Stanley Cup Playoffs: Marquee Series Produce Big Numbers For NBCSN, CNBC


Far from cannibalizing each other, Thursday’s Bruins/Rangers and Blackhawks/Red Wings games combined for impressive numbers on NBCSN and CNBC.

Game 4 of the Blackhawks/Red Wings second round Stanley Cup playoff series drew a 1.1 U.S. rating and 1.8 million viewers on NBC Sports Network Wednesday night, the highest rated and third-most viewed second round game ever on the network. Only Rangers/Capitals Game 3 last year (1.9M) and Sharks/Red Wings Game 2 in 2010 (1.8M) drew more viewers.

The strong numbers came despite competition from the other high-profile second round series — the overtime Game 4 between the Bruins and Rangers. Bruins/Rangers drew a 0.7 U.S. rating and 1.4 million viewers on CNBC.

The Blackhawks/Red Wings and Bruins/Rangers games overlapped from 8:00-10:00 PM ET, earning a combined 3.3 million viewers over the two-hour period. During those two hours, the Stanley Cup Playoffs was the top draw on cable in total viewers and the adults 18-49 demo.

In other playoff action, Thursday’s Game 5 between the Sharks and Kings drew a 0.6 and 955,000 viewers and Wednesday’s Game 4 between the Penguins and Senators scored 1.2 million.

Locally, Blackhawks/Red Wings Game 4 scored a 10.04 rating in Chicago — the market’s highest ever for a second-round game on NBCSN — and a 12.35 in Detroit. Bruins/Rangers scored a 13.46 in Boston (down 16% from Game 3 on NBCSN) and a 2.81 in New York (-15% from Game 3).

Sharks/Kings Game 5 drew a 2.41 rating in Los Angeles (another second-round record on NBCSN) and a 3.99 in San Jose. Ratings were not available for Penguins/Senators Game 4 in Pittsburgh.

(Thu. numbers from NBC Sports Group Press Box; Wed. numbers from TV By the Numbers)