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Ratings strong for opening night of 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs

Apr 17, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT

Perhaps 23 goals in three games didn't hurt, either.

The first night of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs featured plenty of action – and a surprising amount of scoring – and it appears that audiences took notice. Generally speaking, ratings were up based on a wide variety of criteria, including a new high mark or two.

For one thing, the first night of action on NBCSN and CNBC was up 53 percent from last year. CNBC saw its best opening night of action, besting its previous high by a whopping 153 percent.

Here’s the full slate of ratings information from NBC:

  • Opening night of the 2014 NHL Playoffs averaged 472,000 viewers across the three games on NBCSN/CNBC (+53% from opening night in 2013), 305,000 P18-49 (+53%).
  • NBCSN’s two games averaged 486,000 viewers (+22% from the comparable coverage in 2013; 397,000), 289,000 P18-49 (+14%) and 260,000 P25-54 (+21%).
  • In its third year of NHL coverage, CNBC posted its best audience for a playoff opening night with 450,000 average viewers (+34% from the previous high in 2012), 329,000 P18-49 (+103%).
  • The combined NHL audience across NBCSN and CNBC from 7:30P-10:30P ranked #1 in cable for the time period among Men 18-49 (524,000).
  • Last night’s Columbus-Pittsburgh first-round game on NBCSN averaged 584,000 viewers, up 39% from NBCSN’s early game on opening night of the playoffs last year (Minnesota-Chicago)
  •  Last night’s Dallas-Anaheim first-round game on NBCSN averaged 390,000 viewers, up 12% from NBCSN’s late game on opening night of the playoffs last year (Detroit-Anaheim)
  •  Last night’s Montreal-Tampa Bay first-round game on CNBC averaged 450,000 viewers, making it the most-watched game for a Stanley Cup Playoffs opening night on CNBC, up 153% from CNBC’s early game on opening night of the playoffs last year (Los Angeles-St. Louis)
  1. ibieiniid - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    ratings climbing for the greatest game on Earth. no surprise.

  2. sjsharks66 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    To bad I will be blacked out on NBCSN tonight. Good thing they are streaming online… Why are the games on local broadcasts this year? They weren’t last year, or the year before… Were they?

    • 7mantel - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      Here in NY getting all the games ! League dictates what games get aired

    • 7mantel - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:41 PM

      did you check all affiliates of nbc

    • ibieiniid - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      not enough NBC broadcasters to cover every first round game. I think last year was the same, at least early in the tourney. and make sure you check CNBC too. some games on that. haven’t seen any on MSNBC yet, but I imagine they’d have that one if there’s 3 games at once.

    • cofran2004 - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Last year, the first round still allowed local broadcasts. I know MSG showed every game of the first round for the NYR. When they finished washington off, Sam and Joe said their good byes, and wished the rangers luck against the bruins. Everything from that point on was on the NBC family of channels.

  3. ufostomper - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    As long as I can remember they always were the first 2 rounds

  4. getadealdonealready - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    As a hockey fan, I just want to thank NBC for having every game televised! What a great time for the sport!

  5. blomfeld - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    BETTMAN ROCKS !!! :) :) :)

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