Getty ImagesThe NHL entered the 2013 Stanley Cup Final knowing that the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins were going to be a ratings smash in the U.S., based on the strength of the local viewership numbers and the attention this Original Six battle was getting nationally.
So how big was Game 1? Here’s Paulsen of Sports Media Watch with the great news for hockey:
Game 1 of the Bruins/Blackhawks NHL Stanley Cup Final earned a 4.8 overnight rating on NBC Wednesday night, up 100% from Kings/Devils Game 1 last year (2.4), and up 50% from Bruins/Canucks Game 1 in 2011 (3.2).
The 4.8 is the highest overnight for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final since Red Wings/Flyers on FOX in 1997 (5.1), and the third-highest Game 1 overnight since the final returned to broadcast television in 1995. Only Panthers/Avalanche Game 1 in 1996 (5.2) and the aforementioned Red Wings/Flyers game earned better numbers.
It was also the highest-rated non-clinching Stanley Cup Final game since Game 5 of the 2000 Final between the Dallas Stars and the New Jersey Devils (5.3), whom you’ll recall repelled audiences with their defensive style and killed interest in the NHL. File that under “hockey myths.”
Interesting, locally in Chicago, that Game 1 vs. Boston was up 49 percent over Game 1 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011. Is that the Blackhawks’ bandwagon expanding exponentially, or the NHL’s?
Meanwhile, the man behind the NHL’s success on NBC has had enough with anonymous critics of the divisive man inside the glass, Pierre McGuire.Read More »from NHL on NBC: Game 1 earns best rating since 1997; Pierre McGuire’s honor defended