Stanley Cup Final Game 2 sets NBC ratings record; thanks, American Pharoah?

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Tampa Bay Lightning fan Katie Garrison waits for Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks to start outside the arena on Saturday, June 6, 2015, in Tampa Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Lightning fan Katie Garrison waits for Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks to start outside the arena on Saturday, June 6, 2015, in Tampa Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

According to NBC, Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning scored a 4.8 overnight rating in metered markets, which is NBC’s best Stanley Cup Final Game 2 rating since getting the rights in 2005-06. 

This will be adjusted down eventually – Game 1’s 4.23 overnight became a 3.3 officially, with a robust audience of 5.5 million viewers – but that’s another really strong number for NBC.

Game 2 posted a 22.62 overnight in Chicago and a 15.1 in Tampa, which is contributing more to the national number than many expected. (Including Nate Silver.) The top five markers, via NBC: Chicago (22.62), Tampa (15.1), Buffalo (8.59), Milwaukee (6.66) and Ft. Myers (6.46).

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Game 2’s rating was up five percent over last year’s Game 2, which was a two-overtime affair between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings. That one followed the Belmont Stakes as well, although didn’t have the benefit of a 7:15 p.m. ET start time to really capture that audience holdover.

It’ll be interesting to see what the American Pharoah bump actually ends up being for the NHL, given that the race earned a rather underwhelming (given the circumstances) 12.3 overnight rating. That’s actually down from last year’s Belmont (12.9), which is absolutely stunning. That said, the audience for the Belmont still could have given Game 2 a little bump if a few casual sports fans were roped in. 

Remember: The action shifts to NBCSN on Monday for Game 3. And make sure you check out that network’s Derek Sanderson documentary after the game, because it’s really terrific. Especially the parts that featured his Boston local “Tonight Show” homage. It’s amazing. And has Playboy bunnies. Ah, 1970s hockey.

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