Stanley Cup Final Wins Wednesday for NBC, But is Down From Last Year

UPDATE: In updated national estimates from Nielsen released Thursday afternoon, Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC averaged a 1.9 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 4.78 million viewers overall — down 24% from last year’s record-setting opener between Boston and Chicago, a game that needed a third overtime period to decide the outcome.

The good news for ABC’s “Motive,” meanwhile, got even better with an uptick in the nationals (to 1.1/4 in 18-49, 5.39 million total viewers), putting it slightly ahead of a “CSI” repeat in 18-49. This means the show was up 22% (0.2) from last week and its demo score is its best since early last summer.

Motive” got a stronger lead-in this week from a repeat of “The Goldbergs” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.51 million viewers overall), whose 9:30 p.m. episode was up two-tenths from last week; it retained more than 85% of its repeat “Modern Family” lead-in (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.38 million viewers overall), with the veteran also gaining two tenths from last week and standing as Wednesday’s No. 1 series in 18-49.

“Goldbergs” will be airing at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in the fall, and last night in that timeslot, its repeat built slightly on a repeat of “The Middle” in 18-49 (1.2 vs. 1.1).

There were no revised numbers for any other broadcast series on Wednesday.


The Stanley Cup Final won Wednesday in key demos for NBC on Wednesday, though the Kings-Rangers matchup fell well below last year’s strong Bruins-Blackhawks opener in the overnights. Also of note on the night, ABC’s “Motive” showed gains and Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” was down slightly in its second week.

According to affiliate-based preliminary national estimates from Nielsen that are not adjusted for time-zone differences, the Los Angeles Kings’ 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Rangers averaged a 1.7 rating/6 share and 4.5 million viewers overall on NBC’s stations from 8 to 11 p.m.; these numbers, which are expected to rise a bit to include, were more than 25% below last year.

While New York and Los Angeles represent the country’s two largest markets, last year’s dream Boston-Chicago matchup (itself a top-10 market battle, featuring two of the league’s original six teams) pitted teams with larger national followings. Also likely to have impacted last night’s overall average was an early start time of about 5:20 p.m. in the West, making it hard for Angelenos to catch the game from its beginning.

Still, the Los Angeles market netted a 7.1 household rating — the third best rating ever on NBC and NBCSN, trailing only Games 5 and 6 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, which were  both potentially clinching games for the Kings. The game did a 10.1 rating in New York, which is the highest ever for an NHL game on NBC in the market.

And last night’s 3.8 overnight rating is a big 58% improvement over Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, which featured the Kings against the New Jersey Devils (2.4).

Among entertainment series on Wednesday, Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” (1.5 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) tied with a repeat of ABC’s “Modern Family” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) as the top broadcast series in 18-49. “Dance” matched its week-ago season premiere score.

ABC followed “Modern Family” with a repeat “Goldbergs” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall). Both of the 9 o’clock hour comedies were up a tick from last week, and that seemed to help 10 p.m. original drama “Motive” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall). The Canadian crime series was up a tenth in 18-49 and added about 1 million total viewers week-to-week, matching or outperforming the shows last 12 episodes, dating back to last summer.

CW’s original “The 100” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.6 million viewers overall) held steady, growing slightly on its repeat “Arrow” lead-in (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall).

CBS won the prelims in total viewers with repeats of “Undercover Boss” on a special night (1.0/4 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) and Wednesday regulars “Criminal Minds” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 1.7/6; Fox, 1.5/5; ABC, 1.2/4; Univision, 1.1/4; CBS, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.7/2; CW, 0.5/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 5.6 million; Fox, 5.0 million; ABC, 4.8 million; NBC, 4.5 million; Univision, 2.6 million; Telemundo, 1.6 million; CW, 1.5 million.

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