This is likely one of the most difficult Stanley Cup Finals to predict ratings-wise since the lockout at least. On one hand, the NHL is putting Games 1 & 2 of the Finals on network TV for the first time in decades (While Game 1 has aired on National TV, Game 2 hasn’t in ages) while Games 3 & 4 are on cable. However, the NHL is seeing record ratings over at VERSUS, and its’ most successful post-season since 1997, ratings-wise.
The NHL has as made-for-TV a matchup as you can get, featuring two teams that drew the highest average ratings for a Stanley Cup Final since 2002, and who’s Game 6 last year drew the highest single-game NHL rating since 2003. However, the NHL has been squeezed into a somewhat unfavorable schedule with its’ network partner NBC, which has Game 1 airing on the low-rated Saturday and Game 7 airing on the slightly-less low-rated Friday.
We’re going to ignore the NBA stuff, because it’s pretty clear that the fanbases don’t overlap much. Wings-Hawks drew 2.3 million on VERSUS Wednesday while Game 5 of the Lakers-Nuggets series drew 9.9 million on ESPN. The NHL is going to draw what it is going to draw, and the NBA isn’t really a factor into that equation. However, a Magic-Nuggets Final would be really helpful for the league, buzz-wise.
So with that all said, let’s go game by game and predict what the ratings will be for the Stanley Cup Finals
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