Game 5 Initial Ratings: Down From Last Year, Up From 2009

For the second time in the series, the 2011 Stanley Cup Final showed an improvement from one of the past two Stanley Cup Finals.

Game 5 drew a fast national of 4.35 million viewers (the number will go up in the final adjustments by a few hundred thousand) for NBC. That was down 27% from Game 5 in 2010, which drew 5.95 million viewers for the Philadelphia/Chicago series on a friendlier night for television. The game did, however, improve by 2% on Game 5 from 2009 between Pittsburgh and Detroit, which drew 4.28 million viewers. This, as I said, marks the second time in this series that Boston and Vancouver have improved on either of the last two Finals, as Game 1 was the most-watched in 12 years.

The game drew a 1.6 among Adults 18-49, giving NBC a victory over the other broadcast networks for the evening. Final numbers and local ratings may not be available until the end of the weekend. That said, not terrible numbers. One might expect better for a Game 5 of a 2-2 series, but Boston and Vancouver have held their ground pretty well over the past week or so.