After a sizeable NBC rating for Game 1 and a drop off during Game 2's overtime victory for the Vancouver Canucks, the ratings when the Stanley Cup Final shifted to VERSUS in the U.S. for Games 3 and 4 remained down as the series now moves to NBC for the final three games.
According to Steve Lepore of Puck the Media, Game 4 averaged 2.71 million viewers for VERSUS, slightly down from 2.76 in Game 3. The Boston Bruins 4-0 victory drew a 1.1 rating among viewers 18-49 and was second among cable shows behind the season finale of "South Park."
The average viewer numbers are down from 2010 through four games, but with a Canadian team involved, they aren't as bad when you look at the context.
Through four games, the 2011 Stanley Cup Final on NBC and VERSUS have averaged 3.4 million viewers. This is down 20% from the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, which had drawn 4.23 million viewers on average through four games. It is also down 17% from the 2009 Stanley Cup Final, which drew an average of 4.05 million viewers through Game 4. However, they're still solid numbers for a Stanley Cup Final featuring a Canadian team, as VERSUS has produced the two largest audiences for Cup games featuring teams from Canada since 1994.
Meanwhile, up north, Canadian viewers tuned in strong for Game 4 despite posting the lowest rating of the series for CBC.
From the CBC:
An average audience of 5.3 million Canadians witnessed Vancouver's 4-0 loss to the Bruins in last night's Game 4. That's just shy of the 5.6 million who tuned in to the first two games in Vancouver, and the 5.4 million who watched the 8-1 Boston win in Game 3.
Once the Bruins began controlling Game 4 in the second period, we imagine some Canadians began flipping away or decided to head to bed. Between Vancouver hosting Game 5 Friday night and the potential of going up 3-2 or falling behind 3-2 in the series, the CBC ratings could reach Game 1 level or continue going down bit by bit. That'll all depend on which Canucks team shows up in Game 5.