Whoever emerged as the victor in this year’s Stanley Cup Final, we all knew it was going to be a franchise first for either the Vegas Golden Knights or the Washington Capitals and in the end, the veterans won.
Taking Game 5 of the NHL battle with a 4-3 win over the Sin City newbies, the 44-year old Capitals took the series 4 -1 to get to lift Lord Stanley’s cup for the very first time last night. Led by the dynamo of team captain Alex Ovechkin, this was hockey that even pulled in people who don’t like hockey. And that was a win for NBC as well as the league.
On a night where the Season 2 debut of The Four: The Battle For Stardom (0.7/3) was the only original competition, the Stanley Cup clincher took the night for the Comcast-owned net. Currently, the icy match-up is drawing a 1.9/9 among adults 18-49 and 6.02 million viewers. That tops the night in the key demo and is the third most watched show of the night after the 6.56 million and 6.20 million who tuned in for repeats of The Big Bang Theory (1.0/5) and Young Sheldon (1.0/5) on CBS. As always with big live events like the Stanley Cup, those numbers will likely significantly adjust later today.
However, in the usually insightful metered market results, last night’s Capitals winning game scored a 4.98 rating. The highest result of this year’s series, that’s up 62% over last year’s non-clinching Game 5 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators on June 8 2017. It was also up 38% over the June 9, 2016 Game 5 of that series where the eventually series winning Penguins lost to the San Jose Sharks. All of which puts a bigger grin on NBC’s sporty face with the fact that last night was the best Stanley Cup Game 5 result the net has ever had.
In a nod to the reality of viewing in 2018, the streaming numbers for last night’s Game 5 were up 119% over last year’s Game 5 with an average of 381,000 uniques. Perhaps more importantly, the average minute audience of 124,000 is the best ever for the NHL on NBC and up 100% over 2017.
Doubt there is a much of a smile on Fox’s face right now with the return of The Four on Thursday. Now minus Season 1 judge Charlie Walk after the Republic Records boss was accused of sexual assault earlier this year, the Fergie hosted music competition show was back but down last night. That’s down to the tune of 42% in the key demo from the show’s January 4 Season 1 premiere. That’s a hard number but should be given some context of the obvious NHL competition and the different time of year. Those factors clearly had to have an impact.
What will definitely have an impact tonight is Game 4 of the NBA Finals on ABC that could see the Golden State Warriors clinch their second championship in a row over the Cleveland Cavaliers – or maybe LeBron James and the Ohio crew could stage a comeback, maybe.