The NBA has gotten a lot of attention this spring for its strong postseason ratings, but it’s not the only league drawing impressive viewership at the moment.
On Wednesday night, NBCSN pulled a 2.14 overnight rating for its coverage of the Capitals-Lightning Game 7, the best figure on cable this postseason and the top non-overtime Game 7 in three years. It was not a historic number, but it was a very healthy one, continuing a trend that has continued throughout the playoffs.
Per NBC, the Western Conference Finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets averaged a total audience delivery of 1.766 million viewers, up 23 percent from last year, making it the most watched WCF series since 2015 and the most-watched WCF series not featuring the Chicago Blackhawks since 2002. And even before Wednesday’s Game 7, the Eastern Conference Finals between the Caps and Lightning were averaging 2.032 million viewers, up 5 percent from last year, making it the most watched ECF series through six games since 2013.
Overall, the conference finals through Monday were up 15 percent from last year and the best rated conference finals round since 2015, with a total audience delivery of 1.910. The playoffs overall, meanwhile, were up 9 percent from last year, with their biggest audience since 2013.
That’s a lot of words and numbers to make a simple point: A lot of people are watching the NHL playoffs this spring.
Overall, the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (77 games) are averaging a TAD of 1.187 million viewers, up 9% vs. last year (1.085 million) and the BEST IN 5 YEARS (2013, 1.238 million).
— NBC Sports PR (@NBCSportsPR) May 23, 2018
Even better, all of these well-rated games have culminated in an irresistible Stanley Cup Finals matchup. On one side will be the Vegas Golden Knights, one of the wildest underdog stories in recent sports memory, on the verge of a championship in their first season of existence. And on the other side will be the Washington Capitals, led by one of the greatest and most famous hockey players alive in Alex Ovechkin, looking to finally secure a title after a decade of playoff disappointment. From a casual fan’s perspective, it’s hard to imagine a more compelling matchup. In other words, the good ratings news figures to continue.
The Stanley Cup Final will begin Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.