CAPITALS-BRUINS GAME 7 IS MOST-WATCHED NHL CONFERENCE QUARTERFINAL ON CABLE IN 12 YEARS
1.32 Million Viewers Up 43% vs. Last Year's Comparable Contest & Best Conference Final Game in NBC Sports Network History
NBC Off to Best Broadcast-Network Start for NHL Playoffs in 14 Years
NEW YORK - April 26, 2012 - Last night's Game 7 between the Washington Capitals and the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins was watched by 1.32 million viewers on the NBC Sports Network, making it the most-watched NHL Conference Quarterfinal game on cable in 12 years. In addition, NBC is off to the best broadcast-network start for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 14 years, averaging 2.6 million viewers through six games.
NBC SPORTS NETWORK
The 1.32 million viewers for last night's game, in which the Capitals defeated the Bruins, 2-1, in overtime in Boston, was up 43 percent vs. last year's comparable game (926,000; Was-Mon, Game 7), and is now the most-watched Conference Quarterfinal game since the NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS) began televising NHL playoff games in 2006. It is the most-watched first-round game on cable in 12 years, since 1.51 million viewers watched San Jose-St. Louis Game 7 in 2000 (ESPN). Last night's game produced a 0.89 rating and peaked at 1.13 during the 10 p.m. ET half hour.
Through the first 15 days of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NBC Sports Network is averaging 729,000 viewers per game, up 14 percent vs. last year (642,000).
Through the first two weekends of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, NBC is averaging 2.6 million viewers through six games, up 39 percent compared to last year (1.9 million, four games) and making it the best two-weekend delivery in 14 years, since Fox averaged 2.8 million viewers for its first two weekends in 1998 (two games).
Saturday's Capitals-Bruins Game 5 was watched by 2.0 million viewers, making it the most-watched early-round Saturday game in eight years, since 2.2 million on April 17, 2004 on ABC. Sunday's Penguins-Flyers Game 6, which aired in the early Noon-3 p.m. ET window, averaged 3.1 million viewers.
As was previously announced, Sunday's Capitals-Bruins Game 6 averaged 3.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched Conference Quarterfinal game since the advent of people meters in 1993.
The Conference Quarterfinals conclude tonight with two Eastern Conference Game 7s. Coverage begins on NBC Sports Network with the #1 New York Rangers hosting the #8 Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m. ET. Game 7 of the #6 New Jersey Devils-#3 Florida Panthers series will begin at 8:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network. Once the Senators-Rangers game ends, coverage of the Devils-Panthers will move to NBC Sports Network until its conclusion. Extended live look-ins of Devils-Panthers will also be shown during intermissions of Senators-Rangers on NBC Sports Network.
The staggered start times of 7 p.m. ET for Senators-Rangers and 8:30 p.m. ET for Devils-Panthers allows hockey fans to watch the conclusion of both Game 7s on the NBC Sports Network. NHL Live begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.