NBC draws 8.2 million, most in 36 years for hockey

The Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win Wednesday night over the Philadelphia Flyers on NBC was the most viewed and highest-rated NHL game in 36 years, and the culmination of a big playoff season for the Peacock and cabler Versus.

Game six of the series was watched by 8.2 million viewers and earned a 4.7 rating/8 share, 38% better than last year. Highest numbers came in from 11-11:20 p.m. ET, during the overtime period that was too late to help the net in the primetime ratings race.

The four games NBC aired averaged 6.1 million viewers, the best broadcast TV numbers in 13 years. Versus, which telecast games three and four, also saw strong viewer totals.

“This has been a special year for hockey beginning with the Winter Classic continuing through the Olympics and ending with this incredibly exciting Stanley Cup Final,” said NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer. “The players of these two proud franchises in these major markets brought an intensity to the series that contributed to this record viewership.”

Chicago averaged a 25.2/41 rating for the four NBC games. Philadelphia averaged a 19.6/30.

Versus, which is owned by Comcast, will be part of NBC once the NBC Universal-Comcast merger is complete.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more