Stanley Cup Playoffs Continue to Draw Big Audience

Following a nine-year high in first-round ratings, the Stanley Cup Playoffs have continued to generate impressive audience numbers for NBC and Versus during the opening days of the Conference Semifinals.

Through four days of the Conference Semis, Versus’ average viewership is up 91% over the same time period last year (1.314 million vs 689,000). In addition, both games on NBC Sports this past weekend registered 1.6 overnight ratings, resulting in the best second-round weekend ever on NBC (coverage began for the 2005-06 season). It was the first time a second-round on NBC featured two games with at least a 1.6 overnight rating.

Versus’ success was highlighted by Game 2 of the Detroit Red Wings-San Jose Sharks series on May 2, which averaged 1.772 million viewers – making it the most-watched Conference Semifinal game in network history and the most-watched second-round game on cable in a decade (Colorado Avalanche-Detroit Red wings on May 1, 2000 on ESPN, 1.926 million).

This follows a combined NBC and VERSUS average of 742,000 viewers per telecast during the first round, the most ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 averaged 750,000 viewers in 2000 and a 24-percent increase over last year.

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