Blackhawks vs. Bruins Stanley Cup Final most watched ‘on record’ in U.S.

The Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-2 victory in Game 6 to win the 2013 Stanley Cup over the Boston Bruins was watched by 8.16 million viewers on NBC, peaking at 10.424 million from 10:45-11 p.m. EST.

Before we get to where that game ranks all-time, the really cool news first: NBC reports that the 2013 Stanley Cup Final and the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs overall were the most-watched “on record,” meaning all the way back to 1994.

The Stanley Cup Final averaged a 3.3 household rating and 5.764 million viewers on NBC ad NBC Sports Network.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs – on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC – averaged 1.467 million viewers for 84 games, making it the most-watched Stanley Cup Playoffs “on record.”

As for Game 6, here’s Steve Lepore of SB Nation on what was the ninth most-watched NHL game in the U.S. ever:

Since 1995, when the league brought the Stanley Cup Final back to broadcast television, it is the third-most watched game of an era when rights have been shared by NBC, ABC and Fox. It is the third-most watched game since the sport came back to NBC in 2006.

The only games in the last 39 years with more viewers than Monday's Game 6 were Game 7 of Bruins vs. Canucks in 2011 (8.54 million viewers) and the overtime Game 6 between the Blackhawks and Flyers in 2010 (8.28 million). These numbers came despite many in Chicago being without power on Monday, and the game being moved to a separate affiliate in big market Detroit.

So there are your caveats.

Boston (33.0 rating) out-rated Chicago (30.2 rating), followed by Providence (22.5), Buffalo (12.5 … hey, Patrick Kane has a big family), Pittsburgh (7.8) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (7.2).

As Sports Media Watch pointed out, this was wasn’t a crazy record-setting number, but the series was setting up to deliver an all-time blockbuster had this gone seven games. Wonder if NBC wants those 17 seconds back …

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