NHL Playoff TV Ratings: Eastern Conference Finals End On Series High

NEWARK, NJ - MAY 25: Adam Henrique #14 of the New Jersey Devils celerbates after scoring the game winning goal in overtime against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers to win Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final and advance to the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on May 25, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Ratings improved for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, but still ended up lower than last year's series.

The New Jersey Devils overtime victory over the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals drew the best numbers of the series on cable or broadcast.

Game 6 on NBC Sports Network drew 1.60 million viewers last Friday night, easily the best number for the entire series, regardless of network -- it even topped Game 3, which aired on NBC and drew 1.49 million viewers. Viewership was down 1 percent from Game 6 of last year's Eastern Conference final between the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning, which drew 1.68 million viewers. It was the closest a game from this year's series came to matching last year's. Having only one local market involved (New Jersey shares the New York TV market) compared to two last year ended up hurting a bit.

The 2012 Eastern Conference finals on NBCSN averaged 1.38 million viewers. This was down 11 percent from the same round in 2011, which averaged 1.54 million viewers through the first five broadcasts on Versus (just like this year, NBC aired one game of last year's Eastern final). That series ended up averaging 1.70 million viewers, thanks to the 2.55 million who tuned in to see Boston and Tampa Bay play a deciding Game 7, which this year's series never reached. If you count Game 7, the 2012 Eastern final was down 23 percent from 2011.

2012 Eastern Conference Finals on NBC Sports Network

  • Game 1 (May 14, 2012): 1.28 million
  • Game 2 (May 16, 2012): 1.34 million
  • Game 4 (May 21, 2012): 1.26 million
  • Game 5 (May 23, 2012): 1.43 million
  • Game 6 (May 25, 2012): 1.60 million

Most-Watched Games of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBC Sports Network

  • 1. NY Rangers vs. Washington Capitals, Game 3 (May 2, 2012): 1.85 million
  • 2. Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 7 (May 12, 2012): 1.68 million
  • 3. Philadelphia Flyers vs. New Jersey, Game 3 (May 3, 2012): 1.66 million
  • t4. Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 5 (May 7, 2012): 1.65 million
  • t4. NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 6 (May 9, 2012): 1.65 million
  • 6. Philadelphia vs. New Jersey, Game 4 (May 6, 2012): 1.63 million
  • 7. NY Rangers vs. New Jersey, Game 6 (May 25, 2012): 1.60 million
  • 8. Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 2 (April 30, 2012): 1.53 million
  • 9. New Jersey vs. NY Rangers, Game 5 (May 23, 2012): 1.43 million
  • 10. New Jersey vs. NY Rangers, Game 2 (May 16, 2012): 1.34 million
  • 11. Washington vs. Boston, Game 7 (April 25, 2012): 1.32 million
  • 12. New Jersey vs. Philadelphia, Game 5 (May 8, 2012): 1.31 million
  • 13. New Jersey vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (May 1, 2012): 1.29 million
  • 14. New Jersey vs. NY Rangers, Game 1 (May 14, 2012): 1.28 million
  • 15. NY Rangers vs. New Jersey, Game 4 (May 21, 2012): 1.26 million
  • 16. Los Angeles Kings vs. Phoenix Coyotes, Game 5 (May 22, 2012): 1.21 million
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