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A lot of people are watching the 2014 NHL playoffs on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, and on the internet

Apr 22, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v St. Louis Blues - Game Two Getty Images

Is that headline too long?

Whatever. Here are some highlights from an NBC Sports Group press release:

— NBCSN is averaging 621,000 viewers (10 games), up 61% vs. 2013 (386,000 for 10 games).

— On NBC, Saturday’s Game 2 of the Blackhawks-Blues series averaged 1.855 million viewers, up 52% from the comparable game in 2013 (NYR-Was, 1.217 viewers, 5/4/13).

— Through the first five days, NBC Sports Live Extra’s live streaming coverage of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs has delivered 18.8 million minutes, 206,000 unique viewers, 508,000 visits and 1.22 million live starts. Those figures are up 532% (2.98 million minutes), 482% (36,000 uniques), 469% (89,000 visits), and 739% (145,000 live starts), respectively, vs. the first five days of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Meanwhile, in other NBC Sports Group news, Johnny Weir is going to be part of this year’s Kentucky Derby coverage.

He will probably wear a big, fun hat.

  1. chuchie414 - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Good for NBCSN. Now get Randy Hahn & Drew Remenda to do more national broadcasts please. By far the best “homer” broadcasters in the league. I wish they were the team in pitt.

  2. sjsharks66 - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Drew and Randy are the best!

    • imleftcoast - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      Sharks coverage is the worst. MSG had more balanced views. Good Lord.

  3. patthehockeyfan - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Probably a dumb question, Jason; but, why are you telling us this? The PHT readers are the ones who are doing the watching, and this is, I believe, the 3rd article about viewership.

    Look, it’s great that the NHL garners interest, and that NBC is experiencing an increase in viewers.

    Maybe there’s a better place from which to shout that hockey is interesting and exciting? I don’t from where. Maybe on PBT, PST or HBT? Get some of that cross-action going.

  4. cweez2 - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Maybe people are starting to realize playoff hockey is pretty damn good entertainment.

    • m1k3g - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      Damn right. And good for NBC for betting on the NHL. ESPN is a joke now. It’s become the MTV of sports networks. But instead of reality shows, they just have shows where they talk about sports as opposed to actually televising sports.

      • imleftcoast - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        ESPN is as much about sports as Fox News is about news. Exhibit A – Stephen A Smith.

        It’s great to have every playoff game broadcast. The hockey has been fantastic. I like to read that the ratings are good. Anything is better than Canucks stories.

      • sixchr - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        I’ve reached the point where I’ve just accepted that hockey is a niche sport and whoever isn’t watching is just missing out. I love being able to sit down for 5 hours a night and just watch hockey. Don’t even care if it’s neutral site.

  5. sanfranbruinsfan - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    NBC has done an amazing job with the online streaming. I’m so appreciative of that.

    I would love it if I could watch replays of games later on. Since I live abroad I can’t watch the Bruins in real time because I have to work.

    Either way, thanks NBC.

    • chanceoffleury - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      agreed.

      If they had a way to buy the streams it’d be awesome, too. My family and I don’t watch much television outside of sports and a few shows on broadcast, so anything more than basic cable is a huge waste of money. Our basic cable package doesn’t have NBCSN, so I end up having to go out and get an illegal stream. I would gladly pay a good chunk of change if I could have access to all the playoff games on NBCSN (or any of the networks as I’m sure the blacked out stations vary from place to place). It’d be even better if I could get it during the regular season, too, but the playoffs would be a good, and I’d assume profitable, start. And maybe it’s just some sort of agreement they have to abide by with the cable companies, but if there was any way to get access to online streams of all the games (or even just a specific team) in HD for a decent price I wouldn’t be able to put my card info in fast enough.

      • killerpgh - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        Have you tried NHL game center? Not sure of the cost.

        For some reason every time I try to post a link with the how to avoid local black out the post doesn’t show up here. But put “HOW TO BEAT THE NHL GAMECENTER LOCAL BLACKOUT FOR $5 A MONTH” into bing/google and it should pop up.

      • chanceoffleury - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:41 PM

        Thanks! Do you know if it still works with the nationally broadcasted games? Do people outside the US still get those games on gamecenter so they just bounce it off an international vpn and that’s how they get around it? CBC broadcasts all the games in HD for free so that’s what I did last year and plan to do again this year. I just had to bounce my computer off a Canadian vpn and I can get the live streams. I’d like something for the regular season too, though, so I’m definitely gonna look into it for next season.

