Stanley Cup Final audience down from pre-pandemic matchups

By Austin Karp

ABC’s first season with the Stanley Cup Final saw an average audience up from the COVID-influenced years on NBC/NBCSN, but below the years leading into the pandemic. The network averaged 4.6 million viewers for the six games in the Avalanche-Lightning series. Looking to the last Cup Final held in June, which was the seven-game Blues-Bruins series in ‘19 on NBC and NBCSN, ABC is down 16% from 5.5 million viewers. That series got a huge boost from Game 7 on NBC, which remains the most-watched NHL game on U.S. airwaves all-time. Avs-Bolts is also down 6% from 4.9 million viewers for the five-game Capitals-Golden Knights series on NBC/NBCSN in ’18, and down 3% from the six-game Penguins-Predators series in ’17. Compared to last year’s Bolts-Canadiens final, which featured two Eastern Conference teams in a July series due to COVID scheduling, Avs-Bolts is up 83% from 2.5 million. Compared to the Bolts-Stars series in ’20, which aired in September due to COVID delaying the postseason, Avs-Bolts is up 115% from 2.1 million.

Stanley Cup Final audience trend
2022 Avalanche-Lightning ABC 6 4,621
2021 Lightning-Canadiens NBC/NBCSN 5 2,524
2020 Lightning-Stars NBC/NBCSN 6 2,145
2019 Blues-Bruins NBC/NBCSN 7 5,470
2018 Capitals-Golden Knights NBC/NBCSN 5 4,918
2017 Penguins-Predators NBC/NBCSN 6 4,762
2016 Penguins-Sharks NBC/NBCSN 6 3,948
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2022 Stanley Cup Final audience

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