Stanley Cup Playoffs: Good Start For Rangers/Bruins, Wings/Hawks, on NBCSN


A couple of high-profile Original Six matchups have given NBC Sports Network a boost.

Game 1 of the Rangers/Bruins second round Stanley Cup playoff series drew 1.6 million viewers on NBC Sports Network Thursday night, the network’s largest audience ever for a second round opener.

Overall, the game ranks as the eighth most-viewed second round playoff game ever on NBCSN (previously Versus and OLN). Five of the top eight have involved the Rangers.

Locally, Thursday’s opener drew 13.1 rating in Boston, the market’s highest ever for a second-round game on NBCSN. In New York, the game drew a 3.39 — trailing Game 5 of the Pacers/Knicks NBA playoff series head-to-head (8.4).

On Wednesday night, Game 1 of the Red Wings/Blackhawks second round series drew 1.45 million viewers — the second-largest audience of the playoffs on cable, behind only Thursday’s Rangers/Bruins game.

Through Thursday’s games, the second round of the playoffs has averaged 1.2 million viewers on NBCSN, up 51% from the first three days last year (769K). Keep in mind last year’s average does not include two series openers on the NBC broadcast network.

(This year’s numbers from NBC Sports Group Press Box [1], [2]; Knicks’ Game 5 rating from Sports Business Daily)