The Penguins’ remarkable win in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals spelled ratings gold (and black) for NBC, according to The Canadian Press.
The victory in triple overtime earned the peacock network a 4.3 rating and an 8 share, the best overnight numbers for an NHL game on NBC since 2004.
CP notes that it was a 79 percent increase over last year’s Game 5 between Anaheim and Ottawa. (PBRTV propeller-beanie tip: The Pensblog.)
Meanwhile, Ed Willes of the Vancouver, B.C., Province notes that Game 4 was the top-rated prime time show on Saturday night among adults 18-49.
He speculates that your igloo crew are generating much of the excitement: “This series pits the wealthy, established Red Wings against the plucky young Penguins. It has incandescent individual stars in Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury. For fans of angst, there’s the brooding Evgeni Malkin. You’ve even got icons like Scotty Bowman, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman to provide scenery.”
But to put things in perspective, Game 5’s ratings were only good by the standards of hockey, which has notoriously bad TV ratings in much of the U.S.
According to A.C. Nielsen Co., the Pens-Wings matchup still came in fourth place for most of the night, beating only the relatively weak lineup on The CW. (Fox won both the 8 and 9 p.m. hours with “Bones” and “House,” respectively.)
There was no ratings problem in Pittsburgh, of course; according to Chuck Finder of the Post-Gazette, the numbers for Game 5 were “Steeler-esque,” with a 35.4 rating and 52 percent share. (The “share” represents the percentage of “televisions in use” that are tuned to a particular program, while the “rating” is the percentage of all televisions that are tuned in.)