The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are doing well for NBC on its cable, broadcast and online platforms.  NBC says through 49 games in the postseason, it’s averaging 829,000 viewers across broadcast and online and it adds that’s up three percent from 2016. Last year, the average was 808.000.

And it comes even with five Canadian teams in this year’s playoffs and no Game 7’s as compared to none and two respectively in 2016. There were a record amount of overtime games in the first round this year that did help to increase drama.

NBC says Pittsburgh-Washington in the second round has steered numbers up especially last Saturday night which drew an average of 2.587 million viewers on the Peacock. And it peaked at 3.115 million in the game’s final 12 minutes. That made it the most-watched game of the 2017 playoffs.

Game 2 of the Ottawa-New York Rangers series last Saturday which went into double overtime averaged 1.563 million viewers, up 30% from 2016’s comparable game (New York Islanders-Tampa Bay) that had 1.205 million.

Game 3 of the Washington-Pittsburgh series on NBCSN on Monday had a 1.49 overnight rating. NBC says that is the best cable overnight rating for the 2017 NHL postseason. Locally, Pittsburgh registered a 20.6 rating while Washington, D.C. drew a 7.1.

Making the news even better for NBCSN is that Game 3 of Washington-Pittsburgh was the most live-streamed NHL second-round playoff game totaling 12.1 million minutes, up a stunning 65% from the previous best, last year’s Game 3 of the same series.

So there is interest in the NHL Playoffs even with five Canadian teams as those markets don’t register in the U.S. Nielsen ratings.

[NBC Sports]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.