LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 06: Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the New Jersey Devils and teammates celebrate their third period empty net goal over the Los Angeles Kings in Game Four of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Game 4 saw the first game-to-game ratings growth in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals.
The 2012 Stanley Cup finals are still not drawing great ratings by any stretch, but it appears there is a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel. The numbers for Game 4 grew from those for Game 3, marking the first time the ratings didn't drop game-to-game in the series.
The New Jersey Devils' Game 4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings drew 2.06 million viewers on NBC Sports Network. That's a 24 percent drop from last year's Game 4, which saw 2.71 million viewers check out the Bruins and Canucks. It is, however, a solid 16 percent growth over Game 3 (1.74 million). The game will go down as the most-watched contest on NBC Sports Network this season.
The game drew a 6.6 in Los Angeles, by far a series high -- previously, it was a 5.5 for Game 2 -- and NBC Sports Network was No. 1 in the L.A. market during that time period. Ratings continued to fall in New York, though, dropping from a 3.0 in Game 3 to a 2.9 in Game 4. The New York market has lost nearly half of the audience that made up the 5.1 rating in the market for Game 1.
That said, there's reason for hope. Finally, the series looks slightly competitive, and will move back to NBC for Game 5. Combine that with the fact that NBC will be having one of its biggest sports days of the year leading up to it, with the French Open women's final airing during the morning and early afternoon, and I'll Have Another's Triple Crown bid at the Belmont Stakes wrapping up just an hour before the puck drops for Game 5. A lot, no doubt, will depend on whether or not the Heat and Celtics play a Game 7 on ESPN that night, but finally, this series may have a pulse.
Recent Numbers for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals
New Jersey vs. Los Angeles, 2012: 2.06 million
Vancouver vs. Boston, 2011: 2.71 million
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 2010: 3.12 million
Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 2009: 3.44 million
- 1. New Jersey vs. Los Angeles, Game 4 (June 6, 2012): 2.06 million
- 2. NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 3 (May 2, 2012): 1.85 million
- 3. New Jersey vs. Los Angeles, Game 3 (June 4, 2012): 1.74 million
- 4. Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 7 (May 12, 2012): 1.68 million
- 5. Philadelphia vs. New Jersey, Game 3 (May 3, 2012): 1.66 million
- T-6. Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 5 (May 7, 2012): 1.65 million
- T-6. NY Rangers vs. Washington, Game 6 (May 9, 2012): 1.65 million
- 8. Philadelphia vs. New Jersey, Game 4 (May 6, 2012): 1.63 million
- 9. NY Rangers vs. New Jersey, Game 6 (May 25, 2012): 1.60 million
- 10. Washington vs. NY Rangers, Game 2 (April 30, 2012): 1.53 million
- 11. New Jersey vs. NY Rangers, Game 5 (May 23, 2012): 1.43 million
- 12. New Jersey vs. NY Rangers, Game 2 (May 16, 2012): 1.34 million
- 13. Washington vs. Boston, Game 7 (April 25, 2012): 1.32 million
- 14. New Jersey vs. Philadelphia, Game 5 (May 8, 2012): 1.31 million
- 15. New Jersey vs. Philadelphia, Game 2 (May 1, 2012): 1.29 million