First round cable coverage is most watched in 25 years, second-best on record
Hurricanes-Capitals Game 7 most-watched first round cable game on record
On the strength of 10 overtime games, three Game 7s and two improbable sweeps, NBC Sports’ presentation of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs across the networks of NBCUniversal delivered the most-watched First Round in seven years, according to Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics.
First Round coverage across NBC Sports’ cable platforms produced the most-watched First Round on cable in 25 years and ranks as the second-best First Round on cable on record (since 1994). The First Round milestones were punctuated by three Game 7s, including the Hurricanes-Capitals series finale on NBCSN, which is now the most-watched First Round cable game on record.
Across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, the 45 Stanley Cup Playoff First Round games averaged a total audience delivery (TAD) of 778,000 viewers, making it the most-watched First Round in seven years (2012; 936,000), NBC Sports’ third-most watched First Round ever (since 2006), and up 1% vs. last year (769,000).
NBC Sports’ cable coverage of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round across NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, averaged a TAD of 673,000 viewers, up 18% vs. last year (572,000), and making it the second-most watched First Round on cable on record (1994; 702,000; ESPN networks).
The double-overtime Game 7 – in which the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, 4-3 – averaged a TAD of 1.750 million viewers, making it the most-watched First Round cable game on record, up 18% vs. NBCSN’s previous record, set by last year’s Maple Leafs-Bruins Game 7 (1.484 million; NBCSN), and up 16% vs. the previous overall record (1.514 million; 2000 Game 7 Sharks-Blues; ESPN).
Game 7 peaked at 2.522 million TV-only viewers at the end of the first overtime (10:45-11 p.m. ET) and powered NBCSN to its most-watched primetime weeknight (1.716 million viewers; 8-11 p.m.) since last year’s Stanley Cup Final Game 2 between Washington and Vegas on May 30 (3.678 million).
Hurricanes-Capitals Game 7 also produced an average minute audience (AMA) of 105,800 viewers for its live stream across NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, making it the most-streamed First Round game in Stanley Cup Playoff history.
Overall, the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs produced the most streamed First Round ever in all key metrics – 1.3 million uniques, 270.6 million minutes, and an AMA of 33,800 viewers.