After a strong start to the series, television ratings for the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators have steadily plunged, according to SportsMediaWatch.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final scored well, but could be a possible carryover of momentum from the epic Capitals-Penguins second round series. Since Game 1, television ratings have been in sharp decline, averaging less than half the viewers of Game 1.
Game 5 scored a 1.5 overnight on NBC Sunday afternoon — even with Lightning-Penguins last year.
Game 4 had a 0.9 final rating and 1.55 million viewers on NBCSN, flat in ratings and down 1% in viewership from Penguins-Lightning (0.9, 1.56M) and flat and up 1% respectively from Rangers-Lightning (0.9, 1.54M).
Game 3 registered 1.2 million viewers on NBCSN, down 30% from Penguins-Lightning last year (1.8M) and down 26% from Rangers-Lightning in 2015 (1.7M).
Game 2 registered 1.7 million on NBCSN, up just 2% from Lightning-Penguins last year (1.7M) but down 7% from Lightning-Rangers in ’15 (1.9M).
Game 1 of the Senators-Penguins NHL Eastern Conference final registered 2.9 million viewers on the NBC broadcast network, up 68% from Lightning-Penguins on NBCSN last year (1.7M) and up 55% from Lightning-Rangers on NBC in 2015, which aired in the afternoon (1.9M). Ratings increased 70% year-over-year (from 0.97 to 1.65).
For a frame of reference, here are some key numbers from the Capitals-Penguins series. (Data from NBC Sports).
By Jon Sorensen