Stanley Cup Final Game 7 Becomes The Most Watched NHL Game In 38 Years

We have the final numbers from last night’s Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final which ended up as a 4-0 Championship win for the Boston Bruins over the Vancouver Canucks. The game ended with a 4.8 rating and an 8 share for NBC. The viewership ended at 8.54 million. Viewership peaked at 5.9/10 with 10.5 million viewers in the last half hour as the Bruins wrapped up the Stanley Cup. Final viewership surpassed last year’s deciding Game 6 between Chicago and Philadelphia by 3% and the last Game 7 in 2009 between Pittsburgh and Detroit by 7%.

There’s a good half-hour ratings breakdown of the viewership at Son of the Bronx plus the site has pre and postgame numbers for Versus.

We have the press release from NBC Sports which also includes the top rated local markets.

STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 7 IS MOST-WATCHED NHL GAME IN 38 YEARS

Up 3% From Last Year’s Deciding Game 6 OT Thriller That Featured Two U.S. Teams; Up 7% From 2009’s Game 7
Most-Watched Stanley Cup Game 7 in 40 years
Game 7 Powers NBC to Nightly Primetime Win Among Viewers, Households, Adults 18-49 and Key Male Demos
Best Combined Network/Cable Stanley Cup Series Viewership Featuring a Canadian Team Ever
Boston Sets Record, Leads All Metered Markets with a 43.4 Rating & 64 Share

NEW YORK – June 16, 2011 – Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, which saw the Boston Bruins defeat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, to claim their first championship since 1972, was watched by 8.54 million people, making it the most-watched NHL game in 38 years, according to official national data released today by The Nielsen Company. The viewership is up three percent from last year’s deciding Game 6 overtime thriller between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers and up seven percent compared to the most recent Game 7 in 2009 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

NBC Sports Group surrounded the Stanley Cup with pre- and postgame coverage on VERSUS, regional coverage on Comcast SportsNet New England and robust digital coverage on the integrated NBCSports.com.

  • Last night’s Game 7 drew 8.54 million viewers (8-11:06 p.m. ET), the most for an NHL game in 38 years (5/10/73, Montreal-Chicago, 9.4 million on NBC) and the fourth most-watched Stanley Cup game ever.
  • Last night’s game was up three percent from last year’s deciding Game 6 overtime thriller (Chicago-Philadelphia, 8.28 million) and up seven percent from the 2009 Stanley Cup Game 7 (Pittsburgh-Detroit, 7.99 million).
  • The 8.54 million viewers makes last night’s game the most-watched Game 7 in 40 years (5/18/71, Montreal-Chicago, 12.4 million on CBS).
  • Stanley Cup Final Game 7 powers NBC to win the night in primetime among viewers, household rating, Adults 18-49 and all key male demos
  • Game 7 posted a national household rating of 4.8 and an 8 share, making it the highest-rated NHL game 37 years (5/19/74, Boston-Philadelphia, 7.6/27 on NBC), two percent higher than last year’s deciding Game 6 (Chicago-Philadelphia, 4.7/6) and 12 percent higher than the 2009 Stanley Cup Game 7 (Pittsburgh-Detroit, 4.3/8).

MOST-WATCHED STANLEY CUP GAMES (1966-2011):

1. 5/18/71, Montreal-Chicago – Game 7, 12.41 million, CBS
2. 5/11/72, Boston-NY Rangers – Game 6, 10.93 million, CBS
3. 5/10/73, Montreal-Chicago – Game 6, 9.41 million, NBC
4. 6/15/11, Boston-Vancouver – Game 7, 8.54 million, NBC (Last Night’s Game)
5. 4/30/72, NY Rangers-Boston – Game 1, 8.51 million, CBS
6. 5/12/74, Boston-Philadelphia – Game 3, 8.30 million, NBC
7. 6/9/10, Chicago-Philadelphia – Game 6, 8.28 million, NBC
8. 5/7/72, Boston-NY Rangers – Game 4, 8.26 million, CBS
9. 6/12/09, Pittsburgh-Detroit – Game 7, 7.99 million, NBC
10. 5/19/74, Boston-Philadelphia – Game 6, 7.85 million, NBC

STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 7 VIEWERSHIP HISTORY (1966-2011):

1. 5/18/71, Montreal-Chicago, 12.41 million, CBS
2. 6/15/11, Boston-Vancouver, 8.54 million – Last Night’s Game
3. 6/12/09, Pittsburgh-Detroit, 7.99 million, NBC
4. 6/9/03, Anaheim-New Jersey, 7.17 million, ABC
5. 6/9/01, New Jersey-Colorado, 6.95 million, ABC
6. 6/7/04, Calgary-Tampa Bay, 6.29 million, ABC
7. 6/14/94, NY Rangers-Vancouver, 5.44 million, ESPN
8. 6/19/06, Edmonton-Carolina, 5.29 million, NBC
* 5/31/87, Edmonton-Philadelphia on SportsChannel America – Data not available

BEST COMBINED NETWORK/CABLE STANLEY CUP SERIES VIEWERSHIP FEATURING A CANADIAN TEAM EVER: The Stanley Cup Final seven game series (Games 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 on NBC and Games 3, 4 on VERSUS) averaged 4.6 million viewers and a household rating of 2.7/5, surpassing the 2004 series (3.3 million, 2.2/4 on ABC/ESPN) as the most-watched combined network/cable Stanley Cup involving a Canadian team ever and up 39 percent from that series.

  • NBC’s five-game average audience of 5.31 million and 3.1/6 is the best for a network Stanley Cup Final featuring a Canadian team in 38 years (6.8/15 and 7.4 million for three games in 1973 on NBC).

BOSTON SETS RECORDS: The Boston market earned a 43.4 rating and a 64 share, the best overnight on record for a hockey game in Boston (dating back to 1991) and the best overnight in the Boston market featuring a Boston team in any major sports championship since Super Bowl XLII (Patriots-Giants, 55.6 on 2/3/08).

Boston’s seven-game average for the Stanley Cup Final (five games on NBC, two games on VERSUS) was a 28.1/44, 12 percent higher than ABC’s seven-game Boston average for last year’s NBA Finals (25.0/40 for Boston-LA Lakers).

TOP MARKETS FOR 2011 STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 7:

1. Boston, 43.4/64
2. Providence, 25.9/38
3. Buffalo, 10.6/17
T4. Detroit, 8.7/14
T4. Hartford, 8.7/13
6. Pittsburgh, 7.6/12
7. Denver, 7.2/14
T8. Minneapolis, 6.7/12
T8. Las Vegas, 6.7/11
10. St. Louis, 6.2/10

TOP MARKETS FOR 2011 STANLEY CUP FINAL (NBC and VERSUS)

1. Boston, 28.1/44
2. Providence, 16.9/26
3. Buffalo, 7.1/12
4. Hartford, 4.7/8
5. Detroit, 4.2/7
6. Pittsburgh, 3.9/7
T7. Minneapolis, 3.5/7
T7. Las Vegas, 3.5/6
9. Washington, D.C., 3.4/6
10. St. Louis, 3.3/6

Very good for NBC and it won the night in the 18-49 demographic. We have the CBC press release on its ratings coming up next.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

Quantcast