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Buffalo scores high, as Blues-Bruins Game 7 on NBC is most-watched NHL game on record

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Fri, Jun 14th 2019 04:00 pm

Game 7 averages total audience delivery of nearly 9 million viewers (8.914), making it most-watched NHL game on record (since 1994)

Viewership peaked at 10.4 million viewers

Wednesday night’s 2019 Stanley Cup Final Game 7, in which the St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins, 4-1, to capture their first-ever Stanley Cup, averaged a total audience delivery (TAD) of nearly 9 million viewers (8.914), making it the most-watched NHL game on record and propelling the seven-game Stanley Cup Final and 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs to numerous viewership and streaming milestones, according to Fast National data from Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

Following are consumption highlights for Game 7, the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, and the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

•Game 7 averaged a TAD of nearly 9 million viewers (8.914), making it the most-watched NHL game on record;

•Blues-Bruins Game 7 is the most-streamed NHL game ever, delivering an average minute audience (AMA) of 191,500 viewers;

•St. Louis delivered a 41.8 local rating for Game 7, NBC Sports’ highest-rated Blues game ever in the market;

•The seven-game 2019 Stanley Cup Final averaged a TAD of 5.468 million, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Final in four years and the third-most watched Final on record;

•Overall, the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a TAD of 1.530 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched Stanley Cup Playoffs in 23 years.

Game 7

Despite a 4-0 score late in the third period and an eventual three-goal victory by the Blues, Game 7 (8-11 p.m. ET) averaged a TAD of 8.914 million viewers across NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, making it the most-watched NHL game on record and up 4% vs. the previous Game 7 eight years earlier between the Bruins and Vancouver Canucks (June 5, 2011), which averaged a TV-only 8.537 million viewers on NBC. Digital streaming was not yet available at that time.

Game 7 was also up 35% compared to viewership for Blues-Bruins Game 6 on Sunday night (6.610 million viewers).

The term “on record” refers to the current Nielsen measuring system, which began in 1994. Game 7 is believed to be the most-watched NHL game in 45-plus years, when different measurement tools were used to record viewership, making it difficult to verify.

The TAD of 8.914 million does not include the numerous large-scale viewership parties in both cities, with some reporting attendance at those events in excess of 40,000.

Top 10 Markets for Game 7

In addition, Game 7 powered 11 markets to register their highest or second-highest NHL rating ever for a game that did not include their home team:

  • Buffalo 13.9: No. 2 (behind 2006, Game 7, EDM-CAR, 17.9)
  • Las Vegas 7.6: No. 1
  • Denver 7.4: No. 2 (2015, Game 6, TB/CHI, 7.6)
  • Raleigh 6.3: No. 1
  • Chicago 6.2: No. 2 (2011, Game 7, BOS-VAN, 6.4)
  • Nashville 5.8: No. 1
  • Philadelphia 5.8: No. 2 (2017, Game 6, PIT-NAS, 6.4)
  • New York 5.1: No. 1
  • Phoenix 4.7: No. 1
  • Dallas 3.5: No. 1
  • Miami 2.8: No. 2 (2018, Game 5, WSH-VGK, 2.9)

2019 Stanley Cup Final

For the first seven-game Stanley Cup Final in eight years, Blues-Bruins averaged a TAD of 5.468 million viewers across NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Final in four years (2015, CHI-TB, 5.600 million, 6 games), the third-most watched Final on record (behind 2015 and 2013, CHI-BOS, 5.753 million, 6 games), and up 11% vs. 2018’s five-game Final (WSH-VGK, 4.925 million). It is the most-watched non-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Final on record. For TV only, the 2019 Stanley Cup Final averaged 5.330 million viewers and a 3.01 household rating for five games on NBC and two games on NBCSN.

Blues-Bruins also delivered the most-streamed Stanley Cup Final ever, with an AMA of 137,800 viewers, 176.3 million live minutes, and 1.3 million uniques.

Top 10 Markets across Stanley Cup Final on NBC/NBCSN:

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

On the strength of the Blues-Bruins historic seven-game Stanley Cup Final, 17 overtime games, compelling storylines, emerging teams, and exciting young stars, the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a TAD of 1.530 million viewers for 86 games across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app to rank as the most-watched Stanley Cup Playoffs in 23 years (1996, 1.564 million, ESPN/ESPN2/FOX, 61 games). Compared to 2018 (1.445 million), this year’s playoffs are up 6%. The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a TV-only 1.476 million viewers and a 0.87 HH rating.

NBC Sports Group’s cable coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs concluded by averaging TAD of 1.076 million viewers for 67 games across NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, ranking as the best Stanley Cup Playoffs cable delivery in 22 years (1997, 1.121 million, ESPN/ESPN2), the fourth-best cable delivery on record, and up 2% vs. last year (1.053 million).

Top 10 Markets for 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (86 games; NBC/NBCSN/USA/CNBC):

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