When we last left the Stanley Cup Final on NBC the ratings had dropped a million viewers from 4.56 million to 3.56 million from Game 1 to Game 2.
On VERSUS for Games 3 and 4, and available to a lower number of televisions than NBC, the numbers held steady as the Boston Bruins clawed back into the series with two dominant wins.
Back on NBC Friday night for Game 5, a 2-2 series saw an improvement over the Game 2 numbers.
Game 5 drew a fast national of 4.35 million viewers (the number will go up in the final adjustments by a few hundred thousand) for NBC. That was down 27% from Game 5 in 2010, which drew 5.95 million viewers for the Philadelphia/Chicago series on a friendlier night for television. The game did, however, improve by 2% on Game 5 from 2009 between Pittsburgh and Detroit, which drew 4.28 million viewers.
Final numbers and ratings from local markets around the U.S. will come out at some point this weekend. It's been fascinating to see what local markets, including those in non-NHL cities, have been tuning in strong.
With the Stanley Cup potentially being handed out at TD Garden on Monday night for Game 6, will that be enough help spike the numbers to the levels we saw after Game 1?