On Friday with a Game 7 and a very good game not decided until late, Versus scored the highest ratings for an NHL Conference Final in 9 years. That’s dating back to when ESPN had the NHL contract. As the Boston Bruins closed out Tampa Bay in a 1-0 thriller, Versus saw an average of 2.55 million viewers for the game. It peaked at 3.25 million in the final half hour. The only games that saw higher viewership for Versus are Stanley Cup Final games. So this did quite well for Versus. We have your press release from the NBC Sports Group.
Boston/Tampa Bay Game 7 on VERSUS is Most-Watched Conference Final Game on Cable in Nine Years
VERSUS’ Average Playoff Viewership is Best on Cable since 2002; NBC Sports’ Postseason Coverage Up Two Percent vs. 2010
NEW YORK – May 30, 2011 – The NBC Sports group’s coverage of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs continues to achieve viewership increases across its national platforms.
VERSUS’ exclusive telecast of Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night averaged 2.55 million viewers, according to fast nationals provided by The Nielsen Company, making it the most-watched Conference Final game in network history and the sixth-most watched game in the network’s history overall (bested only by Stanley Cup Final games). The telecast, which peaked at 3.25 million viewers from 10-10:30 p.m. ET, was the most-watched third-round game on cable since Detroit and Colorado renewed their epic rivalry in Game 7 on May 31, 2002.
MOST WATCHED NHL TELECASTS IN VERSUS HISTORY (average viewers)
6/2/2010 — Chicago at Philadelphia (SCF Game 3) – 3,600,000
6/4/2009 — Detroit at Pittsburgh (SCF Game 4) – 3,448,000
6/4/2010 — Chicago at Philadelphia (SCF Game 4) – 3,126,000
6/2/2009 — Detroit at Pittsburgh (SCF Game 3) – 2,955,000
5/26/2008 — Pittsburgh at Detroit (SCF Game 2) – 2,608,000
5/27/2011 — Tampa Bay at Boston (ECF Game 7) – 2,550,000
Overall, VERSUS averaged 854,000 viewers for its exclusive and non-exclusive games combined throughout the first three rounds of this year’s postseason, making it the most- watched Stanley Cup Playoffs on cable since 2002.
NBC’s coverage of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged 1.93 million viewers per game, up two percent vs. 1.89 million last year. Highlights included NBC’s Conference Quarterfinal coverage, which was the most-watched network coverage for the NHL’s first round in seven years. The Quarterfinals included the Philadelphia Flyers’ Game 6 win over the Buffalo Sabres in overtime, which was watched by 2.57 million viewers, making it the most-watched NHL non-Conference Final game in 12 years.
One more hockey-related press release is coming up.