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Stanley Cup Final Game 7 is most-watched NHL game in 38 years; 8.54M viewers on NBC

Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, which saw the Boston Bruins defeat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, to claim their first championship since 1972, was watched by 8.54 million people, making it the most-watched NHL game in 38 years, according to official national data released today by The Nielsen Company. The viewership is up three percent from last year’s deciding Game 6 overtime thriller between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers and up seven percent compared to the most recent Game 7 in 2009 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

Also, THR reports that the game averaged 8.76M viewers on CBC in Canada and 1.043M viewers on French language RDS. So the total U.S.-Canada audience was 18.34 million viewers.

The complete NBC press release is included after the jump.

STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 7 IS MOST-WATCHED NHL GAME IN 38 YEARS

Up 3% From Last Year’s Deciding Game 6 OT Thriller That Featured Two U.S. Teams; Up 7% From 2009’s Game 7

Most-Watched Stanley Cup Game 7 in 40 years

Game 7 Powers NBC to Nightly Primetime Win Among Viewers, Households, Adults 18-49 and Key Male Demos

Best Combined Network/Cable Stanley Cup Series Viewership Featuring a Canadian Team Ever

Boston Sets Record, Leads All Metered Markets with a 43.4 Rating & 64 Share

NEW YORK – June 16, 2011 – Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, which saw the Boston Bruins defeat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, to claim their first championship since 1972, was watched by 8.54 million people, making it the most-watched NHL game in 38 years, according to official national data released today by The Nielsen Company. The viewership is up three percent from last year’s deciding Game 6 overtime thriller between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers and up seven percent compared to the most recent Game 7 in 2009 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

NBC Sports Group surrounded the Stanley Cup with pre- and postgame coverage on VERSUS, regional coverage on Comcast SportsNet New England and robust digital coverage on the integrated NBCSports.com.

Last night’s Game 7 drew 8.54 million viewers (8-11:06 p.m. ET), the most for an NHL game in 38 years (5/10/73, Montreal-Chicago, 9.4 million on NBC) and the fourth most-watched Stanley Cup game ever.
Last night’s game was up three percent from last year’s deciding Game 6 overtime thriller (Chicago-Philadelphia, 8.28 million) and up seven percent from the 2009 Stanley Cup Game 7 (Pittsburgh-Detroit, 7.99 million).
The 8.54 million viewers makes last night’s game the most-watched Game 7 in 40 years (5/18/71, Montreal-Chicago, 12.4 million on CBS).
Stanley Cup Final Game 7 powers NBC to win the night in primetime among viewers, household rating, Adults 18-49 and all key male demos
Game 7 posted a national household rating of 4.8 and an 8 share, making it the highest-rated NHL game 37 years (5/19/74, Boston-Philadelphia, 7.6/27 on NBC), two percent higher than last year’s deciding Game 6 (Chicago-Philadelphia, 4.7/6) and 12 percent higher than the 2009 Stanley Cup Game 7 (Pittsburgh-Detroit, 4.3/8).
MOST-WATCHED STANLEY CUP GAMES (1966-2011):

1. 5/18/71, Montreal-Chicago – Game 7, 12.41 million, CBS
2. 5/11/72, Boston-NY Rangers – Game 6, 10.93 million, CBS
3. 5/10/73, Montreal-Chicago – Game 6, 9.41 million, NBC
4. 6/15/11, Boston-Vancouver – Game 7, 8.54 million, NBC (Last Night’s Game)
5. 4/30/72, NY Rangers-Boston – Game 1, 8.51 million, CBS
6. 5/12/74, Boston-Philadelphia – Game 3, 8.30 million, NBC
7. 6/9/10, Chicago-Philadelphia – Game 6, 8.28 million, NBC
8. 5/7/72, Boston-NY Rangers – Game 4, 8.26 million, CBS
9. 6/12/09, Pittsburgh-Detroit – Game 7, 7.99 million, NBC
10. 5/19/74, Boston-Philadelphia – Game 6, 7.85 million, NBC

STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 7 VIEWERSHIP HISTORY (1966-2011):

1. 5/18/71, Montreal-Chicago, 12.41 million, CBS
2. 6/15/11, Boston-Vancouver, 8.54 million – Last Night’s Game
3. 6/12/09, Pittsburgh-Detroit, 7.99 million, NBC
4. 6/9/03, Anaheim-New Jersey, 7.17 million, ABC
5. 6/9/01, New Jersey-Colorado, 6.95 million, ABC
6. 6/7/04, Calgary-Tampa Bay, 6.29 million, ABC
7. 6/14/94, NY Rangers-Vancouver, 5.44 million, ESPN
8. 6/19/06, Edmonton-Carolina, 5.29 million, NBC
* 5/31/87, Edmonton-Philadelphia on SportsChannel America – Data not available

BEST COMBINED NETWORK/CABLE STANLEY CUP SERIES VIEWERSHIP FEATURING A CANADIAN TEAM EVER: The Stanley Cup Final seven game series (Games 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 on NBC and Games 3, 4 on VERSUS) averaged 4.6 million viewers and a household rating of 2.7/5, surpassing the 2004 series (3.3 million, 2.2/4 on ABC/ESPN) as the most-watched combined network/cable Stanley Cup involving a Canadian team ever and up 39 percent from that series.

NBC’s five-game average audience of 5.31 million and 3.1/6 is the best for a network Stanley Cup Final featuring a Canadian team in 38 years (6.8/15 and 7.4 million for three games in 1973 on NBC).
BOSTON SETS RECORDS: The Boston market earned a 43.4 rating and a 64 share, the best overnight on record for a hockey game in Boston (dating back to 1991) and the best overnight in the Boston market featuring a Boston team in any major sports championship since Super Bowl XLII (Patriots-Giants, 55.6 on 2/3/08).

Boston’s seven-game average for the Stanley Cup Final (five games on NBC, two games on VERSUS) was a 28.1/44, 12 percent higher than ABC’s seven-game Boston average for last year’s NBA Finals (25.0/40 for Boston-LA Lakers).

TOP MARKETS FOR 2011 STANLEY CUP FINAL GAME 7:

1. Boston, 43.4/64
2. Providence, 25.9/38
3. Buffalo, 10.6/17
T4. Detroit, 8.7/14
T4. Hartford, 8.7/13
6. Pittsburgh, 7.6/12
7. Denver, 7.2/14
T8. Minneapolis, 6.7/12
T8. Las Vegas, 6.7/11
10. St. Louis, 6.2/10

TOP MARKETS FOR 2011 STANLEY CUP FINAL (NBC and VERSUS)

1. Boston, 28.1/44
2. Providence, 16.9/26
3. Buffalo, 7.1/12
4. Hartford, 4.7/8
5. Detroit, 4.2/7
6. Pittsburgh, 3.9/7
T7. Minneapolis, 3.5/7
T7. Las Vegas, 3.5/6
9. Washington, D.C., 3.4/6
10. St. Louis, 3.3/6

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