SAN JOSE, CA – JUNE 12: The Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate after their 3-1 victory to win the Stanley Cup against the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Final at SAP Center on June 12, 2016 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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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