Ratings Roundup: Stanley Cup Final Down From 2015, But Still Best Non-Original-Six Series in 15 Years

The six-game 2016 Stanley Cup Final featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks averaged nearly 4 million viewers (3.948 million), making it the most-watched non-Original Six series in 15 years, according to Nielsen Fast Nationals. Game 6, in which the Pittsburgh Penguins won their first Stanley Cup since 2009 with a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., averaged 5.407 million viewers, making it NBC’s most-watched non-Original Six Stanley Cup Final game ever. However, the 2.3 rating and 3.9 million viewers on NBC were down 28% in ratings and 29% in viewership from last year’s six-game Blackhawks/Lightning series (3.2, 5.6M) and down 23% and 21%, respectively, from the five-game Kings/Rangers series in 2014 (3.0, 5.0M), according to SportsMediaWatch.

Stanley Cup Final LogoThe series ranks as the lowest rated and least-watched Stanley Cup Final since Kings/Devils in 2012 (1.8, 3.0M), and the second-worst in both measures since Ducks/Senators in 2007 (1.2, 1.8M). Nonetheless, when the non-Original-Six numbers are put in perspetive, the 2016 Stanley Cup Final on NBC/NBCSN averaged nearly 4 million viewers (3.948 million) to stand as the best Stanley Cup Final without an Original Six team since 2001 (NJ/COL, 4.309 million, ABC/ESPN). Viewership was up 31% vs. the 2012 Stanley Cup Final (3.012 million), the last Cup Final to feature two non-Original Six teams (NJ/LA). The Final averaged a 2.3 HH rating across the six games on NBC/NBCSN.

The 2016 Stanley Cup Final averaged a 31.7 rating in Pittsburgh on NBC/NBCSN, up 5% from the 2008 Penguins-Red Wings Stanley Cup Final six-game average on NBC/Versus (30.1), and up 10% vs. the 2009 Cup Final six-game average featuring the same two teams (28.7; series ultimately went to seven games). On NBC, the four games averaged a 34.3 rating in Pittsburgh, up from the average Pittsburgh rating on NBC in 2008 (34.0; 4 games) and 2009 (32.2; 5 games).

In the San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose market, the Final posted a 7.0 rating on NBC/NBCSN, up 79% from the average rating in the market during the 2016 Western Conference Final (3.9). The rating increased each game in the market, culminating with a 9.2 rating for Game 6, the highest-rated Sharks game ever on the networks of NBCUniversal in the SF/OAK/SJ market.

Game 6 (8:07-11:02 p.m. ET) averaged 5.407 million viewers and produced a 3.1 rating to rank as NBC’s most-watched Stanley Cup Final game without an Original Six team. The game peaked with nearly 6.9 million viewers (6.851 million) from 10:30-10:45 p.m. ET, as the Penguins held onto their lead in the waning moments of the third period. Viewership of Game 6 was up 10% vs. the 2012 NJ/LA Game 6 (4.929 million), the last Final to not feature an Original Six team.

Game 6 registered a 9.2 rating in the San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland market, the best-ever for a Sharks game on the networks of NBCUniversal. Pittsburgh was the nation’s top market for Game 6, registering a 35.1 for the series-clinching contest.

Across all 89 games on NBC/NBCSN/CNBC/USA Network, the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged 1.227 million viewers. It is the eighth consecutive year that the Playoffs have averaged more than 1.2 million viewers. However, that is down 14% from last year (1.43M), down 15% from 2014 (1.45M), and the smallest audience for the postseason since at least 2010, according to SMW.

The 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app were the most-streamed in history. The 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs delivered 417.0 million minutes, up 65% vs. the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs (252.4 million). The Final produced 72.3 million minutes, up 32% vs. 2015 (54.7 million). The Playoffs and Final produced 1.8 million and 593,000 uniques, respectively.  Game 6 delivered 12 million minutes, second-most ever for an NBC game, behind last year’s Cup-clinching Game 6 (12.7 million, Chi-T.B.)…

…The 2016 NBA Finals is the second-most watched ever on ABC through five games, averaging 18,029,000 viewers (p2+). Last night’s Game 5 averaged 20,528,000 viewers and peaked with nearly 24 million viewers (23,967,000) from 11:15-11:30 p.m. ET.

The Cleveland Cavaliers win over the Golden State Warriors matched last year’s Game 5 with a 14.2 overnight rating. This is the highest-rated Game 5 since 2004 (Detroit Pistons-L.A. Lakers clincher, 15.5).

Monday’s NBA Finals Game 5 was the most-watched NBA game ever on WatchESPN across metrics. It generated a record 1,187,000 million unique viewers, an average minute audience of 380,000 viewers and approximately 67 million total minutes streamed…

…The United States’ 1-0 win over Paraguay that clinched a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Copa America Centenario averaged 2.061 million viewers on FS1 Saturday. That ranks as the most-watched men’s soccer match in the network’s history, the second consecutive Copa America match for the Americans that has set that record. With viewership for U.S. games growing over each of the team’s three matches, Copa America has now produced three of the top four men’s soccer ratings in FS1 history.

The U.S. opened the tournament on June 3 with a 2-0 loss to world No. 3 ranked Colombia (1.536 million viewers), before rebounding to beat Costa Rica 4-0 on June 7 (1.6 million viewers, an FS1 record at the time). Coming into the tournament, the previous FS1 record for men’s soccer was the 2015 CONCACAF CUP (1.561 million viewers), the one-match winner-take-all playoff between arch rivals Mexico and the United States for a coveted spot in the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup.

The U.S.-Paraguay viewership marked a 99% bump over the average for the U.S. group stage matches in last summer’s prestigious CONCACAF Gold Cup (1.036 million average), also held in America. The U.S.-Paraguay viewership also marked a full 363% rise over the average to date of U.S. Men’s National Team friendlies on FS1 (445,000 viewers)…

…As of June 10, Tte Copa America Centenario on Univision Deportes is outperforming the 2014 World Cup group stage by +7% among Total Viewers 2+ and +12% among Adults 18-49. Through 14 matches, the tournament is averaged 2.8 million Total Viewers 2+ and 1.5 million Adults 18-49 per match. To date, the tournament has reached 30.7 million Total Viewers 2+.

The Mexico versus Jamaica matched aired on June 9 at 9:30pm EST and averaged 5.4 million Total Viewers 2+ and 3.1 million Adults 18-49, outperforming all soccer matches across all networks regardless of language since the 2015 Gold Cup Final. The telecast out-delivered all four NHL Stanley Cup Finals matches to-date on NBC and NBC Sports Network among all key demos. Additionally, the telecast outperformed all MLB matches across all networks for the 2016 season-to-date. The Uruguay versus Venezuela match aired the same night at 7:00pm EST and averaged 2.1 million Total Viewers 2+ and 1.2 million Adults 18-49.

The Mexico versus Jamaica match made Univision the No. 1 broadcast station during the time period (10:00 pm-12:00 am ET, live across time zones) among Total Viewers 2+ and Adults 18-49 in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix, as well as Adults 18-34 in Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix. The Mexico versus Jamaica match was the No. 1 program of the day among Total Viewers 2+ in Los Angeles and Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 in Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix.

The Mexico versus Jamaica match on Univision had higher viewership than the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations combined in the 10:00 pm-12:00 am ET, time period (live across time zones) among Total Viewers 2+ in Los Angeles; Adults 18-49 in Los Angeles and Phoenix; and Adults 18-34 in Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix.

The Uruguay versus Venezuela match made UniMás the No. 1 broadcast station during the time period (7:30 pm-9:30 pm ET, live across time zones) among Adults 18-49 in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Houston, as well as Adults 18-34 in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston and Dallas. The Uruguay versus Venezuela match was the No. 1 broadcast program of the day among Adults 18-34 in Miami.  The Uruguay versus Venezuela match on UniMás had higher viewership than the ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations combined in the 7:30 pm-9:30 pm ET, time period (live across time zones) among Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34 in Miami

Through 7 days and 14 matches of the 2016 Copa América Centenario tournament, Univision Deportes has delivered over 740,000 live streams for approximately 16 million minutes watched; 90% of all live streams have come from the Univision Deportes App…

…The race segment of The Belmont Stakes earned a 4.3 overnight rating on NBC Saturday, down 7% from 2013 (4.6) and down 20% from 2012 (5.4), the last two years the Triple Crown was not at stake. Last year’s Belmont, in which American Pharoah clinched the first Triple Crown since 1978, had a 12.3 overnight. The 2014 race, which saw California Chrome fail in his bid for the crown, had a 12.9. (SMW)…

…NBC earned a 0.7 overnight rating yesterday for the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, which saw Brooke Henderson defeat Lydia Ko in a playoff for her first major title. Yesterday’s rating is up slightly from a 0.6 last year, which saw Inbee Park win by five shots. Saturday’s third round drew a 0.5 overnight, down slightly from a 0.6 last year. (SBD)…

…Part one of ESPN’s 30 For 30 documentary O.J.: Made in America earned a 2.8 overnight rating on ABC Saturday night, the highest ever for a 30 For 30 documentary premiere. The previous high was a 2.3 for You Don’t Know Bo in 2012, which aired on ESPN following the Heisman Trophy Presentation. (SMW)