We’ve been focusing a lot on the great ratings ABC is pulling for the NBA Finals matchup between the Cavs and Warriors, but the NHL deserves some love too. Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Lightning on Saturday night drew a 4.8 overnight with a lead-in from the Belmont Stakes (which was actually down compared to a year ago).
That 4.8 is up 5% from Rangers-Kings on NBC last year, and also marks NBC’s highest overnight for a Game 2 since NBC’s first Stanley Cup Final in 2006. Locally, the game drew a 22.6 in Chicago and a 15.1 in Tampa, down 19% and 16% respectively from Game 1, but still quite good considering the game aired on a Saturday night.
Another interesting note from Sports Media Watch – that 4.8 was the best overnight for a Stanley Cup Final game on Saturday night since Game 7 of 2001’s Devils-Avalanche series. That’s pretty strong company, considering the hype surrounding that game because of the possibility of Ray Bourque finally ending his Stanley Cup drought.
So while the NHL missed out on what we all imagined would be a dream matchup between the Blackhawks and Rangers in the Final, the league is still thriving with the Blackhawks and Lightning squaring off for the Stanley Cup. But keep in mind, there will likely be a sizable drop in ratings and viewership for Games 3 and 4 – they’re being aired on NBCSN as opposed to NBC. Games 5, 6, and 7 will all air on NBC in primetime (if 6 and 7 are even needed to decide this series, that is).
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