The 2012 Western Conference Final finished on an up note and, despite somewhat disappointing numbers, still did better than last year.
Game 5 of the series, which featured the Los Angeles Kings eliminating the Phoenix Coyotes in overtime, drew 1.21 million viewers. This is up 40 percent from Game 5 of the 2011 Western Conference Final, which also featured an overtime winner that clinched a series victory, in that case for the Vancouver Canucks.
The game was helped by record-setting numbers locally. According to a spokesperson from NBC Sports, the game drew a 2.9 rating in Los Angeles, and a 5.8 in Phoenix. Those are both records for the NHL in these two markets, and NBC Sports Network was the No. 1 cable network in both cities on Wednesday night.
The Los Angeles numbers are particularly impressive, given that Anaheim -- which counts in the LA market -- had two Stanley Cup Final games on VERSUS in 2007. For the record, the rating in LA for Anaheim's two Stanley Cup Final games on VERSUS were a 1.7 for Game 1 and an 0.9 for Game 2.
The 2012 Western Conference Final averaged 996,000 viewers in four telecasts on NBC Sports Network. This is up 15 percent from the 2011 Western Conference Final, which averaged 862,500 viewers for four telecasts on VERSUS.
Here's a look at full viewership for the series as compared to last season.
Viewership for the 2012 Western Conference Final (LA vs. PHX) on NBC Sports Network
Game 1 (5/13/12): 1.10 million viewers
Game 2 (5/15/12): 835,000
Game 3 (5/17/12): 827,000
Game 5 (5/22/12): 1.21 million
Series Average on NBCSN: 996,000
Viewership for the 2011 Western Conference Final (SJ vs. VAN) on VERSUS
Game 1 (5/15/11): 1.0 million
Game 2 (5/18/11): 847,000
Game 3 (5/20/11): 714,000
Game 5 (5/24/11): 879,000
Series Average on VERSUS: 862,000
Game 4 of both series aired on NBC.