The combination of a marquee matchup and thrilling games has vaulted the ratings for this year’s Stanley Cup Finals, which is on pace to become the most-watched on record for pro hockey’s championship series.
According to Nielsen, Wednesday’s Game 4 between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks — two of the Original Six teams of the National Hockey League — averaged 6.46 million viewers on NBC, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Finals Game 4 since records were first kept in 1987.
Wednesday’s Game 4 also led all of television for the night among adults 18-49 (2.4 rating/8 share).
The game, a wild one in which the Blackhawks prevailed 6-5 in overtime to tie the seven-game series at two wins apiece, peaked with 8.2 million viewers from 11:15 to 11:30 p.m. ET.
Through the series’ first four games (two games on NBC and two on NBC Sports Network), the Stanley Cup Finals were averaging a record 3.1 household rating and 5.36 million viewers overall — more than double last year’s averages (1.5 in households and 2.46 million viewers overall). Three of the first four games of the series have gone to overtime.
Boston was the top-rated market on Wednesday with a 28.9 household rating, while Chicago pulled a 22.0.
The series shifts back to Chicago for Game 5 on Saturday night. That game and the rest of the series will air on NBC.