Bruins/Caps Draws Best Overnight Rating Since 1998; Pens/Flyers Hits Series High

Credit it to the rain, instead of blaming for once. The NHL on NBC had another record-setting weekend, continuing it’s best hot streak ever.

Sunday’s Bruins/Capitals, Game 6 drew a 2.5 overnight rating, topping the Winter Classic on January 2nd for the best ratings for hockey so far this season. It also scored the best rating for a non-Final Stanley Cup Playoff game since 1998, when Game 4 of the Western Conference Final between Dallas and Detroit drew a 2.6. Aside from the first four Winter Classics, it is the highest-rated non-Final hockey game ever broadcast by NBC since they regained the rights in 2006. It is also up 56% from the comparable game last year (PHI/BUF, G6, 4/24/11: 1.6) and up 62% from two years ago (PHX/DET, G6, 4/25/10: 1.3).

Earlier Sunday, the Penguins and Flyers topped their terrific Game 3 ratings in an earlier timeslot, as Game 6’s Philadelphia clinching drew a 2.4 overnight. This was up 38% from last week’s Noon ET game (NSH/DET, G3: 1.5). It is now tied as the second-highest playoff overnight since 1998.

What perhaps makes this jump so surprising is that Game 5 of the series, broadcast Saturday afternoon, was fairly pedestrian by comparison. Game 5 drew a 1.5 overnight rating, equal with last Saturday’s broadcast of Game 2. This could be explained by the fact that it went up against Yankees/Red Sox on FOX. The telecast is still up 15% from last year (NYR/WSH G5, 4/23/11: 1.3) and the year before (CHI/NSH G5, 4/24/10: 1.3). Overall, a fantastic weekend and a fantastic first round for NBC.

NBC averaged a 1.9 for six first-round broadcasts. That is up 32% from the 1.3 NBC averaged for last year’s four first-round broadcasts, and easily the best the network has ever drawn for the Conference Quarterfinals.

Stanley Cup Playoff Ratings on NBC Since 2006

April 14 – Washington vs. Boston, Game 2:
April 15 – Nashville vs. Detroit, Game 3:
April 15 – Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 3:
April 21 – Washington vs. Boston, Game 5:
April 22 – Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 6:
April 23 – Boston vs. Washington, Game 6:

Apr. 16 – Phoenix vs. Detroit, Game 2: 
Apr. 17 – Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 3: 
Apr. 23 – NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 5: 1.3
Apr. 24 – Philadelphia vs. Buffalo, Game 6: 1.6
Apr. 30 – Boston vs. Philadelphia, Game 1: 1.5
May 1 – Detroit vs. San Jose, Game 2: 1.6
May 21 – Boston vs. Tampa Bay, Game 4: 1.5
May 22 – Vancouver vs. San Jose, Game 4: 1.3
Average: 1.4

Apr. 17 – Boston vs. Buffalo, Game 2: 
Apr. 18 – Phoenix vs. Detroit, Game 3: 1.5
Apr. 24 – Nashville vs. Chicago, Game 5: 1.3
Apr. 25 – Phoenix vs. Detroit, Game 6: 1.3
May 1 – Philadelphia vs. Boston, Game 1: 1.6
May 2 – Montreal vs. Pittsburgh, Game 2: 1.6
May 16 – Chicago vs. San Jose, Game 1: 1.7
May 22 – Philadelphia vs. Montreal, Game 4: 1.6
May 23 – San Jose vs. Chicago, Game 4: 2.0
Playoff Average: 1.5


Apr. 18 – NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 2: 1.0
Apr. 19 – Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 3: 1.7
Apr. 25 – Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Game 6: 1.2
Apr. 26 – Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 6: 1.0
May 2 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington, Game 1: 1.4
May 3 – Anaheim vs. Detroit, Game 2: 1.3
May 17 – Chicago vs. Detroit, Game 1: 2.0
May 24 – Detroit vs. Chicago, Game 4: 1.5
Playoff Average: 1.3

April 12 – Nashville vs. Detroit, Game 2: 
April 13 – Philadelphia vs. Washington, Game 2: 
April 19 – Philadelphia vs. Washington, Game 5: 
April 20 – Detroit vs. Nashville, Game 6: 
April 26 – Colorado vs. Detroit, Game 2: 
April 27 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh, Game 2: 
May 4 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh, Game 5: 
May 17 – Dallas vs. Detroit, Game 5: 
May 18 – Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, Game 5: 1.7

