Thursday, August 13th, 2020


Puck Drops on Today’s Coverage with Game 2 Between (2) Lightning – (7) Blue Jackets at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN Following Epic 5OT Matchup Monday Night   

Evening Doubleheader on NBCSN – (8) Blackhawks vs. (1) Golden Knights at 5:30 p.m. ET, Followed by (5) Hurricanes vs. (4) Bruins at 8 p.m. ET

(6) Flames vs. (3) Stars Game 2 Nightcap at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

First Day of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs is NBC Sports’ Most-Watched First Day On Record

Today’s Pre-Game Coverage Begins with 30-Minute Edition of NHL Live at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Hockey Culture – NBC Sports’ Initiative Dedicated to Equality and Diversity in Hockey Led by Anson Carter – Launched This Week

STAMFORD, Conn. August 13, 2020 – NBC Sports presents four Stanley Cup First Round Game 2 matchups today on NBCSN totaling more than 10 hours of coverage, beginning with the (2) Tampa Bay Lightning facing the (7) Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 2 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The Lightning defeated the Blue Jackets 3-2 in an epic Game 1 that lasted more than six hours and went into quintuple-overtime, marking the second-longest game in modern NHL history. A 30-minute edition of NHL Live will begin pre-game coverage at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Coverage shifts west at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, when the (8) Chicago Blackhawks look to even their series against the (1) Vegas Golden Knights, following Vegas’ 4-1 win in Game 1 on Tuesday. Reilly Smith scored two goals in the Golden Knights’ victory.

The evening doubleheader begins in primetime at 8 p.m. ET when the (4) Boston Bruins face the (5) Carolina Hurricanes in Game 2 on NBCSN, following the Bruins 4-3 Game 1 double-overtime victory punctuated by Patrice Bergeron’s game-winner. Tonight’s nightcap features the (6) Calgary Flames against the (3) Dallas Stars at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Calgary leads the series 1-0, following a 3-2 win on Tuesday powered by a pair of goals from Dillon Dube.

Liam McHugh will host today and tonight’s studio coverage alongside studio analysts Eddie Olczyk, Keith Jones, Anson Carter and Patrick Sharp.

Earlier this week, NBC Sports launched Hockey Culture, a multi-platform content offering dedicated to bringing equality and inclusion to the sport of hockey. Led by Anson Carter, Hockey Culture will address contemporary topics within the sport, aim to promote diversity around the game and on the ice, and increase community engagement with hockey.

Today’s NHL schedule on NBCSN is below:

Date Coverage Network Time (ET) Commentators
Thurs., Aug. 13 Game 2 – (7) Columbus vs. (2) Tampa Bay NBCSN 3 p.m. Gord Miller, Mike Milbury, Brian Boucher
  Game 2 – (8) Chicago vs. (1) Vegas NBCSN 5:30 p.m. Brendan Burke, AJ Mleczko, Pierre McGuire
  Game 2 – (5) Carolina vs. (4) Boston NBCSN 8 p.m. John Forslund, Mike Milbury, Brian Boucher
  Game 2 – (6) Calgary vs. (3) Dallas NBCSN 10:30 p.m. Kenny Albert, Pierre McGuire



On the strength of Tuesday’s Columbus-Tampa Bay five-overtime thriller, the first day of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs is NBC Sports’ most-watched first day of the playoffs on record, according to Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

Yesterday’s NBCSN coverage of two First Round Game 1s averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 689,000 viewers, surpassing all other Stanley Cup Playoff first days on record and up 33% vs. last year’s coverage of four games across NBCSN/USA Network (519,000 viewers). This is the first time the Stanley Cup Playoffs have started in August. Click here for full details.

  • The 5OT Columbus-Tampa Bay game, which began at 3 p.m. ET and concluded roughly 6.5 hours later, averaged a TAD of 755,000 viewers, making it NBC Sports’ third-most watched first-day game on record.
  • For the overtime portion of the game from 5:45-9:25 p.m. ET, Columbus-Tampa Bay averaged 957,000 viewers and later peaked at 1.847 million viewers for its conclusion (9:15-9:25 p.m. ET).
  • During the primetime portion of the game (7:30-9:25 p.m. ET), Columbus-Tampa Bay averaged 1.265 million TV-only viewers. By comparison, last year’s comparable Pittsburgh-New York Islanders First Round Game 1 — which went to overtime — averaged a TAD of 758,000 viewers from 7:29-10:48 p.m. ET.
  • NBCSN ranked as the most-watched cable sports network during the game in total viewers and the key P18-49 and P25-54 demographics.



The first-ever NHL Qualifying Round delivered significant viewership gains across the platforms of NBC Sports when compared to the 2019-20 NHL regular season, according to Nielsen and digital data by Adobe Analytics.

Following are viewership highlights for the 33 games of the Qualifying Round:

  • Across all platforms (NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, and the NBC Sports app), Qualifying Round coverage averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 553,000 viewers, up 39% 2019-20 regular-season average on NBC and NBCSN (398,000 viewers).
  • The six games on NBC averaged a TAD of 1.190 million viewers, up 11% vs. 2019-20 regular-season average on NBC (1.074 million), excluding the 2020 NHL Winter Classic.
  • The Canadiens-Penguins primetime matchup on NBC on Aug. 1 averaged a TAD of 1.529 million viewers, making it the most-watched NHL game of the 2019-20 season, excluding the Winter Classic. It was also up 42% the 2019-20 regular-season average for games on NBC (1.074 million), excluding the Winter Classic.
  • On cable, the 27 Qualifying Round games on NBCSN, CNBC and USA Network – which were non-exclusive and blacked out in both home markets – averaged a TAD of 396,000 viewers, up 120% from the 2019-20 NBCSN comparable regular-season average (180,000 viewers).
  • NBC Sports’ regular-season viewership record for a non-exclusive game blacked out in both home markets is Rangers-Penguins with 394,000 viewers in 2011. During the Qualifying Round, 11 NBCSN games surpassed that record.
Date Team Team Viewers
8/2 St. Louis Colorado 684,000
8/9 Columbus Toronto 678,000
8/3 Montreal Pittsburgh 631,000
8/5 Pittsburgh Montreal 607,000
8/7 Edmonton Chicago 594,000
8/4 Carolina NY Rangers 567,000
8/1 NY Rangers Carolina 528,000
8/7 Pittsburgh Montreal 484,000
8/3 Washington Tampa Bay 438,000
8/6 Toronto Columbus 420,000
8/9 Boston Washington 417,000


  • Digitally, the Qualifying Round generated significant traffic for Pro Hockey Talk on During the 10 days of the Qualifying Round, the hockey website exceeded its traffic for the entire 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs (64 days) by 8% in page views (3.257 million vs. 3.020 million) and 27% in uniques (1.995 million vs. 1.570 million).