Ratings For 2020 Stanley Cup Clincher Lowest In Three Decades

Perry Nelson / USA TODAY Sports

According to Sports Media Watch, