NBC Sports Group Seeing Best NHL Playoff Viewership In 21 Years
Heading into the Capitals-Golden Knights Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports is averaging the best viewership figure for the NHL playoffs in 21 years. For 78 telecasts across linear TV and digital outlets, the playoffs have averaged a total audience delivery (TAD) of 1.21 million viewers, which is the best figure since Fox, ESPN and ESPN2 were averaged 1.24 million viewers prior to the '97 Stanley Cup Final. The TAD this year also is up 7% from 1.13 million viewers headed into the Penguins-Predators Final last year. The 12 combined telecasts for Capitals-Lightning and Golden Knights-Jets on NBC Sports outlets averaged a TAD of 1.98 million viewers, which is the best for the NHL Conference Finals since '15 (2.26 million viewers) and up 9% from 1.81 million viewers last year for Penguins-Senators and Predators-Ducks. The Golden Knights-Jets series alone (1.77 million viewers) was the most-watched WCF in three years, despite not having any Canadian audience figures factored in. Meanwhile, Caps-Lightning ECF Game 7 on Wednesday night drew an average minute audience of 114,200 viewers on NBC Sports Digital, marking the group's best figure yet for any NHL game. That Game 7 also drew a 12.6 local rating in DC, which is the best NHL figure on record in the market for NBC Sports. Through the Conference Finals, Pittsburgh leads all markets with a 4.21 local rating, followed by Las Vegas (3.17) and Buffalo (2.95) (NBC).