  6. justinhbhb - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    If the NHL plays it’s cards right, the NHL may be more popular then the NBA, even if for a short period of time. The NHL needs to have more games on NBC itself, including more primetime games and also carefully expand to good markets like Seattle/Portland or even get teams that are poor and unneccesary (Panthers lose millions every year, don’t have fans and are odd one out of 2 teams in Flordia).

    Thoughts?

    • justinhbhb - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      Florida*

    • sixchr - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      The NHL will never pass the NBA because for some reason I will never understand people are in love with the NBA. However, I do think they can really beef up the interest by shifting some teams around. Seattle would be an awesome spot for a hockey team and I’d like to see a team back in Quebec City. They have to dig some of those teams out of bad markets like Florida and Phoenix. Tampa Bay I think we can live with because they’re pretty good and the environment in the arena is fine.

      • imleftcoast - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        People do love the NBA. They can relate to a seven foot giant finger rolling the ball into the net, but the idea of guys on ice is mindboggling. Getting the game on NBC is probably more important than ESPN. Bringing it to primetime works in major US markets – can’t let it be a fringe sport on the Ocho.

    • barkar942 - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      NASCAR did a survey a few years ago and asked their fans what was their next favorite sport. The surprising number one answer was the NHL. If you think about baseball, football and basketball, they are all stop-and-start sports. Racing and hockey both go for long stretches without interruption and at great speed. If you are a fan of hockey or auto racing, you have to stay focused on the action for much longer periods of time or you will quickly lose touch with what is going on in a game or race. Most people have a hard time staying that focused on an event. Therefore it seems to me that aren’t “wired in their brain” to stay focused intensely on a game would not be fans of either of these sports. Personally, basebore, footbore and basketbore do just that- bore me, almost as badly as going fishing. Guess it is the way I am wired.

      • imleftcoast - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:27 PM

        US football is #2 for me. Something about it seems similar to hockey – maybe the plays or maybe just the hits and intimidation.

  7. ctcork - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    I’d love to be able to watch on the internet. Too bad the NBC sports app crashes every time. It’s okay though, it works long enough to view the 30 second ad.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      you have NBC Live Extra? worked for me on my Android phone and on an iPad.

      • ctcork - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        Yeah on iPad. Worked fine during the olympics but it hasn’t worked for the playoffs yet

  8. getadealdonealready - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    It’s great to have access to all the playoff games! THANK YOU NBC!!!!!!!!

  9. ironyisadeadscene - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    More games on NBC….they don’t have nbcsports in my gym

  10. gbart22 - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    @justinhbhb

    Did the penguins have no fans a few years ago before Crosby? Did they deserve to lose their team because no one was attending and they were bankrupt and losing millions? Does buffalo have no fans because they lost millions? What about all those Canadian markets in the 90’s were the fans just not there when they were losing millions year in and year out and had to be saved by the American teams? Or what about Ottawa nowadays which operates on an internal budget because according to ownership they lose money does that city just not care? Are some Canadian markets not worthy of teams?

    Give me a break. What if Crosby had gone to Atlanta instead of Pittsburgh? We’d be talking what a success hockey in the city of Atlanta turned out to be the second time around. This is the problem with so called fans who like to bash markets and other teams fans so much of success in terms of attendance and popularity is predicated upon winning for 90% of the franchises in the league and the minute one of those teams starts to enter a down period or never has a sustained up period they will struggle on both accounts. That’s the nature of sports also people fail to realize it can take several generations of fans in a market for a team to build a solid following. Kid fans of teams have to grow up then spend money on it and bring their kids and those kids will bring their kids and that is how it grows.

    Just to hammer in my point some more in another sport the mets can’t draw a lick of attendance and they are losing money does that mean the mets should up and relocate to a better baseball market instead of ny or is it just the fact that they suck and have sucked for a long time and when they get good people will come back cause that’s how people operate? I get so sick and tired of this talk. Outside of a few teams and I do mean very few teams in all sports will fans continuously show up to watch losing hockey probably has more fans that do that than any other sport. Toronto, Montreal and the New York rangers are three teams that come to mind as far as fans showing up when they suck for long periods of time. I can’t say Detroit because they’ve not been bad in 23 years so will they continue to be a success when they inevitably hit that rough spell for a few seasons eventually? We’ll see. How long will the honeymoon last if the Winnipeg jets continue to miss the playoffs for the next 5 years much like Atlanta did for virtually every season it existed except for 1?

    Get real people.