April 14 – Regional Coverage (PIT vs. OTT, NYR vs. ATL): 
April 15 – Calgary vs. Detroit, Game 2: 
April 21 – Calgary vs. Detroit, Game 5: 
April 22 – New Jersey vs. Tampa Bay, Game 6: 
April 28 – San Jose vs. Detroit, Game 2: 
April 29 – Buffalo vs. NY Rangers, Game 3: 
May 5 – San Jose vs. Detroit, Game 5: 
May 6 – Buffalo vs. NY Rangers, Game 6: 
May 19 – Ottawa vs. Buffalo, Game 5: 
May 20 – Anaheim vs. Detroit, Game 5: 1.4

April 22 – Regional Coverage (NYR vs. NJ, COL vs. DAL): 
April 23 – Regional Coverage (EDM vs. DET, SJ vs. NSH): 
April 29 – Regional Coverage (NJ vs. NYR, EDM vs. DET): 
April 30 – Regional Coverage (PHI vs. BUF, COL vs. DAL): 
May 6 – New Jersey vs. Carolina, Game 1: 
May 7 – Colorado vs. Anaheim, Game 2: 
May 13 – Carolina vs. New Jersey, Game 4:
May 20 – Buffalo vs. Carolina, Game 1: 

(Source: Sports Media Watch)


About Steve Lepore
Contact me at

13 Responses to Bruins/Caps Draws Best Overnight Rating Since 1998; Pens/Flyers Hits Series High

  1. kevin says:

    Can’t believe Pen/Flyers did 2.4…not a great game. Caps/Bruins was perfect timing….3 pm OT game…….

  2. E says:

    great ratings. Next round will be a challenge. Especially if Chicago, New York, and Boston all lose (a good possiblity). I wonder if NBC would ever consider putting the Saturday games on Saturday night instead of afternoon?

  3. kevin says:

    They really need NYR or Chi to win……if Wash won it wouldn’t be that bad

  4. Peter Young says:

    I agree with “E” about the possibilty of a Saturday night game (the Winter Classic scored big there). Also I would like to see how the NHL did against the NBA this weekend.

  5. kevin says:

    NHL will never beat the NBA…..that’s not even an issue

  6. eddie says:

    The flyers game was a early start and also the game was over half way. Stil good 2.4. Possibility for higher was there. NBC must be happy.

  7. eddie says:

    These games if they were conference finals would be hitting 3.0’s easily. We’ll see how it goes. I’m convinced nyr still gets through. Chicago will take it back to phoenix at least.

  8. Peter Young says:

    Hi Kevin, i didn’t say any thing about beating the NBA, which usually does about 3 to 4 times higher than the NHl (even though I find the NBA pretty boring, it was a lot better in the 80’s and early 90’s), but would like to see the numbers from this weekend, thats all.

  9. Jason says:

    Well it wasn’t a 3.0 rating. Look it’s good to see the NHL ratings up , but those who run hot headed about crazy tv rating predictions will only disappoint themselves. Stop comparing NHL tv others, nba reg season and MLB reg season have better ratings than the NHL. It is what it is.

  10. eddie says:

    I’m not hot headed. It was somewhat realistic. I’m usually like you jason. Always, stay cautious. But if you had said the nhl would’ve done 3 2.4’s+. I would’ve you crazy…lol. This is shocking. I just stated and it’s not out of impossible if you had nyr/boston for a conference finals it couldn’t based off of these results. I’m also realistic it won’t touch nba. Though in general this is great.

  11. Jason says:

    On a weekend with Yankees/Red Sox (and a perfect game) on FOX, the red-hot Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBC, and NASCAR on FOX, a regular season NBA game on ABC drew the highest overnight rating.

    Sunday’s Thunder/Lakers NBA regular season game drew a 3.8 overnight rating on ABC. There was no comparable regular season game last year.

    The 3.8 overnight was the highest of the weekend for any sporting event, edging the NASCAR STP 400 from Kansas (3.7), and finishing comfortably ahead of Yankees/Red Sox on FOX (2.7), Bruins/Capitals Game 6 on NBC (2.5), and Penguins/Flyers Game 6, also on NBC (2.4).

    When the final numbers come out, the NASCAR race will more than likely finish as the highest rated event of the weekend.

    Thunder/Lakers ranks as the highest rated NBA game on ABC in the metered markets since March 4, when Heat/Lakers drew a 5.2 overnight and Knicks/Celtics drew a 4.3.

    For the season, thirteen of fifteen NBA telecasts on ABC drew at least a 3.0 overnight rating — compared to ten of fifteen last season and just five of fifteen two seasons ago.

    (Sunday’s numbers from Sports Business Daily)

  12. kevin says:

    Never met anyone that watches NBA basketball regularly…I’m sure alot of black people watch it so that’s basically the difference.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: