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:
- Pittsburgh — 31,7
- San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose — 7.0
- Minneapolis-St. Paul — 4.2
- Denver — 4.1
- West Palm Beach — 3.9
- Boston — 3.7
- 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.