NBC is pretty happy with their ratings from the 2013 installment of the Stanley Cup playoffs. If you're a regular reader here at Awful Announcing, this point has been made abundantly clear as we've covered each new record the network has shattered throughout the duration of the playoffs. This will be the last time we cover NHL ratings… until next season.
As the title of this article states, the 2013 NHL playoffs were the most-watched since 1997. The combination of NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC averaged 1.467 million viewers for each of their 84 broadcasts. If you're curious, the '97 playoffs brought in 1.52 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and FOX. This year's numbers bested those from the 2011-12 season by 18%.
Game 6 was a thrilling game which saw the Chicago Blackhawks clinch their second title in four years in dramatic fashion. The Blackhawks scored twice over 17 seconds to give themselves a 3-2 lead with under a minute to go. The game was a huge hit in terms of ratings, drawing an average of 8.16 million viewers. Game 6 peaked with 10.424 million viewers between 10:45 and 11 p.m. ET.
Which cities watched Game 6? Here's a quick look at the top-10 markets:
- Boston (33.0)
- Chicago (30.2)
- Providence (22.5)
- Buffalo (12.5)
- Pittsburgh (7.8)
- Minneapolis-St. Paul (7.3)
- Milwaukee (7.0)
- Hartford-New Haven (6.8)
- Ft. Myers (6.3)
- St. Louis (5.8)
The NHL and NBC should be feeling really good about these numbers, all things considered. These ratings are higher than anyone could have predicted, especially coming off of a lengthy lockout. Things are looking very promising for both the NHL and NBC heading into 2013-14.