Stanley Cup Final Game 1 Ratings Steady With 2014, ‘Briefcase’ Falls, ‘Bullseye’ Even

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Things started out well for the Tampa Bay Lightning last night but they ended much better for the Chicago Blackhawks. In Game 1 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals (1.8/6), the Original Six team won 2-1 in their opponent’s own house. In what is the first playoff matchup between the two previous Cup winners, the best-of-7 series slipped 5% on the adults 18-49 ice from the final numbers of last year’s Game 1 between megamarket teams then Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. Still, in fast nationals to fast nationals, the Blackhawks’ win last night beat the Kings’ 2014 victory by 5%. Last night’s 8-11 PM Game 1 drew 5.46 million viewers, down just more than 2% from the Game 1 of last year.

Live sports being what they are, expect an adjustment in the NHL numbers later in the day, but its doubtful NBC will relinquish its demo top spot (1.8/6 rating). Repeat-heavy CBS was ahead by a nose in total viewers with 5.8 million watching. Overall, 18-49 TV usage was down 5% from last week.

In metered-market results, last night’s NHL game scored a 4.2/7 rating, up 10% from last year’s Game 1 results. That makes it the second highest-rated Stanley Cup Final Game 1 that NBC has ever shown. The bestremains the 2013 triple-overtime Game 1 between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins – Chicago won that game 4-3 and ultimately the Cup that year.

The Lightning and the Blackhawks meet up for Game 2 on Saturday before moving up to the Windy City for Game 3 on Monday. But don’t worry if you have championship fever – the NBA Finals start tonight on ABC.

Speaking of ABC, the network’s only original of the night was 10 PM’s Celebrity Wife Swap (1.0/4), which dipped 9% in the demo from its May 28 episode. CBS’ new 8 PM unscripted get-out-of-debt show The Briefcase (0.9/4) slammed shut with a 36% crash among 18-49s from its debut last week.

Last week, MasterChef (1.4/3) faced the last game of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals and this week it was the Stanley Cup. Looks like hockey won as the Gordon Ramsay show was down 13% i the demo from its May 28 airing. Then again, last week saw MasterChef jump double digits from its Season 6 premiere May 21 and viewershipwise the show was even with last week. Newbie Bullseye (1.1/4) hit just that last night and was even in both the demo and viewers compared with its premiere last week.

The CW was all encores.

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