Game 2 Drops 27% From Game 1, 43% From 2010

Despite a good start with Game 1 and a classic overtime finish with Game 2, the Stanley Cup Final hit their lowest point on broadcast television since 2007.

Game 2 drew a mediocre 3.37 million viewers, and a 1.2 rating among Adults 18-49. This is down 43% from Game 2 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final (which aired on a Monday, and drew 5.91 million viewers), and down 27% from Game 1 of this series (which drew 4.56 million viewers on Wednesday). The 1.2 in the demo, while good enough to win the night on broadcast television, was down 34% from Game 1. It was also a 50% drop from Game 2 of the 2010 Final, which again, aired on the more viewer-friendly Monday night.

This was the least-watched Stanley Cup Final broadcast on network television since Game 5 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, which drew 2.87 million viewers. That game, funny enough, also drew a 1.2 in the Adults 18-49 demographic. Not to draw comparisons, but that was also the last Stanley Cup Final to draw a Canadian team.

Through two games, the 2011 Stanley Cup Final has averaged 3.96 million viewers on NBC. Last year, after two broadcasts, the Stanley Cup Final was averaging 5.12 million viewers, a drop of 23%. In 2009, the Stanley Cup Final was averaging 4.92 million viewers, a drop of 20%. The Stanley Cup Final returns to network television on Friday night for Game 5, that is, if the Bruins can force at least a fifth game.

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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

8 Responses to Game 2 Drops 278 From Game 1, 438 From 2010

  1. Keith says:

    NBC would really need this series to go 6 or 7 games to save the ratings for them. They won’t do much better on Friday, which is almost as much a ratings black hole as Saturday.

  2. Kevin says:

    Saturday night hurt, this isn’t a surprise. The overtime definitely hurt also. Do you know how many people turn off during the intermission?? By the time they turned it back on, the game was probably over. Only 11 seconds of OT didn’t help..

    I have a question though. Are these numbers even close to accurate? I thought they were “surveys” and not a full count of exactly what everyone was watching. (Or am I wrong? Was that in the past?).. And I was at a “party” for the game that had well over 50 people (Know not everyone was watching the game but most were and everyone was tuned in for the end of the game and OT).. Those numbers don’t factor in either and considering it was a Saturday Night, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who was in that type of scenario..

    • Sean says:

      Those are just the overnight ratings for 8pm to 11pm, the final numbers won’t come out until later. Sports usually go up in the finals but not by a lot.

      Saturday night in the summer is death. They’d be better off on Friday night before people go away for the weekend or go up against the NBA on Sunday night.

  3. kevin says:

    Saturday nite and a Canadian team is involved….ratings are going to be bad. That is a given. But the Canadian ratings are probably great. You can’t have it both ways.

  4. Josh says:

    You know what I’d be curious to see? Overall North American ratings comparisons. Which series in the past few years have drawn the best numbers *in total* in Canada and the US.

  5. Jens says:

    Does anyone agree that the playoffs just go on way too long into the summer? Non Hockey people tell me all the time that the playoffs are way too long. They lose interest once the weather is nice enough to go outside. I know that shortening the season is not a viable option but, lets be real here the SCF should end by Memorial weekend at the latest. June is summer and people are doing other things. Personally I would like to see the playoffs start in March when the weather still sucks. May should be Conference finals and the finals. On another note does anyone know why they waited a full 5 days to start the finals anyway? Why not have game 1 on Memorial day? BBall was not going on. Seems like a good day to get the viewers attention.

    • marv935 says:

      I am in the minority that feel the excitement of a long playoff run. The only way to end the playoffs by Memorial Day is to shorten the early rounds to best of five series instead of best of seven series. I feel though that the strength of hockey is from the long journey of winning 16 games to win the Cup.

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