Oh, Canada? Game 1 Draws Best Overnight Ratings in 12 Years

Well, I bet you didn’t see that headline coming.

NBC drew a 3.2/6 overnight rating for Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final last night. Those were the best numbers for a Game 1 since 1999, according to NBC, and up 14% from Game 1 of last year’s Philadelphia/Chicago final. The game peaked during the 10:30-11:00 p.m. ET hour, when the game drew a 3.8/6 for Raffi Torres’ game-winner with 18.5 seconds left.

Game 1 scored big time in New England. Boston led all markets with an unsurprising monster of a 25.5/39 rating. This was up 27% from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, which drew an 18.8. The game scored a 16.7/24 in Providence, which was also up from Game 7 of the prior series.

I’ll have more, including viewership numbers, half-hour breakdowns, demo numbers and a complete recap as the day builds. But, despite the fact that viewer levels are higher on Wednesday than on Sunday, how can you complain with being up from Philadelphia Chicago with Boston/Vancouver? A big winner for the NHL today.

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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

10 Responses to Oh, Canada? Game 1 Draws Best Overnight Ratings in 12 Years

  1. Rhett says:

    Super news. A couple of things to consider as well:

    -The Boston ratings IMO were likely helped by not having to compete against the Red Sox (Sox had a day game yesterday)

    -The ratings might have been bigger except KING in Seattle put the game on their sister station in favor of news.

    Discuss.

    • KevinS says:

      I think people are tuning into the NHL and I think that the labor issues in the NFL and NBA as well as the great play of the entire postseason has allowed the NHL to bring itself up from nowhere to become somewhat of a player in the North American sports landscape.

    • bob says:

      Super news. A couple of things to consider as well:

      -The Boston ratings IMO were likely helped by not having to compete against the Red Sox (Sox had a day game yesterday)

      -The ratings might have been bigger except KING in Seattle put the game on their sister station in favor of news.

      Discuss.

  2. Ray Jay says:

    Nice! That is great news..”if the game is exciting, people will watch.” Unfortunate the Canucks will sweep the Bs..the ratings might suffer in game 4.. ;)

  3. Stephen says:

    Unbelievable. Never see this coming. But great news for the league.

  4. Jack says:

    Game one in 2010 was on the Saturday over Memorial Day weekend. Another caveat to consider. From the lockout through 2009, I am pretty sure VS carried games 1&2 before NBC was scheduled to pick up the remainder of the series. Prior to the lockout, I believe ESPN carried the early cup games, but I am not 100% sure since I lived close enough to Canada during that period that I was able to watch CBC.

    That being said, it is good news that the highest ratings in 12 years were achieved.

  5. Sean says:

    I don’t know why people are surprised. Boston = ratings for sports. It’s not just the fans in Boston, it’s all the displaced Boston fans that still love their sports. We saw the Red Sox drag the Rockies to way above average ratings in 2007. We’ve seen it with the Celtics.

    It also helps that the Finals started on a Wednesday night this year against zero competition and on NBC.

    Also, of all the Canadian teams, this year’s Canucks are probably the strongest draw except for the Canadiens. They have star players, an easy storyline to push (never won the Cup) and a goalie that won a Gold Medal in front of 33 million last year and has been written about as much as any goalie I can ever remember.

    Didn’t hurt the game was pretty awesome.

  6. GGR says:

    When I saw the headline, I thought you were writing about the CBC numbers. I’m surprised, too. Never thought a Canadian team would do that for ratings, although having Boston was a bigger plus than either Chicago or Philadelphia.

  7. kevin says:

    It had nothing to do with Vancouver. Original 6 is gold! I think local Boston ratings were helped by the weather…They had tornadoes there last nite..every other station was showing weather reports except the NBC station that didn’t because the viewers were demanding that they put the game on….screw the tornadoes. This wouldn’t happen in Atlanta……….

  8. Eric says:

    The 1999 overnight for Dallas/Buffalo gm 1 was 3.4/7, so it’s about 6% lower than that.

    http://www.armchairqb.com/nhl_finals_game1_ratings.html

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