The Colorado Avalanche’s sweep over the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals ended Turner’s allotment of NHL Playoff games this season, and the results were mostly positive in the broadcaster’s debut year.
Colorado’s four-game triumph averaged 1.8 million viewers on TNT, per a release from Turner. That’s the best for a Western Conference Final since 2015, when Blackhawks-Ducks averaged 2.47 million viewers.
Here’s the viewership for the NHL’s Western Conference Finals since 2015. My only caveat is that data for 2016 was somewhat difficult to track down, so it may be slightly off.
For their full season of playoff coverage, Turner averaged 1 million viewers, up 41% from cable windows a year ago.
I think that overall, Turner will be fine with viewership for both the Final and their playoff coverage as a whole. Yes, the numbers are lower for hockey than for Turner’s NBA coverage (case in point: their NBA Western Conference Finals coverage averaged 6.7 million viewers, nearly five million more than the NHL), but I don’t think anyone really expected them to be on the same level.
Compared to MLB, the other major sport in the Turner Sports portfolio, hockey holds up a little better. Last year’s six-game NLCS on TBS averaged 5.2 million viewers, while the TBS coverage of the MLB Postseason averaged 4.4 million viewers.