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Tuesday, July 23 Business

NBC Sports posts record NHL ratings

STAMFORD — The St. Louis Blues lifted their first Stanley Cup trophy on Wednesday — and clinched a record for the NBC Sports Group’s NHL coverage.

St. Louis’ 4-1 defeat of the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final averaged a total audience of nearly 9 million viewers across TV and digital platforms to rank as the most-watched NHL game on record, according to data released this week by media-tracking firms Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

The entire Stanley Cup Final series averaged a total audience of about 5.5 million, finishing as the most-watched Stanley Cup Final in four years and the third-most watched final on record.

Overall, this year’s Stanley Cup playoff games averaged a total of about 1.53 million viewers, the league’s most-watched post-season in the past 23 years.

The playoff numbers built on a growing audience during the regular season.

Game viewership across the NBC broadcast channel, the NBCSN cable channel, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app averaged a total of about 424,000, up 2 percent from the 2017-18 regular season.

“Our goal was to celebrate the league’s expanding fan base and to showcase its exciting young stars,” Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production, for NBC Sports and NBCSN, said earlier this year. “Frankly, we weren’t sure what the response would be, but we were committed to the league’s long-term benefit. So, to have a viewership increase in year one is a huge win.”

NBC Sports carried a record 112 regular-season games, with the total including the most doubleheaders and the most games featuring Canadian and Western Conference teams that it has shown in one season.

The NBC broadcast coverage averaged 1.3 million viewers across 12 games, up 2 percent from last season.

Across 100 games, NBCSN-carried games averaged 313,000 viewers, up 4 percent from 2017-18.

NBC Sports’ online coverage of the regular season set records for the total number of live-streamed minutes, nearly 249 million, and the average per-minute audience on digital platforms at 10,700.

Game 7 of the Blues-Bruins series ranked as the most-streamed NHL game ever, delivering an average per-minute audience of 191,500.

NBC Sports is headquartered at 1 Blachley Road on Stamford’s East Side.

pschott@stamfordadvocate.com; 203-964-2236; twitter: @paulschott

Paul Schott|Staff reporter

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