Pretty Gosh Darn Cool, Right? Pens/Wings Most Watched Hockey Game in 36 Years

NEW YORK – June 15, 2009 – Friday night’s deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports was the most-watched NHL game in 36 years with an average of 8 million viewers (5/10/73, Stanley Cup Final Game 6 on NBC, Montreal-Chicago, 9.4 million). Overall, the series averaged 5.6 million viewers for the five games on NBC, the best since 2002 on ABC (three telecasts, Detroit-Carolina, 5.8 million). 

Friday’s Game 7 earned a 4.3 rating and an 8 share, the best for a series-ending game in six years (6/9/03, Game 7, Anaheim-New Jersey, 4.6/8). 

NBC Sports’ Game 7 broadcast finished No. 1 for the night in every category including viewership and household ratings. 

Competitive Notes: 
· NBC won Friday night by a margin of 191 percent in Adults 18-49 (3.2 vs. 1.1 for second-place CBS) and by 41 percent in total viewers (7.7 million vs. CBS’s 5.5 million). 

· The broadcast of Game 7 beat the ABC-CBS-Fox competition combined in Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34, Men 18-34, Women 18-34, Men 18-49 and Men 25-54. 

· The 3.2 rating in Adults 18-49 makes this NBC’s top-rated Friday night since the Beijing Olympics last August.

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6 Responses to Pretty Gosh Darn Cool, Right? Pens/Wings Most Watched Hockey Game in 36 Years

  1. Chris says:

    Lets hope next year we get at least one bit market or the NHL will look silly if Calgary plays Carolina and we get 2.1 ratings or so

  2. nosferatu says:

    Great stuff, but I have a question: Why is the rating for this game lower than Anaheim-New Jersey Game 6? Is this related to the greater proliferation of cable channels since 2003? Just seems funny since this was a Friday night game with fewer TV viewers and fewer quality options than any night but Saturday.

    Also, have they always started the games at 8 ET, or has this been moved up in recent years? Later start times are known to increase viewership. With the game on a weekday night, starting at 8:30 or 9, I wonder if it could have broken 9 or even 10 million viewers. But any way you cut it, this is a big step.

  3. Jim says:

    Does anyone know the local ratings for the game?

  4. Josh says:

    Most watched hockey game, or NHL game? Was the Canada-US Salt Lake final more-watched?

  5. Chris says:

    Since there was absolutely no mention about CBC for some reason, they got over 3.5 million for the game. Add in RDS’ number of probably close to 1 million in Quebec, and it was about 13 or 14 million people in North America.

  6. Eric says:

    The source was an NBC press release; thus no mention of CBC.

    However the title of the press release is “most watched NHL game”.

    The 1980 “Miracle on Ice” game between the U.S. and Russia in Lake Placid, N.Y., got a 23.9 rating with a 37 share. (Since there were fewer people then, 1 rating point was worth many fewer people, but it should still be about 20 million US viewers)

    Here’s the CBC numbers:

    <<
    Stanley Cup Game 7 draws big numbers for CBC, NBC
    Last Updated: Monday, June 15, 2009 | 7:16 PM ET
    CBC Sports

    The seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings was a ratings winner from both sides of the border.

    Friday night's Game 7 drew an average of 3.529 million viewers, attracting the largest audience of the best-of-seven series, CBC announced on Monday.

    The Penguins upended the defending Stanley Cup champion Wings, 2-1.

    In the United States, the contest drew the largest amount of viewers in 36 years as NBC earned a 4.3 rating and an eight share, meaning an average of eight million viewers took in the game.

    Still, CBC's telecast of the entire series was down from last season's matchup when the Wings finished off Pittsburgh in six games.

    CBC averaged 2.154 million viewers for the seven-game rematch, down seven per cent from last season.<<

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