Despite the presence of a Canadian team, Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final hit a 12-year high in overnight ratings.
Wednesday’s Bruins/Canucks Game 1 earned a 3.2 overnight rating on NBC, up 14% from last year (PHI/CHI G1: 2.8), up 28% from 2009 (PIT/DET G1: 2.5), and the highest for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final since 1999 (BUF/DAL G1: 3.7, FOX).
Keep in mind that Game 1 aired on a Saturday night both last year and in 2009. In addition, Game 1 aired on cable each year from 2000 to 2008.
The last time a Canadian team was in the Stanley Cup Final (2007), Game 1 drew a 0.6 overnight rating on Versus. During that series, NBC drew overnight ratings of 1.5 (Game 3), 2.3 (Game 4), and 2.5 (Game 5).
Game 1 drew a 25.5 rating in Boston. For some perspective, Game 1 of last year’s Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals drew a 19.1 in the market.
(Numbers from Puck the Media)