Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL Playoffs are at a near three-decade viewership high.

Through the Conference Finals, the league is averaging 1.3 million viewers per game these playoffs, the most-watched edition of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at this point since 1996.

Including Canada, it’s the most-watched playoffs for the league across all of North America since 2018.

The Conference Finals also delivered for the NHL. The Florida Panthers’ six-game Eastern Conference Final win over the New York Rangers averaged 2.29 million viewers on Disney’s networks, the second-most watched conference final across any network since 2015. Compared to last year, coverage was up 45 percent from the Panthers’ four-game sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes, which aired on TNT. Coverage topped out on Saturday for Florida’s Game 6 win on ABC, averaging 3.02 million viewers. That was the most-watched conference final game across any network since Game 7 of the Blackhawks-Ducks series in 2015 on NBC (4.60 million).

Overall, ESPN’s NHL playoff coverage is averaging 1.4 million viewers heading into the Stanley Cup Final, up 22% from last year.

TNT’s NHL season ended with the Western Conference Finals. The Edmonton Oilers’ six-game win over the Dallas Stars averaged 1.71 million viewers, up 6 percent despite swapping the Canadian Oilers for the Vegas Golden Knights. Coverage in the west topped out for the clinching Game 6, averaging 1.98 million viewers across TNT and truTV Sunday.

This year, the Stanley Cup Final airs on ABC. The series between the Panthers and Oilers begins on Saturday, June 8 with all games airing in primetime.

[Data via ESPN, NHL, Sports Media Watch]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.