NBC messed around with its Stanley Cup Final schedule for some temporary, Belmont-inflated gains with Saturday’s Game 2 between the Kings and Rangers. The move worked, and the network had the most-watched Game 2 of the Final on record. That said, the series’ entertainment level and ratings came down to earth with Monday’s Game 3.

Game 3 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final drew 2.89 million viewers. That’s a precipitous drop from Game 3 between Chicago and Boston (4.00 million) in 2013, which was the most-watched NHL broadcast in NBCSN history. It’s the least-watched Stanley Cup Final game since 2012.

That said, looking back at the recent history of the Stanley Cup Final on cable — be it NBCSN or its ancestors VERSUS and OLN — puts things into a more positive perspective. Kings-Rangers is actually middle of the pack, seventh, out of the 13 Stanley Cup Final broadcasts that have aired on cable since 2006, when the NHL went with OLN.

In fact, the somewhat dull Los Angeles shutout drew more viewers than both of VERSUS’ telecasts for the 2011 Vancouver-Boston series, one that’s now looked upon as one of the league’s great successes in North American television.

Numbers for the game peaked at 9:30 p.m. ET with 3.7 million, which suggests that had the Rangers even made Game 3 competitive on the scoresheet, NBCSN would have had better luck. Instead, viewers seemed to check out right around the time the Kings made it 3-0. Ratings dropped in LA (8.9 in Game 2 to a 6.4 in Game 3) and New York (10.5 to an 8.0).

The top 10 markets for the game were New York, Los Angeles, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Boston, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Providence and San Diego.

Here’s a look at how, historically, Game 3 compares with other cable Stanley Cup Final telecasts.


Los Angeles vs. NY Rangers, Game 3 (NBCSN): 2.89 million


Chicago vs. Boston, Game 2 (NBCSN): 3.96 million
Boston vs. Chicago, Game 3 (NBCSN):
4.00 million 


New Jersey vs. Los Angeles, Game 3 (NBCSN): 1.74 million
New Jersey vs. Los Angeles, Game 3 (NBCSN): 2.07 million


Vancouver vs. Boston, Game 3 (VERSUS): 2.75 million
Vancouver vs. Boston, Game 4 (VERSUS): 2.71 million


Chicago vs. Philadelphia, Game 3 (VERSUS): 3.60 million
Chicago vs. Philadelphia, Game 4 (VERSUS): 3.1 million viewers


Detroit vs. Pittsburgh, Game 3 (VERSUS): 3.0 million
Detroit vs. Pittsburgh, Game 4 (VERSUS): 
3.44 million


Pittsburgh vs. Detroit, Game 1 (VERSUS): 2.3 million
Pittsburgh vs. Detroit, Game 2 (VERSUS): 
2.5 million


Ottawa vs. Anaheim, Game 1 (VERSUS): 769,000
Ottawa vs. Anaheim, Game 2 (VERSUS): 576,000


Edmonton vs. Carolina, Game 1 (OLN): 861,000

About Steve Lepore

Steve Lepore is a writer for Bloguin and a correspondent for SiriusXM NHL Network Radio.

Comments are closed.