Bruins-Blackhawks is Most-Watched Stanley Cup Final Game 1 in 16 Years

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 13th, 2013

Stanley cup final 2013 game 1 victory hug

via press release:


Second-Most Watched Game 1 Ever (Since People Meters in 1987)

Bruins-Blackhawks Averaged Nearly 6.4 Million Viewers, Up 119% from Last Year

No. 1 Program across Broadcast & Cable among Adults 18-49 (tie), M18-49 & M25-54

NEW YORK – June 13, 2013 – Last night’s triple overtime thriller (8 p.m.–1:06 a.m. ET) between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks in the inaugural game of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final averaged nearly 6.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Final Game 1 in 16 years, the most-watched Game 1 ever on NBC (since 2006), and up 119% vs. last year.

The game -- in which the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins, 4-3, in an epic three overtimes -- drew a 3.9 household rating and 6.358 million viewers, up 117% and 119%, respectively, vs. last year (L.A.-N.J., 1.8 rating, 2.902 million).

The 6.358 million viewers are the most to watch a Stanley Cup Final Game 1 in 16 years, just 9,000 viewers off Detroit-Philadelphia on FOX in 1997 (6.367 million), which stands as the most-watched Game 1 ever (since the advent of people meters in 1987). Last night’s game now stands as the second-most watched Game 1.

Viewership for the game peaked in the first overtime period (11:15-11:30 p.m. ET), which was filled with a flurry of action, with nearly 7.5 million viewers (7.444 million).

Bruins-Blackhawks was the No. 1 program of the day across both broadcast and cable among Adults 18-49 (tie, 2.5), Men 18-49 (3.1) and Men 25-54 (3.5). NBC was the top network in primetime (8-11 p.m. ET) for all key male demographics.

NBC is averaging 3.083 million viewers for its coverage of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, up 38% vs. the same time period in 2012 (2.226 million). For the entire playoffs, including last night’s game, NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC have combined to average 1.191 million viewers per game, up 7% vs. last year (1.116 million).


Boston received a 28.1 household rating, up 10% vs. the Bruins’ Game 1 rating for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final on NBC in the market (25.5). Chicago received a 25.1 household rating, up 49% compared to the Blackhawks’ Game 1 rating for the 2010 Stanley Cup Final on NBC in the market (16.9).

NBC was the No. 1 rated network overall in Boston and Chicago during the 8 p.m. – 1 a.m. ET time period. Following are the top five markets:

  1. Boston (28.1)
  2. Chicago (25.1)
  3. Providence (18.5)
  4. Buffalo (8.5)
  5. Milwaukee (6.1)
  • SunshineBaby

    There were probably some thousand Canadians that boosted up the NBC ratings, I live in Toronto but I’ve got NBC from Buffalo and that was what I was watching the game on, instead of CBC.

  • JJM

    Canadians watching on NBC wouldn’t count in the ratings. But Americans in border states watching on CBC would actually end up costing NBC viewers, and I’m guessing many hockey fans would choose CBC’s feed over NBC if possible. Especially since those in the Detroit/Buffalo/border areas have been able to watch the playoffs every night on CBC for weeks now.

  • E

    In hockey it all depends on what teams are playing. NBC got the best matchup they can ask for. 1 can only imagine how bad the US ratings would be if say the Canadians and Canucks played in the finals. NBC would probably move the games to their NBC sports network.

  • Joseph

    If NBC has to have one Canadian-based teams in the Finals, they’d prefer the Toronto Maple Leafs since there is still (even 43 years after Buffalo got an NHL club) a large base of Leafs fans in Upstate New York.

    In fact, before the Buffalo Sabres came into existence, Saturday-night regular-season games and playoff games of the Leafs broadcast on Toronto’s CBLT often drew more Buffalo viewers than any local Buffalo TV station.

    In fact, I once read that in May of 1967 (the last time Toronto was in the Finals; they won the Stanley Cup that year), CBLT’s broadcasts of Leafs playoff games drew well over half of all people watching TV in the Buffalo area!

  • TomJH


    Any all Canadian final with the Habs would do at least decent ratings. I’d bet a Maple Leafs-Habs conference finals would get very good ratings for NBC (and will break every record in Canada).

  • Dafla bear

    It’s the time, FINALLY, that the NHL has come into it’s own.
    A great game lasting into triple overtime!
    Even the most casual sports fan had to pay attention!

  • mike

    Hockey has come a long way.

  • mike

    Hockey has come a long way in the last few years,but not close to bball.

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