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[06/16/14 - 11:34 AM]
2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Are Second-Most Watched Since 2006
NBC spins the numbers for its NHL post-season coverage to date.

[via press release from NBC]

2014 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS ARE SECOND-MOST WATCHED SINCE 2006

2014 Stanley Cup Final Is Only Fifth Final Since 1994 to Average 5 Million Viewers

NBC Sports Live Extra Sets NHL Streaming Records for Playoffs, Final & Game 5

STAMFORD, Conn. - June 16, 2014 - On the strength of an NHL record 93 postseason games - including 46 one-goal games and 26 overtime games - a new playoff format that emphasized divisional rivalries, and a Stanley Cup Final that featured the nation's two largest media markets, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs became the second-most watched NHL post-season since NBC and NBCSN began their exclusive coverage in 2006, according to Fast National data provided by The Nielsen Company. Every game was televised nationally by the NBC Sports Group.

In addition, the Stanley Cup Final, won in five games by the Los Angeles Kings over the New York Rangers, was just the fifth Final in 20 years to average more than 5.0 million viewers. Digitally, NBC Sports Live Extra delivered live stream records in virtually all metrics for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Final and Game 5.

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

NBC, NBCSN and CNBC combined to average a 0.87 HH rating and 1.445 million viewers, ranking the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs as second-most watched since 2006, the year NBC and NBCSN began their most-recent run of exclusive playoff coverage, and the fourth-most watched on record (since data became available in 1994). In the past 20 years, the 2014 post-season only trailed 1996 (1.564 million on Fox/ESPN), 1997 (1.523 million on Fox/ESPN), and 2013 (1.471 million).

CABLE: For the 77 playoff games telecast on NBCSN and CNBC, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a 0.66 HH rating and 1.098 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched NHL playoffs on cable in 17 years (1997, 1.211 million viewers on ESPN/ESPN2).

This year's average viewership was up 10% from the 2013 cable average of 1.000 million viewers (0.60 HH rating).

STANLEY CUP FINAL

The 2014 Stanley Cup Final, which ended in five games, delivered a 3.01 HH rating and averaged 5.001 million viewers, making it just the fifth Stanley Cup Final on record (since data 1994) to average at least 5.0 million viewers. It was also the most-watched Final on record that did not include either the Chicago Blackhawks or Detroit Red Wings. Games 1-2 and Game 5 aired on NBC, while NBCSN televised Games 3-4.

Following are the five most-watched Stanley Cup Finals since 1994 (viewers):
1. 2013: Chicago/Boston, 6 games (5.753 million)
2. 1997: Detroit/Philly, 4 games (5.289)
3. 2010: Chicago/Philly, 6 games (5.167)
4. 2002: Detroit/Carolina, 5 games (5.113)
5. 2014: New York/Los Angeles, 5 games (5.001)

Overall, the 2013 and 2012 Stanley Cup Finals both went to six games. This year's Final was up 64% and 66% vs. 2012 (1.83 and 3.012), the last time the Kings appeared in the Final, and down 9% and 13%, respectively, vs. 2013 (3.31 and 5.753), which was the most-watched Stanley Cup Final on record.

GAME 5

As previously announced on Saturday, the thrilling Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, in which the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Rangers 3-2 in double overtime, averaged 6.0 million viewers; making it the most-watched Game 5 in six years and helping NBC win the night in primetime, according to Fast National data from The Nielsen Company. Los Angeles and New York both scored their second-best local-market ratings ever for an NHL game on NBC or NBCSN.

National

As previously released, Friday night's Game 5 (8:13 p.m. - 12:47 a.m. ET) delivered a 3.7 HH rating and 6.0 million viewers, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Final Game 5 since the triple-overtime fifth game of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final between Pittsburgh and Detroit (6.2 million, NBC).

Viewership was up seven percent vs. Game 5 on NBC last year between Chicago and Boston (5.6 million). It was also up a remarkable 82% compared to the fifth game of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, which also featured the Kings (vs. Devils) and was a potential Cup-clinching game (3.3 million).

The game peaked at over 8.5 million viewers from 12-12:30 a.m. ET.

Local

Los Angeles delivered a 12.4 rating, ranking as the market's second-best rating ever on NBC or NBCSN and up 41% vs. Game 5 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final (8.8), which was a potential Cup-clinching game. Friday night's game trailed only the Cup-clinching Game 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final (13.6) as the most-watched in the L.A. market's history for an NHL game on NBC or NBCSN.

New York also scored its second-best NHL rating ever on NBC or NBCSN with a 10.4 rating. It only trailed another double-overtime game, Game 2 of this series, by a tenth of a rating point (10.5).

Following are the Top 10 markets for Friday night's Game 5:
Rank Market RTG
1 Los Angeles 12.4
2 New York 10.4
3 Buffalo 9.2
4 Boston 6.3
4 Minneapolis-St. Paul 6.3
6 Pittsburgh 5.5
7 Chicago 5.4
7 Providence 5.4
9 West Palm Beach 5.2
9 Las Vegas 5.2

Primetime

In primetime, NBC is expected to be No. 1 for the night among the four major broadcast networks in A18-49 (1.9 rating). A primetime win will mean that NBC will have won the night for all three Stanley Cup Final games that aired on the network (Games 1-2, 5).

REGULAR SEASON

On the strength of the inaugural NHL Stadium Series, the return of the NHL Winter Classic, and the second season of Wednesday Night Rivalry, the 2013-14 NHL regular season set a full-season viewership record for NBCSN. For more information on 2013-14 NHL regular-season viewership, click here: http://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.com/2014/04/15/nhl-regular-season-sets-viewership-records-across-nbc-nbcsn/.

STREAMING

GAME 5: The final game of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, which was unauthenticated, delivered record traffic for an NHL game on NBC Sports Live Extra for virtually every metric, including uniques (274,473) and live minutes (11,423,556).

FINAL: Live streaming for the five-game 2014 Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports Live Extra delivered 603,000 uniques and 37.14 million minutes, up 38% and 22%, respectively, vs. last year and made 2014 the most-consumed Stanley Cup Final ever.

Following are the Top 5 games of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final (minutes watched):
1. June 13 - Game 5: New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings - 11.42 million (unauthenticated)
2. June 7 - Game 2: New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings - 9.02 million (unauthenticated)
3. June 4 - Game 1: New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings - 6.49 million (unauthenticated)
4. June 11 - Game 4: Los Angeles Kings @ New York Rangers - 5.22 million (authentication-required)*
5. June 9 - Game 3: Los Angeles Kings @ New York Rangers - 4.77 million (authentication-required)

*Best authentication-required Stanley Cup Final game ever

PLAYOFFS: For the entire 93 games of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, NBC Sports Live Extra delivered 1.52 million uniques and 201.50 million minutes watched. Those metrics are the best-ever for an NHL post-season and are up 180% in uniques and 183% in minutes vs. last year.

Following are the Top 5 games of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (minutes watched):
1. June 13 - Game 5: New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings - 11.42 million (unauthenticated)
2. June 7 - Game 2: New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings - 9.02 million (unauthenticated)
3. June 1 - Game 7: Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks - 8.15 million (authentication-required)*
4. June 4 - Game 1: New York Rangers @ Los Angeles Kings - 6.49 million (unauthenticated)
5. May 28 - Game 5: Los Angeles Kings @ Chicago Blackhawks - 5.49 million (authentication-required)

*Best authentication-required NHL game ever and best Conference Final game ever





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