The improbable Western Conference Final — featuring the expansion Vegas Golden Knights against the Winnipeg Jets, who are making only their second playoff appearance in six years – is captivating the interest of hockey fans, averaging a Total Audience Delivery of 1.841 million viewers through two games, which makes it the most-watched non-Chicago WCF in NBC Sports Group history (since 2006); the most-watched WCF in three years (2015, 1.847); and up 70% vs. Nashville-Anaheim last year (1.081 million).
Total Audience Delivery (TAD) for NBC Sports’ coverage of the entire 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues to be the best in six years, including a combined Conference Final TAD of 1.776 million viewers through four games, the best in three years (2015, 1.857 million) and up 3% vs. last year (1.724 million). The viewership success comes despite the fact that this is the first time since 2006 that the Conference Final round does not feature an Original Six team or the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Game 1 of the Western Conference Final averaged a TAD of 2.374 million viewers on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, making it the most-watched game of the Conference Final round so far. Game 2 averaged a TAD of 1.290 million viewers last night on NBCSN and NBC Sports’ streaming platforms. The series is tied 1-1.
Locally, Las Vegas delivered a 15.3 for Game 1 on NBC, its best rating ever for an NHL game. The city scored 13.0 local rating for Game 2 on NBCSN, making it the second-best rating in the market for a cable game behind only series-clinching Game 6 vs. San Jose in the Second Round (14.0).
The Eastern Conference Final, in which the Washington Capitals hold a 2-0 advantage over the Tampa Bay Lightning, averaged a TAD of 1.404 million viewers in Game 1 on Friday night, and nearly 2 million viewers for Game 2 on Sunday night, both on NBCSN, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app.
Game 2 produced an 8.2 rating in Washington, D.C. to rank as NBCSN’s second-best NHL postseason game in the market, only behind last year’s Second Round Game 7 vs. Pittsburgh (8.3).
Across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, Golf Channel, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app, the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (70 games) have averaged a TAD of 1.107 million viewers, the best in six years (1.139 million in 2012), and up 7% vs. last year (1.031 million).
On NBC Sports’ streaming platforms, the playoffs have totaled 2.5 million uniques and 411 million live minutes, up 75% and 23%, respectively, compared to the same point of the playoffs in 2017. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are also averaging an Average Minute Audience of 34,100 viewers, up 42% vs. last year (24,100). All of the 2018 streaming metrics are records through this point of the playoffs.
Following are the Top 10 Markets for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs across the networks of NBCUniversal (through 70 games):
Rank Metered Market Rating
1 Pittsburgh 4.29
2 Buffalo 2.71
3 Nashville 2.59
4 Las Vegas 2.52
5 Boston 1.87
6 Tampa 1.86
7 Washington DC 1.65
8 Providence 1.61
9 Ft. Myers 1.30
10 Minneapolis-St. Paul 1.22