To recap the Stanley Cup Final ratings story on U.S. television: Game 1 was historic, Game 2 was "mediocre" and Game 3 seems just about right for what an Original Six team blowing out a Canadian franchise would earn on cable.
According to Ken Fang on Puck The Media, Monday night's 8-1 win by the Boston Bruins over the Vancouver Canucks averaged 2.76 million viewers, which is down from the 3.6 million for the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. That game was a 4-3 OT win for the Flyers and a game played on a Wednesday night; it was also the most-watched Final game on cable since 2002 and the highest-rated and most-watched telecast ever on VERSUS.
From Puck The Media:
Viewership peaked at 3.52 million viewers in the 9:30 — 10 p.m. ET half hour in the 2nd period. Versus says in the 8 — 11 p.m. time period, Versus ranked 3rd among all cable networks in primetime.
In Boston, Versus saw a 23.37 rating, the highest local rating ever for Versus. And the rating was up 57% from the last time the Bruins were on Versus which was game 7 of this year's Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay. And Versus was the top rated network on both cable and network TV in Boston and Providence.
Remember: The viewership in Canada doesn't factor into U.S. ratings, so those New England numbers are really carrying the puck here. We'll update with the local ratings breakdowns when they're available.
So no big ratings record headlines for VERSUS. But hey, it's not like the NHL hasn't gotten its share of good television news lately. And by that we mean Gary Bettman won't have to worry about lending his star players to ESPN during the 2014 Sochi Games (assuming, of course, the NHL is involved in said games).