With Game 4 of the championship round in the Nielsen books, the 2014 National Hockey League Stanley Cup Playoffs rank as the most-watched on cable in 17 years.
NBCSN’s June 11 coverage of the New York Rangers staving off elimination with a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings—led by netminder's Henrik Lundqvist's 40 saves and a pair of pucks that rested just short of the goal line—netted 3.38 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. There was no cable comparison to last year as Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final aired on NBC. Viewing for Wednesday night's game from Madison Square Garden peaked at over 4.6 million viewers in the 10:45 p.m.(ET) quarter hour.
For the 77 playoff games telecast on NBCSN and CNBC, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a 0.66 rating and 1.098 viewers, the most-watched NHL playoffs on cable since 1997, when ESPN/ESPN2 pulled in 1.21 million viewers on average. This year’s average audience was up 10% from 2013's 1.0 million viewers and 0.60 rating.