Cup Final ends with least-watched Game 5 in 29 years

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The Stanley Cup Final ended with the fifth smallest crowd in nearly three decades.

Tuesday’s Panthers-Golden Knights NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 5 averaged 1.4 viewers with 2.72 million viewers on TNT (2.47 million) and TruTV (253K), the most in 29 years since the Canucks Lowest viewership for Game 5 – 1994 Rangers on ESPN (2.41M). It was also the 5th game previously broadcast on cable TV. Keep in mind that ESPN’s coverage is blocked in New York, the host market, and the game airs on the MSG network.

The Golden Knights Cup win shattered the Stars-Lightning record of $2.79 million set three years earlier in the fanless drop “bubble.” It was also the lowest-rated cup final in at least 30 years, below the all-time record of 2.9 million for Game 5 of the 2007 Senators-Ducks. (The previous Cable Cup final — Game 6 of the Stars-Sabres game on ESPN in 1999 — averaged 4.45 million.)

Viewership for ABC’s Lightning-Avalanche fell 47 percent (5.15 million) last year, an all-time high. Game 5, the first in the series to slip from the 2020 “bubble” and the second in a row to slip from 2021, also aired in the off-season (Canadiens-Charles: 356 Ten thousand).

The full five-game Stanley Cup Finals averaged a 1.3 rating and 2.6 million viewers on Turner’s network, both metrics down 43 percent from last year’s six-game Avalanche Blitz series on ABC (2.3, 4.6 million). %. Viewership slightly outpaces the 2021 Lightning-Canadiens (2.5 million) compared to the two off-season COVID-era Cup finals in 2021, and easily surpasses the Lightning in the 2020 “bubble” (2.1 million) -Stars.

Outside of the COVID-era season, this year’s cup final was the lowest-watched since the 2007 Ducks-Senators (1.8m) and the second-lowest in at least 30 years – just ahead of 2007 and the Rangers- Canucks ratings ’94 (2.4M) on ESPN.

Stanley Cup Finals ratings, ratings (1994-present)

Stanley Cup final ratings table

The average attendance at the end of the playoffs was 1.23 million, down 10 percent from last year, due to the smaller crowd in the cup final. It’s a sharp reversal from the first three playoff rounds, which saw a 2 percent increase to a five-year high (1.14 million). Despite the decline, this year’s playoffs are still the most-watched on cable.

Rarely, the most-watched game in the playoffs occurred in the first round — TNT non-exclusively televised Game 7 (3.1 million) between the Panthers and Bruins nearly two months ago. Cup Final Game 1 is second, followed by Kraken-Stars Game 7 in Round 2 (2.75M) and Tuesday’s Cup Final.

If historically low, Game 5 was the best show of the night in the 18-49 (0.8), 18-34 (0.65) and 25-54 (1.0) adult key demographics. Compared to last year, these groups’ scores decreased by 47%, 45%, and 45%, from 1.5, 1.2, and 1.8, respectively.

Game 5, Game 1 of the Cup Finals, will only air on two networks instead of three, as TBS is occupied with Major League Baseball commitments.

(Nelson estimates from Programming Insider 6.14ShowBuzz Daily 6.14)

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