Over the past decade or so, the NBA has seen its popularity soar, while the NHL's has cratered. We know this. We joke about this. But recently, for all the punchlines, hockey's been infused with new life, and after a fantastic postseason so far, with a close series in the Stanley Cup, maybe hockey could close the gap? A little bit?â†µ
We found out last night, when the NBA Finals went head-to-head with the Stanley Cup Finals on network television (ABC and NBC, respectively), and... Well, hockey's had better ratings than they've seen in years, but there's a still a ways to go.â†µ
Reliable time zone-adjusted total viewers and demo numbers for the Basketball game will not be available until late morning, but, based in the metered markets, Game 2 between Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers delivered an 10.9 overnight rating.â†µ
Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final between Chicago and Philadelphia drew a 2.4/6 in adults 18-49 on NBC, up 33% from the same game last year ... Its overnight rating, 4.0/7, ranked as the best for a non-OT Game 5 since 2002.â†µ
So, 10.9-4.0? Yeah... Looks like America has spoken, and basketball still wins. Easily.