  11. rondonvolante - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    It’s been great having access to every game. The only thing that sucks being a flyers fan is that we got the short end of the stick with announcers. Kenny Albert has been horrible. I had to look up if he has ever done hockey because I had myself convince this guy never watched the sport before. Found out he’s the voice of the Rangers radio broadcast which explains why he’s been leaning towards them.

    • barkar942 - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      Hey- I’m a Rangers fan and I can’t stand Kenny Albert doing the calls. That was the first thing out of my mouth on Sunday was “Not Kenny Albert”. I remember when his cross-dressing brother, Marv, did the Rangers games when I was young.
      He also was the voice of all the non important Olympic games, like Switzerland vs. Latvia, or Russia vs. anyone ( a little humor there).

  12. afrancis55 - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Dave Strader has done a fantastic job calling the Blues/Hawks 3 games. I think prefer Strader better than Mike Emerick and his squeaky high pitched voice.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 22, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      Yes, Doc’s voice does bug some people. But, his knowledge is unmatched, and he’s pretty funny at times. I guess I value that more than his voice, which doesn’t bother me.

      Don’t complain until you’ve listened to Craig Laughlin calling Caps’ games as the color guy. He has a wealth of knowledge, too; but, his voice and his homerisms have me muting the sound while watching the Caps.

      • capsrockva - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        I think Craig and Joe are one of the beast teams

    • imleftcoast - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      “Are you a real doctor or a PhD?” – Homer Simpson.

      • barkar942 - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        hey capsrockva- nothing personal but I was one of the ones screaming loudly for Versus to ditch Bananadanadi or whatever Joe’s name is. I have watched one of the ultimate for years do NYR games on MSG- Sam Rosen. He and JD were probably the all-time best pairing to cover any game, Rangers or some of the early games on Versus that they did together. The thing that impresses me the most about Rosen is even during Ranger broadcasts, he is rooting for the Rangers, but calls the game with the utmost respect and admiration for the opposing team. That is what sets him apart from all others.
        I also prefer Strader over Emerick. Next time you watch a game that Emerick is calling, get out your scorecard and see how many times he says the word ricochet. In all other aspects of my life, the only other time I heard that word was Ricochet Rabbit.

  13. drewsylvania - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    Frankly I’m glad that hockey isn’t that mainstream. We’d have double the d**kheads here.

  14. flyboystransport - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    Go ed snider!!!!!

  15. djshnooks - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Good, this sport deserves more fans.

  16. djshnooks - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    I’d like to see the NHL playoff numbers compared to the NBA playoffs.

    I’ve turned quote a few hoops fans over to hockey, including my cousin and some friends who never ever watched a game…and now they absolutely love it!

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      Good for you, you’ve done your part!

  17. killerpgh - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    NBC has came a long way with their coverage. I still can’t believe in 2007 I was watching a playoff game between the Sabres and the Senators and as the game was going to OT NBC stopped their coverage to start showing the pre race coverage to a horse race that was 2 hours from starting.

    • barkar942 - Apr 22, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      Sometimes they have to- it is in their broadcasting rights contract. One Triple Crown race probably make NBC more that ten hockey games combined.

  18. muckleflugga - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    chanceoffleury

    blackouts, even across feeds, are down to market area, itself controlled by advertisers i would guess

    we get local sports feeds of international events in canada, but local commercials slots are invariably filled by our local advertising interests –we get trash while others get to see Superbowl ads for instance

    have you used vpn to access proxy servers … i’m still waiting delivery on my mac pro, but that’s my first project to get us netflix and nbc internet streaming among others

    horse racing is my primary interest … we can get hp1 coverage on bell satellite but there’s no supplementary commentary to enrich the feed

    the derby and breeders’ cup coverage is superb on nbc, but i want the whole season, and i want european and asian coverage and commentary as well

    we have an internet, but it’s so throttled by commercial interests it’s virtually useless without cheating, or functioning on the extra levels of internet no one likes to talk about

  19. daneizer - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    For my money there is nothing beats playoff Hockey . Bruins vs Wings , Hawks vs Blues , Rangers vs Flyers . It just doesn’t get better then that . Except maybe Bruins vs Habs .

  20. jcs2319 - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    Horrible feed. Can some one explain to me why I started red wings bruins on the nbc live streaming on my Mac and watched it for 2.5 periods and then, when the feed stalled and I tried to refresh browser, then message “blackout restriction” came up? I missed the last part of the game! !! I also tried to watch Avs wild of yesterday and the nbc feed said coverage had concluded!?!? Worst feed ever. Boooooooo. NBC

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