The Final Tally

NEW YORK (June 10, 2010) –The 2010 Stanley Cup Final Game 6 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers on NBC Sports was the most-watched and highest-rated NHL game in 36 years.

Last night’s game – which saw the Blackhawks defeat the Flyers, 4-3, on a goal by Patrick Kane 4:06 into overtime to give Chicago its first Stanley Cup since 1961 and end the NHL’s longest championship drought – was watched by 8.28 million viewers, the most since 1974 (8.29 million viewers, Boston-Philadelphia, Game 3 on NBC), 43 percent higher than last year’s Game 6 (5.8 million viewers) and four percent higher than last year’s Game 7 (8.0 million).

Game 6 posted a national household rating of 4.7 and an 8 share, making it the highest-rated NHL game in 36 years (7.6/27, Boston-Philadelphia, Game 6, 1974 on NBC), 38 percent higher than last year’s Game 6 (3.4/6) and nine percent higher than last year’s Game 7 (4.3/8).

Additional Ratings Notes:

Game 6 peaked at a 6.2/11 from 11-11:20 p.m. ET when Kane scored the game-winner and the Blackhawks celebrated their victory.

NBC Sports broadcast four of the series’ six games (1-2, 5-6). Those four games averaged 6.1 million viewers, the best network-TV series average in 13 years (6.4 million, Detroit-Philadelphia, one game on Fox in 1997) and up nine percent vs. last year (5.6 million viewers).

The average-series rating was a 3.4/6, the best on network TV in eight years (2002, 3.6/7, Carolina-Detroit on ABC) and up 10 percent vs. 2009 (3.1/6).

Chicago averaged a 25.2/41 rating for the four network-TV games. Philadelphia averaged a 19.6/30.

TOP 10 MARKETS – GAME 6

1. Chicago 32.8/50

2. Philadelphia 26.8/38

3. Buffalo 13.5/20

4. Pittsburgh 9.7/14

T5. Detroit 6.3/10

T5. Indianapolis 6.3/10

7. Fort Myers 6.1/10

8. Minneapolis 5.9/11

9. Las Vegas 5.7/9

10. Boston 5.1/9

TOP NON-NHL MARKETS – GAME 6

1. Indianapolis 6.3

2. Ft Myers 6.1

3. Las Vegas 5.7

4. Milwaukee 5.0

5. Baltimore 4.5

6. Memphis 4.3

7. Seattle 4.1

8. West Palm 4.0

9. Orlando 3.8

T10. San Diego 3.7

T10. Greensboro 3.7

DIGITAL PLATFORMS SHOW IMPRESSIVE GROWTH

The NHL is engaging and connecting with more fans than ever on its digital platforms and the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs continued that trend. Some highlights:

Video starts on NHL.com finished up 161 percent over last year for the entire playoffs

Unique visitors to NHL.com were up 17 percent

Page views were up 56 percent

Mobile page views were up 181 percent

For the Stanley Cup Final page views were up 88 percent and video starts 225 percent

April was the most trafficked month in the history of NHL.com in terms of unique visitors surpassing 17 million

NHL.com ranked as the number two site in terms of percentage change in unique visitors from March to April according to comScore.

TV MILESTONES IN THE 2010 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

NBC Sports’ coverage of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final earned the best overnight rating (4.1 rating and 7 share) for a Game 2 on record (NHL overnight data prior to 1975 is unavailable)

Canada also scored big for Game 1 of the Final with CBC equaling its best Game 1 audience since 1994 (3.16 million).

NBC’s two-game average overnight rating is a 3.5, the best for the first two games of a Stanley Cup Final in 11 years (3.8 on Fox in 1999, Buffalo vs. Dallas) and up 17 percent over last year (3.0).

Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on VERSUS averaged 3.369 million viewers making it the most-watched Final round on cable since 2002.

VERSUS’ coverage of the first two rounds of 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs was the most-watched first two rounds on cable on record with an average of 775,000 viewers for the 54 telecasts (Stanley Cup Playoff cable viewership became available by Nielsen for the 1994 playoffs)

NBC and VERSUS have combined for the most-watched first two rounds since 1997 (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2)

Game 1 of the Blackhawks-Sharks series on NBC earned an 11.2 rating in Chicago, beating the Cubs, White Sox and Boston-Orlando broadcasts combined

On Thursday April 22, the Blackhawks, with 278,000 viewers in Chicago, prevailed over some tough local competition: Bulls (255,000 viewers, playoff game against Cleveland and LeBron James), NFL Draft (138,000) and the Chicago Cubs vs. NY Mets (137,000 viewers)

The Flyers Game 7 victory over the Bruins was the most watched Flyers game in Comcast SportsNet history with an 11.7 rating and 345,000 households, topping the previous record set two days earlier.

CBC’s coverage of Game 7 between the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins drew an average audience of 4.24 million viewers, ranking as the sixth largest Stanley Cup Playoff audience in CBC history.

On French language RDS, the Canadiens-Penguins Game 7 was the most-viewed NHL telecast in the network’s history with 2.69 million viewers.

The game also scored on FSN Pittsburgh averaging a 26.4 HH rating, the highest-rated game ever on the network. At one point 43 percent of all households in the Pittsburgh DMA were tuned into FSN.

There were three major Boston-area sports events televised on May 7 and Game 4 of the Bruins-Flyers series scored the best numbers, earning an 8.3 local Nielsen rating (328,000 viewers) on Versus in the Boston metered market besting the Yankees-Red Sox matchup on NESN, which earned a 6.3 local rating (223,000 viewers) to finish in second, while Game Three of the Cavaliers-Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals earned a 4.1 local rating (142,000 viewers) on ESPN.

TSN’s audience of 2.8 million for the Washington-Montreal Game 7 was the highest audience ever recorded for an NHL game on TSN and was the most-watched program on Canadian television Wednesday night in all key demographics.

The Montreal-Washington series ranks as the most-watched playoff series ever on TSN (any round) with an average audience of 1.8 million viewers over seven games.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NHL’S RECORD-BREAKING BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2009-10

Corporate sponsorship was up 20 percent

New League partners this season include Geico, Starwood Hotels, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, LG Electronics and Hershey’s Canada

Ad spending on NHL® media increased by 37 percent over last season

NHL.com ad revenue is up 50 percent over last year

Revenue from big event platforms, led by the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, are up 22 percent over last season

Unique visitors to NHL.com surpassed last year’s record by 32 percent

NHL Game Center Live™ subscriptions were up 25 percent

NHL Network subscribers have increased by 104 percent

Sales at SHOP.NHL.com were up 12 percent from last year’s record

Viewership for NBC’s Game of the Week telecasts were up 13 percent

Ratings for exclusive telecasts on Versus were up 20 percent

NHL Mobile™ reached 1.6 million page views, an increase of 233 percent over last season

Source: Nielsen Media Research US and Nielsen Media Research Canada / BBM

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

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