As you've no doubt heard, the 2012 Stanley Cup Final will not go down as a ratings blockbuster for NBC and NBC Sports Network, despite the presence of the New York and Los Angeles markets. There are reasons why this happened; there's also the thought that kvetching about the ratings is akin to relieving one's self in a hurricane.
Every game of the 2012 Final trailed the ratings from last year's battle between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks. That is until the Los Angeles Kings' 6-1 blowout win in Game 6 against the New Jersey Devils on Monday night, in which they not only captured their first Stanley Cup but a solid rating for NBC as well.
Game 6 drew a 4.0/7 overnight rating, up 3% from Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. It was the first game of the series to see bigger numbers than last year's. It was a growth of 35% from Game 5's overnight, which was previously the highest of the series.
The Kings' Stanley Cup clinching drew a 13.6/25 in Los Angeles, meaning one in every four people with a television on in the market was watching the Kings emerge victorious. It was the highest-rated hockey game on record in Los Angeles, surpassing Game 7 of Devils-Ducks in 2003 (10.0/18).
Lepore writes that the game did a 5.0/8 in New York, which was down from a 5.1 for Game 1 but still impressive given that Game 6 was practically over after the opening 20 minutes.
The Kings' victory peaked nationally with a 5.0/8 during the 10:30 p.m. ET hour, aka Cup time. According to TV Media Insights, that last half hour of the Cup Final (4.22 million viewers) still ranked behind reruns of ABC's "Castle" (4.85 million) and CBS's "Hawaii Five-0" (5.77 million) in total viewership, but its 1.7 rating in the adults 18-49 demo was No. 1 for the time slot. (Ed. Note: Keep in mind these numbers from Media Insights are "fast nationals" that measure the Eastern and Central time zones, meaning that when the West Coast is factored in they should rise for the NHL.)