Without Chicago or another big market team in the Stanley Cup Final, the Pittsburgh Penguins-San Jose Sharks series gave the NBC Sports Group significantly lower ratings than the year before. Overall, the six-game series aver aged a 2.3 rating and 3.9 million viewers. That’s down 23% in ratings and 21% in viewership from the Chicago-Tampa Bay series last year.

It marks the first time since 2012 that the Stanley Cup Final didn’t average at least a 3.0 and 5 million viewers. But NBC is quick to point out that this series is the most-watched Final not involving an Original Six team in 15 years. Game 6 did give NBC its best numbers for this year’s Final series with a 3.1 rating and 5.4 million viewers, but that was down from last year’s 4.4 and 8 million for what was also a series-clinching game.

For Game 6, Pittsburgh lead all local markets with a 35.1 rating, the San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose combo was next with a 9.2 with Buffalo once again being the highest non-home market in third with 8.6. Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, West Palm Beach (the highest-rated market in the South), Sacramento, Chicago, Boston, Raleigh-Durham and Milwaukee round out the Top Ten for Game 6.

As for the entire Stanley Cup Final, here’s how the local markets fared:

  1. Pittsburgh — 31,7
  2. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose — 7.0
  3. Buffalo–5.8
  4. Minneapolis-St. Paul — 4.2
  5. Denver — 4.1
  6. West Palm Beach — 3.9
  7. Boston — 3.7
  8. Sacramento, St. Louis, Raleigh-Durham — 3.6 (tie)

The entire 89-game Stanley Cup Postseason averaged 1.2 million viewers across NBC Sports Group (CNBC, NBC, NBCSN, USA) which was down 14% from last year’s average of 1.43 million.

[Sports Media Watch/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 four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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