By Louisa Ada Seltzer MediaLifeMagazine.com Apr 17, 2012
So far the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs have delivered some surprising results, such as the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings taking a 3-0 lead on the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks, and they've also delivered some strong ratings. Three playoff games on NBC over the weekend combined to average a 1.8 overnight household rating, according to Nielsen, up 50 percent from opening weekend last year when two games averaged a 1.2. Leading the way was Sunday's heated rivalry game between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, which averaged a 2.3 rating, up 77 percent from the comparable game last year (Washington-New York Rangers). The Flyers-Penguins game delivered the best overnight rating for a conference quarterfinal game in 11 years, and the best for any playoff game outside of the Stanley Cup finals since 2002. These ratings follow a strong start on cable for playoff coverage on NBC Sports Network last week. The first two nights of playoff coverage on the network formerly known as Versus averaged 600,000 total viewers, up 22 percent from 490,000 for the first two days of the 2011 playoffs.