2013 Stanley Cup Final delivers record ratings for NBC

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The numbers are in, and the grand conclusion of this year’s Stanley Cup Final was another boon for the National Hockey League, NBC and the NBC Sports Network.

According to the NBC Sports Group, Game 6 of the 2013 final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks was watched by 8.16 million viewers, making it “the most-watched game of the final.” The number of viewers for Game 6 peaked at 10.424 million.

But it gets better for NBC.

This year’s final averaged 5.76 million viewers across NBC and and NBC Sports Network, making it “the most-watched Stanley Cup Final on record.” (Data goes back to 1994)

It’s not hard to figure out why. The final between the two Original Six teams provided constant thrills, exceptional hockey and came down to the wire in all six games.

Three games were decided in overtime, including that spectacular triple overtime game to begin the series.

The drama hit its peak when the Blackhawks scored twice in a span of 17 seconds late in the third period to reverse a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead, before hanging on for the final 59 seconds of regulation time to defeat the Bruins 3-2 and claim the Stanley Cup.

That makes it the second Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks in the last four years.

So, where does Monday’s game rank compared to the other “most-watched” playoff games for NBC?

The 4.7 household rating from Monday put it third on the top-five list of “most-watched” NHL games on NBC, dating back to 2006.

Below is the info graphic from NBC Sports Group. (Viewers in millions)

Rank Program Episode Date Rtg Viewers
1 Game 7 Boston at Vancouver 6/15/2011 4.8 8,537
2 Game 6 Chicago at Philadelphia 6/9/2010 4.7 8,279
3 Game 6 Boston at Chicago 6/24/2013 4.7 8,160
4 Game 7 Pittsburgh at Detroit 6/12/2009 4.3 7,992
5 Game 6 Detroit at Pittsburgh 6/4/2008 4.0 6,781

The 2013 playoffs – not just the final – also included three of the five most-watched NHL games in NBC Sports Network history. (Viewers in millions)

Year Game Teams Viewers
2013 Stanley Cup Final, Game 3 Chicago @ Boston 4.001 million
2013 Stanley Cup Final, Game 2 Boston @ Chicago 3.964
2010 Stanley Cup Final, Game 3 Philadelphia @ Chicago 3.600
2009 Stanley Cup Final, Game 4 Detroit @ Pittsburgh 3.448
2013 Conference Semi-Finals, Game 7 Detroit @ Chicago 3.354

“For the entire playoffs, NBC, NBCSN and CNBC combined to average 1.467 million viewers for 84 games, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Playoffs on record (since 1994),” stated the NBC Sports Group.