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Pittsburgh Penguins win Stanley Cup; Buffalo ranks third in audience total


Mon, Jun 12th 2017 09:45 am
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators by a score of 2-0 on Sunday night to win the Stanley Cup on NBC and become the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98.
Patric Hornqvist broke a scoreless tie with 1:35 left in regulation of Game 6, which proved to be the game-winner. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner for the second consecutive postseason.
Five-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike "Doc" Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning "Inside-the-Glass" analyst Pierre McGuire called Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. This marked the 11th consecutive year Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire combined to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports Group.
Coverage began on NBCSN at 6 p.m. with "NHL Live." Kathryn Tappen and Paul Burmeister anchored pre-game coverage alongside analysts Jeremy Roenick, Anson Carter and Brian Boucher on-site outside of Bridgestone Arena. Boucher and Burmeister spoke with Phil Pritchard, the "NHL Keeper of the Cup," and interviewed Predators captain Mike Fisher, Penguins defenseman Ron Hainsey, family members of Penguins center Matt Cullen and defenseman Trevor Daley, and country music star Hunter Hayes. Pre-game coverage also featured segments on Fisher and Penguins goalie Matt Murray.
Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:30 p.m. with host Liam McHugh, who was joined by analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.
Country music star Luke Bryan opened NBC's broadcast of the Stanley Cup Final at 8 p.m. with a special performance from the rooftop of Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge in Nashville. He joined McHugh, Milbury and Jones during first intermission coverage.
After the game, Jones said of the Penguins, "They're in the toughest division in the NHL all season long. ... There was no more difficult path to win the Cup than what Pittsburgh went through."
Penguins' owner Mario Lemieux to McGuire: "It never gets old to win the Cup, but this one was a tough one."
Olczyk: "(Penguins coach) Mike Sullivan pushed a lot of the right buttons. He has a tremendous feel of moving guys up and down the lineup. Mike Sullivan just seemed to have that touch of recognizing and putting guys together, whether they were the so-called fourth-liners or the highly skilled guys. Last year, smooth sailing, especially with the forward combinations. This year, many, many different line combinations."
Jones on Crosby: "It's an incredible year. ... He did it all, and he's got a running mate in (Evgeni) Malkin that goes a long way in alleviating some of the pressures that come with being a captain and a superstar in this league."
Crosby to McGuire: "We knew it was going to be tough all year, but we just tried to keep with it. We had a lot of injuries. ... We just kept finding ways, that was really what we did all season and all playoffs."
Emrick on the Nashville fan base: "As the winners celebrate, a remarkable year here in Nashville, and for their players and fans ... and the chant is 'Let's Go Preds.' The motto here was 'Stand With Us,' and these people did stand with their team. All games this season, for the first time in their 19-year history, were sold out. ... A team to be proud of, for sure."
Olczyk: "The Penguins win without their best defenseman, and all of the injuries that they had, and all teams have injuries over the course of seven or eight weeks. Nick Bonino can barely stand up, and he's out there in the celebration. ... How about the job by Marc-Andre Fleury in these playoffs? The Game 7 against Washington. ... You need everybody. You never know when your number is going to be called. Just an amazing run for the Pittsburgh Penguins."
2017 Stanley Cup Final is most-watched final on record without an Original Six Team
The six-game 2017 Stanley Cup Final produced a total audience delivery (TAD) of 4.762 million average viewers, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Final on record without an Original Six team, according to Fast National Ratings from The Nielsen Company and digital data from Adobe Analytics.
Game 6 on NBC averaged a TAD of 7.086 million viewers, up 29 percent vs. last year's cup-clinching Game 6 on NBC featuring Pittsburgh and San Jose (5.476 million).
Across 84 games on NBC/NBCSN/CNBC/USA Network, the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a TAD of 1.387 million viewers, up 11 percent vs. the 2016 postseason (89 games; 1.253 million).
TAD measures consumption across multiple platforms, combining the average minute audience (AMA) for television and digital.
This year's viewership gains come despite five Canadian teams qualifying for the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including two Canadian teams in the Second Round and one in the Conference Finals - as compared to zero in 2016 - plus the absence of a Top 20 TV home market in the Stanley Cup Final.
Stanley Cup Final
Despite neither Nashville (No. 29) nor Pittsburgh (No. 23) being a Top 20 TV market, the 2017 Stanley Cup Final on NBC/NBCSN averaged 4.762 million viewers, making it the most-watched final on record without an Original Six team (Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, New York Rangers and Toronto). Viewership was up 19 percent vs. the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, which featured the Penguins and the San Jose Sharks. The 2017 Stanley Cup Final averaged a 2.67 HH rating across the six games on NBC/NBCSN, and the TV-only viewership averaged 4.679 million viewers, up 18 percent and 19 percent, respectively, vs. the six-game 2016 Final.
The 2017 Stanley Cup Final averaged a 32.0 rating in Pittsburgh on NBC/NBCSN, up from the market's 31.7 average during the 2016 Penguins-Sharks Stanley Cup Final. Nashville shattered ratings records throughout the playoffs, and averaged a 22.0 in the Stanley Cup Final.
Following are the Top 10 markets for the 2017 Stanley Cup Final:

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