The seventh and final game of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final earned one of the highest NHL overnights in decades.
Wednesday’s Bruins/Canucks Game 7 earned a 5.7 overnight rating on NBC, up 14% from Game 7 in 2009 (PIT/DET G7: 5.0), and up 39% from Game 7 in 2006 (EDM/CAR G7: 4.1).
Game 7 is tied with Mighty Ducks/Devils Game 7 in 2003* as the second-highest rated NHL telecast in the metered markets since 1974.
Only last year’s Blackhawks/Flyers Game 6 (5.8) drew better numbers.
In addition, the 5.7 is the highest overnight for a Stanley Cup Final telecast involving a Canadian team in 38 years.
Boston was the top market for Game 7, with a whopping 43.4 rating. By comparison, last year’s Celtics/Lakers Game 7 drew a 33.9 in the market, and Lakers/Celtics Game 6 in 2008 — the last time a Boston pro sports team clinched a championship — drew a 34.5.
Incidentally, the 34.5 for the 2008 Lakers/Celtics game is the highest rating ever for an NBA game on ESPN/ABC in the market.
The complete Bruins/Canucks series averaged a 28.1 in the market, topping last year’s Lakers/Celtics series (25.0).
Providence, RI (25.9), Buffalo (10.6), Detroit (8.7) and Hartford, CT (8.7) rounded out the top five markets.
* According to NBC, Game 7 of the 2003 Devils/Mighty Ducks Stanley Cup Finals drew a 5.7 overnight rating. However, previous reports said the game drew a 5.8 overnight.
(NBC Sports Group press release from Puck the Media)