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/27).