Through Sunday, May 6, viewership for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Second Round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs is the best on record and up 19% vs. last year, averaging a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 1.547 million viewers across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. In addition, the TAD for the entire 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues to be the best in six years, and is up 10% vs. 2017.
This year’s Second Round TAD of 1.547 million viewers exceeds the viewership for all previous complete Second Rounds, but does not yet include Monday night’s two Game 6s (expected later today) or Thursday night’s upcoming Game 7, which will boost viewership even higher.
The 2018 Second Round has been highlighted by Game 5 of the Pittsburgh-Washington series on Saturday night, which immediately followed coverage of the Kentucky Derby. The game averaged a TAD of 4.314 million viewers, making it the second-most watched early round Stanley Cup Playoff game on record.
Last night’s two Game 6s on NBCSN generated overnight rating increases vs. 2017 and local ratings milestones. The series-clinching Washington-Pittsburgh Game 6 delivered a 1.73 overnight rating, NBCSN’s second-best overnight for a Second Round game — excluding Game 7s — and up 14% vs. the comparable game last year. Nashville-Winnipeg produced a 1.04 overnight, up 55% vs. last year’s Second Round average for late games.
Nashville delivered a 12.2 local rating, the best early round cable game ever in the market. Pittsburgh produced a 24.5 rating, the market’s second-best rating for a Second Round game on NBCSN, while Washington, DC delivered a 7.7. NBCSN was the No. 1 network in all three markets during their respective games.
Through the fourth Sunday of the playoffs (May 6), Total Audience Delivery for 63 games across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, Golf Channel, USA Network, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app has averaged 1.036 million viewers, the best since 2012 (1.126 million viewers), up 10% from last year (941,000), and up 15% vs. 2016 (900,000).
Through the first 63 games of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, live streaming coverage has set records for uniques (2.2 million; up 77%), total live minutes (342 million; up 31%), and Average Minute Audience (31,500 viewers; up 48%).
Following are the Top 10 local markets through the fourth Sunday of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
Rank Market Rating
1 Pittsburgh 4.41
2 Buffalo 2.54
3 Nashville 2.47
4 Las Vegas 2.17
5 Boston 1.90
6 Tampa 1.69
7 Providence 1.61
8 Washington, DC 1.46
9 Ft. Myers 1.24
10 Minneapolis-St. Paul 1.13
GAME 7 – (2) WINNIPEG JETS AT (1) NASHVILLE PREDATORS – THURSDAY AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson each scored twice and Pekka Rinne made 34 saves as the Predators defeated the Jets, 4-0, on Monday to stave off elimination and force Game 7 in Nashville.
With the victory, Nashville snapped Winnipeg’s 13-game home winning streak and improved to 4-2 on the road this postseason. Thursday’s contest marks the first Game 7 in the Jets’ brief seven-year history, the third all-time Game 7 for the Predators, who appeared in a pair of Game 7s in 2016, and the first-ever Game 7 in Nashville in franchise history. Nashville defeated the Ducks, 4-3, in Game 7 of their 2016 First Round series in Anaheim, before losing Game 7 of their Second Round series against the Sharks in San Jose by a score of 5-0.
The Predators (53-18-11, 117 pts) and Jets (52-20-10, 114 pts) finished the regular season with the top two records in the league.