On Wednesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks prevailed in overtime over the Detroit Red Wings to advance to the Western Conference Finals. NBC Sports Network announced yesterday that the game was the highest rated NHL game ever for the network. Here is a quick rundown:

  • The game posted a 2.07 rating and averaged 3.354 million viewers. The 2.07 rating is the highest in network history for an NHL game, besting a 1.97 in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.
  • Hawks-Wings led the way for the most watched conference semifinal round on broadcast or cable with the 24 games averaging 1.5 million.
  • It is the highest rated non-Stanley Cup Final game on cable since 2002 (Detroit-Colorado, 5/29/02: 2.09).
  • The ratings peaked at a 2.83 and 4.613 million viewers between 10:30 and 10:45 p.m. ET.
Chicago also set a record with a 17.21 local rating, while Detroit's was 14.96.
This series was a special one for Chicago fans. The Blackhawks looked like they were pretty much done after losing games 3 & 4 in Detroit. Come from behind series wins are always popular and can make even non-hockey fans such as yours truly tune-in.
Since Chicago forced a Game 7, and considering the Blackhawks and Red Wings are two of the league's most well-known franchises, it is no surprise millions tuned in.
It will be interesting to see if the conference finals garner such high ratings. It's pretty much a dream scenario for NBC with the last 4 Stanley Cup champions all involved and all representing either huge markets or huge fanbases. This could prove to be a record breaking postseason for the NHL and NBC.

About Reva Friedel

Reva is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and the AP Party. She lives in Orange County and roots for zero California teams.

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