Stanley Cup 2, 3, Highest Level Game (With Cable Alert)

The decision to put every game in this year’s Stanley Cup Final on TV has already paid off in the ratings.

Monday’s Avalanche-Lightning Stanley Cup Final 3 had an average rating of 2.2 and 4.10 million viewers on ABC, the largest audience for a third game of the Cup Final in 20 years (Red Wings-Hurricanes: 5.48M). Keep in mind that it was the second time that Game 3 had been shown on TV in the past 14 years.

Tampa Bay’s surprise win jumped 83% in ratings and 65% in viewership from last year’s Lightning-Canadiens Game 3 on NBC, which aired Friday the July 4th weekend (1.2, 2.48 million), and 40% In both metrics from Bruins- Blues Music on NBCSN in 2019 (1.6, 2.93 million).

Saturday’s second game averaged 1.7 and 3.75 million viewers, the largest audience for the second game of the Cup Final since the previous game to telecast – Blackhawks-Lightning on NBC right after that. American pharaohThe Triple Crown winning Belmont Stakes was run in 2015 (6.55 million).

Colorado’s surprise win jumped 93% in ratings and 122% in viewership from Canadiens-Lightning on NBCSN last year (0.9, 1.69 million). Compared to Blues-Bruins Game 2 on NBCSN in 2019, ratings fell 13% (from 1.95) but viewership jumped 11% (from 3.39 million), a discrepancy that can be explained by the fact that outdoor viewing was not tracked in 2019 or previous years.

This year marks the first time that a Stanley Cup Final has been fully taped on American television. The common practice in previous years was to stream at least two games on cable, usually games 2 and 3. Despite consecutive highs for several years, the average viewership for Game 2 or Game 3 wasn’t as many viewers as on the Wednesday series. Past – Opener (4.20 m).

The first three games of the Cup Final have ranked among the most-watched NHL games since the league returned from a hiatus nearly two years ago, each overtaking the previous record of 3.56 million in the Game 5 playoff last year. Take the past two years, and the first three matches rank as the least-watched Cup Finals on television since the first Sharks-Penguins in 2016 (4.08 million).

As one would expect in today’s TV era, Games 2 and 3 were easily rated top TV shows in adult demographics on their special nights. Game 2 had 1.1 in adults 18-49, 0.9 in 18-34 and 1.3 in 25-54; Match 3 equals 1.2, 0.9, and 1.5, respectively.

The games also ranked as the most watched prime-time TV show, although the average viewership for Game 2 is actually lower than ABC’s “World News Tonight” earlier in the evening (4.55 million).

[Nielsen estimates from Programming Insider 6.21, ShowBuzz Daily 6.21 a, b]

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