FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 24th, 2018
NBC SPORTS’ COVERAGE OF FIRST THREE ROUNDS OF 2018 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS IS MOST-WATCHED IN 21 YEARS & UP 7% VS. 2017
2018 Conference Finals Across NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com and NBC Sports App Average Nearly 2 Million Viewers; Up 9% vs. Last Year & Best in 3 Years
Washington Capitals Game 7 Win in Eastern Conference Final on NBCSN Delivers 2.7 Million Viewers for Most-Watched Cable Telecast of 2018 Playoffs
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 24, 2018 – Following last night’s thrilling Eastern Conference Final Game 7, in which the Washington Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-0, to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs to date (78 games) has averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 1.206 million viewers, which stands as the most-watched playoffs in 21 years (1997/ESPN, ESPN2, FOX 1.237 million viewers), and is up 7% vs. 2017 (1.129 million).
Bolstered by a unique matchup in the west and a seven-game series in the east, NBC Sports’ coverage of the NHL’s Eastern and Western Conference Finals averaged a combined TAD of 1.977 million viewers (12 games) across NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app, making it the most-watched Conference Final round in three years (2015, 2.259 million) and up 9% vs. last year (1.808 million).
The Eastern Conference Final averaged a TAD of 2.128 million viewers, making it the second-best ECF in 5 years, since Boston – Pittsburgh in 2013 (2.931 million).
Last night’s ECF Game 7 between the Capitals and Lightning on NBCSN had a TAD of 2.691 million viewers, making it the most-watched cable game of the 2018 playoffs. Wednesday night’s telecast also ranks as NBCSN’s best non-overtime Game 7 in three years (3.329 million / Tampa Bay – NY Rangers on 5/29/15). Viewing to the game peaked from 10:30 – 10:45 p.m. ET, with more than 3 million viewers.
The Western Conference Final, in which the expansion Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Winnipeg Jets in five games, averaged a TAD of 1.766 million viewers, making it the best WCF in three years, since the seven game Chicago-Anaheim series in 2015 (2.468 million). The 2018 Western Conference Final also finished up 23% vs. last year’s 6-game WCF between Nashville and Anaheim (1.434 million). For more information on 2018 WCF viewership click here.
Across NBC Sports’ streaming platforms – NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – the 2018 Playoffs to date have totaled 3 million uniques and 504 million live minutes, up 80% and 18%, respectively, compared to the same time period of the 2017 playoffs.
NBC Sports Group’s streaming of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals set records as well for uniques, total live minutes and Average Minute Audience. Streaming of the Conference Finals reached 1.1 million uniques, up 51% vs. 2017; 129 million total live minutes, up 2% vs. 2017; and featured an average minute audience of 61,500, up 33% vs. 2017.
Game 7 of the ECF delivered a total of 290,000 uniques, up 7% vs. 2017, and an Average Minute Audience of 114,200, up 20% vs. 2017, making it the most-streamed NHL game ever in uniques and delivering the highest AMA for an NHL game on record.
Locally, Game 7 of the ECF delivered a 12.6 rating in Washington, D.C., up 62% vs. NBCSN’s 2018 Conference Final avg. between the Capitals and Lightning, making it NBC Sports Group’s highest-rated NHL telecast in D.C.
Tampa delivered a 10.3 local rating for last night’s game, up 21% vs. NBCSN’s 2018 ECF average. Additionally, NBCSN was the #1 network overall in both Washington D.C. and Tampa during the game.
Following are the Top 10 markets for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs: