Capitals-Golden Knights Averages 5.279 Million Viewers, Third-Best Stanley Cup Final Game 1 for NBC Sports Group Since 2006
Las Vegas and Washington, D.C., Set Local Ratings Records
2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Are Most-Watched in 21 Years
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 29, 2018 – Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final last night between the Washington Capitals and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 5.279 million viewers on NBC, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app, making it the most-watched Game 1 in three years, with viewership up 7% vs. last year. The game also set local ratings records in Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. Overall, the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs remain the most-watched in 21 years.
The Golden Knights defeated the Capitals, 6-4, in the series opener last night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The exciting Game 1 set the record for the most lead changes ever in a Stanley Cup Final game.
The TAD of 5.279 million viewers was the highest for a Game 1 since 2015 (Chicago-Tampa, 5.586 million); was the third-best since NBC Sports began broadcasting the Stanley Cup Final in 2006 (2015 and 2013, Boston-Chicago, 6.315 million); was up 7% vs. last year’s Game 1 (Nashville-Pittsburgh, 4.925 million) and up 28% vs. Game 1 in 2016 (San Jose-Pittsburgh, 4.132 million). TV-only viewership of Game 1 peaked at nearly six million viewers (5.906 million).
Across NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app, last night’s game totaled 321,000 uniques (+67%), 16.1 million live minutes (+18%), and an Average Minute Audience of 83,700 (+18%), all up from last year’s Nashville-Pittsburgh Game 1. It is the most streamed NHL game ever in uniques.
Locally, Las Vegas delivered a 28.1 rating, which stands as the highest rating for a Golden Knights game ever in the market, surpassing this year’s deciding Game 5 of the Western Conference Final vs. Winnipeg on NBC (17.9).
With a 16.0 local rating in Washington, D.C., Game 1 was the highest-rated Capitals game ever on the networks of NBC in the market, topping this year’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final vs. Tampa Bay on NBCSN (12.6).
Following are the ratings for the Top 10 markets for last night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 1 on NBC:
In addition, numerous markets had their highest local rating ever for a Game 1 on NBC in which their team was not playing: Buffalo, Chicago (4.02), Dallas (2.45), Los Angeles (3.23), Minneapolis, Nashville (4.11), Pittsburgh, Salt Lake (3.30), St. Louis, and Tampa (4.02). Non-NHL markets that also set Game 1 records for NBC broadcasts were Baltimore, Norfolk (2.99), and Richmond.
Across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, Golf Channel, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app, the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs to date have averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 1.263 million viewers (79 games), which stands as the best performance through the same point in the playoffs since 1997 on ESPN, ESPN2 and FOX (1.335 million viewers). Compared to 2017, the Total Audience Delivery is up +8% (TAD of 1.175 million).
On NBC Sports digital platforms, the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs to date (79 games) have totaled 3.2 million unique devices and 521 million live minutes, up +83% and +17%, respectively, vs. 2017 through the same time period (79 games). The Average Minute Audience for the entire playoffs to date is 38,100 viewers, up 38% vs. 2017 (27,600). All above digital metrics are records.
Game 2 between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will air Wednesday at 8 pm ET on NBCSN, with pre-game coverage set to begin at 6 pm ET.