Stanley Cup Final, Game 1 TV ratings: Big numbers in Buffalo, Detroit... and Milwaukee?

The NHL's biggest problem when it comes to drawing big TV ratings, I've long maintained, is that fans in hockey markets don't watch when their teams are eliminated. NBA Finals ratings in non-participating basketball markets are always way higher than Stanley Cup Final ratings in non-participating hockey markets. But things are starting to improve in some places, and Game 1 had some buzz. Plus, some markets were helped by recent glory.

Take, for example, Los Angeles. In 2011, the year before the team won the Stanley Cup, Game 1 between Boston and Vancouver drew a 1.3 rating Well, in 2013, in the primetime hours (8-11 p.m. ET) Game 1 drew a 2.2. LA was actually one of the lower-rated NHL markets, which is good for the NHL.

What follows is, via a source, the local ratings for each of the NHL's 20 American markets (obviously, the three New York and two LA teams share) and the Top 10 non-NHL markets for Game 1 in primetime. Just as a clarification, these numbers are only from 8-11 p.m. ET and do not include overtime.

NHL market ratings for Game 1 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final

1. Boston - 29.0
2. Chicago - 24.2
3. Buffalo - 7.7
4. Detroit - 5.4
t5. Pittsburgh - 5.0
t5. Minneapolis/St. Paul -
7. Columbus -
t8. Tampa/St. Petersburg -
t8. Phoenix -
10. Raleigh/Durham - 3.4
t11. New York - 3.3
t11. Denver -
13. Washington - 3.0
14. Philadelphia - 2.8
t15. Nashville - 2.4
t15. St. Louis - 2.4
17. Los Angeles -
18. Dallas/Ft. Worth - 1.7
19. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale -
20. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose - 1.0

Top non-NHL markets for Game 1

1. Providence/New Bedford - 18.8
2. Milwaukee - 6.9
3. Harford/New Haven - 5.8
4. Ft. Myers/Naples - 5.4
5. Oklahoma City - 4.5
6. West Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce - 4.0
7. Indianapolis - 4.0
8. Las Vegas - 3.9
9. Richmond - 3.5
10. Knoxville - 3.3

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.