NHL Playoffs viewership Apr 19, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars center Roope Hintz (24) celebrates after scoring his second goal against Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN announced on Friday that viewership early on in their NHL Playoffs broadcasts is up from last year.

The Worldwide Leader revealed that the networks of ESPN and ESPN2 each “experienced double-digit growth” from last year’s playoffs.

“Across Wednesday’s four Game 2s, ESPN/ESPN2 averaged 684K total viewers and 286K P18-49 viewers,” ESPN PR posted in a graphic. They stated that those numbers are up 27 percent and 14 percent, respectively, from last year’s Game 2s.

The network went in more profound and elaborated on the increases. Game 2 between the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins was up 24 percent and 5 percent from the 2022 series between Boston and the Carolina Hurricanes. They scored 909,000 viewers and hit 342,000 in the P18-49 demographic.

Speaking of the ‘Canes, their matchup with the New York Islanders was up 31 percent and 16 percent from the 2022 matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs. Their numbers checked in at 649,000 and 248,000 in the P18-49 demographic.

Game 2 between the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild experienced the most significant growth from last season’s playoffs. The Stars and Wild drew 527,000 viewers and 260,000 in the P18-49 demographic. Those numbers, according to ESPN, are up 41 percent and 34 percent from the matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings from last season. That’s a notable increase for two franchises that aren’t necessarily the most visible in the league.

Lastly, LA and Edmonton once again convened this season. Their Game 2 charted 595,000 viewers and 289,000 in the P18-49 demographic. ESPN revealed that those figures are up 12 percent and 10 percent against Game 2 between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota.

Viewership is trending in the right direction this NHL postseason on ESPN.


About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022