Updated with 2008 ratings. The Pittsburgh Penguins / Detroit Red Wings "dream" matchup did sharply reverse the declining trend in NHL Stanley Cup Finals ratings. Perhaps now the NBA will get some competition from the NHL with the conspiracy theories over teams/matchups being grooved for TV ratings purposes
Full Data for NHL Stanley Cup Finals Ratings, 1995-2008
|1995||5.21||FOX||New Jersey Devils vs. Detroit Red Wings|
|1996||5.09||FOX||Colorado Avalanche vs. Florida Panthers|
|1997||6.37||FOX||Detroit Red Wings vs. Philadelphia Flyers|
|1998||4.83||FOX||Detroit Red Wings vs. Washington Capitals|
|1999||4.87||FOX||Dallas Stars vs. Buffalo Sabres|
|2000||5.51||ABC||New Jersey Devils vs. Dallas Stars|
|2001||5.06||ABC||Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey Devils|
|2002||5.77||ABC||Detroit Red Wings vs. Carolina Hurricanes|
|2003||3.63||*ABC/ESPN||New Jersey Devils vs. Anaheim Ducks|
|2004||3.29||*ABC/ESPN||Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Calgary Flames|
|2005||Strike, no season|
|2006||2.83||**NBC/OLN||Carolina vs, Edmonton|
|2007||1.76||NBC/VS||Ottawa vs. Anaheim|
|2008||4.48||NBC/VS||Pittsburgh vs. Detroit|
*ABC had 5 telecasts & ESPN had 2 telecasts so this is the combined average of both networks.
**NBC had 5 telecasts & OLN had 2 telecasts so this is the combined average of both networks.
Data for 2006-8 is Live+SD, all previous years are Live viewing.
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.