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With Buffalo boost, NBC Sports' coverage of first round of 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs is best in 6 years


Fri, Apr 27th 2018 05:45 pm
Total audience delivery for first round averages 769,000 viewers across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, Golf Channel, USA Network, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app
NBC Sports' coverage of the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs across the networks of NBCUniversal averaged a total audience delivery (TAD) of 769,000 viewers, its best first round viewership in six years. Wednesday night's Game 7 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins averaged a TAD of 1.484 million viewers, making it the best first round game ever on NBCSN.
TAD for 42 games across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, Golf Channel, USA Network, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app averaged 769,000 viewers. It is NBC Sports' best first round average viewership since 2012 (936,000 viewers), is up 4 percent from last year (743,000), and up 8 percent vs. 2016 (714,000).
Including the Game 7, in which the Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs, 7-4, to advance to the second round, NBCSN averaged a first round TAD of 717,000 viewers for 22 games, the network's best first round in six years (2012, 744,000 viewers), the second-best on record since 2006, and up 17 percent vs. last year (614,000).
Toronto-Boston's TAD of 1.484 million viewers on NBCSN was up 4 percent vs. the Chicago-St. Louis Game 7 in 2016, which was the previous most-watched first round game in network history (1.422 million). Toronto-Boston peaked with a TV-only audience of 2.04 million viewers from 10-10:15 p.m. ET. 
First round coverage of six telecasts on NBC, which concluded this past weekend, averaged a TAD of 1.905 million viewers, the best since 2015 (1.921 million) and up 15 percent vs. 2017 (1.653). NBC averaged a 1.13 household rating, up 13 percent vs. last year (1.00). Sunday afternoon's Game 6 between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on NBC is the most-watched game of the playoffs to date, averaging a TAD of 2.383 million viewers, the best afternoon first round game in four years, and up 37 percent vs. the comparable game last year (Ottawa-Boston). TV-only viewership peaked with 3.132 million viewers from 5:30-5:45 p.m. ET.
Live streaming coverage set first round records for uniques (1.3 million; up 67 percent), total live minutes (178 million; up 33 percent), and average minute audience (23,900 viewers; up 41 percent). The Game 7 live stream delivered 206,000 uniques and 12.8 million minutes, both all-time records for a first round game. It also delivered an average minute audience of 68,700.
Following are the Top 10 local markets for the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

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