Bruins-Blackhawks Game 2 is Most-Watched NHL Game in NBC Sports Network History

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 17th, 2013


via press release:



Game Draws 3.964 Million Viewers, Making it Most-Watched Stanley Cup Final Game 2 on Cable in 16 Years

Bruins-Blackhawks Game 2 Up 237% Compared to First NBCSN Stanley Cup Final Game Last Year

STAMFORD, Conn. – June 17, 2013 – Saturday night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 2 averaged 3.964 million viewers on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), making it the most-watched NHL game in the network’s history (since 2006), the most-watched Game 2 on cable in 16 years, and the most-watched Stanley Cup Final game on cable in 11 years, according to Fast National data provided by The Nielsen Company.

The game (8:30-11:34 p.m. ET), in which the Boston Bruins defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 in overtime, delivered a 2.0 household rating and 3.964 million viewers, surpassing Game 3 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final between Philadelphia and Chicago (3.6 million) on NBCSN. It is the second-most watched event ever on NBCSN, trailing only the U.S. Women’s Soccer gold medal match vs. Japan during the London 2012 Olympics, which averaged 4.350 million viewers.

With 3.964 million viewers, Bruins-Blackhawks Game 2 is the most-watched Stanley Cup Final game on cable since 2002 (Carolina-Detroit, 6/4, ESPN, 4.015 million) and the most-watched final Game 2 on cable since 1997 (Detroit-Philadelphia, 6/3, ESPN, 4.955 million). It was up 237% compared to Game 3 last year (the first on NBC Sports Network), which averaged 1.176 million viewers for New Jersey-Los Angeles.

The game peaked with 4.823 million viewers from 10:30-11 p.m. ET.

Two of the top five most-watched NHL games in NBCSN history have occurred this season, with Game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals between Chicago and Detroit averaging 3.354 million viewers.

Top Five Most-Watched NHL Games in NBC Sports Network History

Year Game Teams Viewers
2013 Stanley Cup Final, Game 2 Boston @ Chicago 3.964 million
2010 Stanley Cup Final, Game 3 Philadelphia @ Chicago 3.600
2009 Stanley Cup Final, Game 4 Detroit @ Pittsburgh 3.448
2013 Conference Semi-Finals, Game 7 Detroit @ Chicago 3.354
2010 Stanley Cup Final, Game 4 Philadelphia @ Chicago 3.126

Locally, Boston led all markets with a 22.5 rating, followed by Providence (15.8) and Chicago (15.6). Following are the top five local markets for Game 2:

  1. 1.      Boston, 22.5
  2. 2.      Providence, 15.8
  3. 3.      Chicago, 15.6
  4. 4.      Buffalo, 4.6
  5. 5.      Milwaukee, 3.7
  • Rabbit

    Excellent news.

  • E

    No surprise. I expect tonight’s game will break the record for most viewed event on NBC Sports network, beating the Olympic soccer game.

  • Joe

    Really surprised NBC didn’t put this on the network. It beat all network shows, including baseball.

  • JS

    NBC is moronic. This is the FINALS – Put it on the big boy network – They just continue to defy any intelligence. I hope they go off the air. I hope the game tonight beats its precious, copycat, POS Voice. Their #1 show (and only hit) shouldn’t be on in the summer. It’s going to ruin it for the future- and they’ll fall next year from #5 to #6 – not only behind Univision- but also behind CSPAN. Pathetic network.


    It’ll only go up from here… NBC doesn’t want it on their big channel because of Schedueling of The Voice & other shows they’d have to move. But they could’ve for this game I suppose. I also think they want to establish NBC Sports Network.

  • Joe

    It gives them a chance to build the cable network and promote The Crossover and other shows over there. With the Voice on the mother ship, they still win big either way.

    Saturday’s game should have been on the mother ship though. They would have won Saturday night for the fourth week in a row, with a fifth win coming up. Five wins in five weeks. Gotta be happy with that.

    Saturday night might be a good regular spot in the future, perhaps for outdoor games. Kick off the outdoor games with the Classic, and follow it up with a weekly Saturday night outdoor game for the next eight weeks. I can see that winning the night eight weeks in a row. C’mon, Boston and Chicago at Soldier’s Field on a Saturday night in January or February. That’ll get some eyeballs.

  • John Stanley

    NBA Sun game 16.1M. NHL game 2 3.96M. Oops, Wonder if anyone south of NYC was watching. NHL- Non-national hockey league. A totally regionalized and marginalized sport, certainly not one of the “big 4″ any more……That’s why it is not on NBC!

  • John Stanley

    Here is a viewer comparison with the first half of 2012. Of the top 50 sporting events on tv last year there were no NHL games (even the finals) and the lowest event was the Aarons 499 at 8.3M viewers. I applaude the enthusiasm hockey lovers have for their sport but when you look at the numbers objectively it is easy to see why this is not on main network TV. The NHL does not draw peripheral fans like the NFL and the NCAA March Madness does. Until it figures out a way to do this it will be relegated to the dredges of cable.

  • Joe

    Since 7 of the NHL’s teams are in Canada, the TV audience is split between two countries. The comparison in US TV ratings is is skewed against the NHL. A better comparison is total revenue. The NHL is still behind the NBA, but not by as much as some would think. And at 3 billion, it’s hardly a marginal sport.

    The NHL is not the NBA. It has half the TV audience and twice the excitement. That’s okay by me, and NBC is more than pleased.

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