Though hockey has never translated well to television, the Stanley Cup Finals have gotten off to a strong start for NBC.
Monday’s contest between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks earned a 4.1 overnight rating making it the most-watched game two of the Finals on record.
The game gave NBC the win in the primetime ratings race, a rare feat for the net. ABC offered a pair of reality skeins, while CBS and Fox broadcast nothing but repeats.
In the Windy City, the game drew a healthy 25.1 rating and 39 share. In Philadelphia, it was an 18.5/29.
Matchup marks the first time the Flyers have been in the final round of the Cup since 1997. The Blackhawks haven’t won hockey’s holy grail since 1961, and the city is thirsty to drink from the Cup once again.
Overnight ratings for Saturday’s Game 1 was a 2.8/6 share, best since the 1999 Finals when Buffalo faced off against Dallas on Fox. Two-game average is up 17% over last season.
Sports cabler Versus will carry games three and four from Philadelphia on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. If more games are necessary, the action shifts back to the Peacock.