So what if the NHL does not have a network television broadcast for the Stanley Cup Final, their national cable TV ratings have continued to rise through the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And it does not matter the top markets of Boston, Toronto, New York, and Edmonton are out of the playoffs. You know what people are still watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs no matter what teams are playing as the end of the second round showed.
The NHL has a lot to be thankful for with its partnership with ESPN and Turner. Again regardless of what you of their broadcasters and studio, hockey fans are continuing to watch more playoff hockey this year, than they have in years past.
The first round was helped by having three Game 7s in the first round. The second round only saw one Game 7 and even despite Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers playing late on a Sunday night, fans still watched the best player in the world. There will always be detractors, but the Conference Finals feature some great matchups and superstars in the NHL.
Let’s take a look at how the NHL ratings did through the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
NHL Ratings Bonzaza Continues Into the Second Round
The following numbers are from Showbuzzdaily.com
Dallas and Seattle Top The Charts
Despite what some thought of the matchup the Dallas Stars and Seattle Kraken was one of the highest-rated series of the second round. Both Game 6 and 7 top over 2 million viewers. People are going to watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs no matter who is playing. Not to mention having an expansion team like the Seattle Kraken make a deep run is good for the league. It is one of the best markets right now for the NHL and its TV Ratings.
Game 7 of the Seattle-Dallas Series was viewed by 2.746 million people and did a .97 in the 18-49 demo. That is about 1.3 million viewers in that demo. Almost a 1.00 in the demo is excellent for hockey. The NHL is inching closer to the NBA with numbers like these. The Seattle-Dallas Game 7 was the third most watched second-round game ever on cable and topped the cable charts for Monday night May 15th.
These numbers were a great follow-up from Game 6 of the Dallas-Seattle series on Saturday night May 13th. Despite being on ESPN and not on ABC, the game was viewed by 2.042 million people and did a .67 in the 18-49 demo. It was also number one on cable as well.
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Connor McDavid Draws
Say what you will about the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights playing on Sunday night May 14th at 10 pm. Granted it was Mother’s Day, so maybe the NHL knew what it was doing. And there is legit beef considering if the reports were true that ESPN did not want to move Sunday Night Baseball to ESPN 2. The NHL is a TV partner now and could have counter-programmed against a bad game using ESPN 2. And yes the lead-in with the split screen was not great and could have advertised the fact that ESPN 2 had the start of the game, but you know what people still watched.
Game 6 of the Edmonton-Vegas series was number one cable on the cable charts for Sunday night as 1.650 million people watched. The game also did a .60 in the 18-49 demo. Not too bad at all considering all the complaints surrounding the start time. The number probably could have been better at 8 pm no doubt but still impressive.
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Round 2 Sees Growth Across Networks
Again it does not matter what teams are playing. People will watch and people will come.
The NHL saw 3.286 million people watch the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs up 13 percent from last year across all networks of ESPN/TNT/Sportsnet.
The first round two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs across North America are averaging 2.9 million viewers up 16 percent through two rounds last year. I
The NHL TV ratings should rise with good matchups in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference Finals.
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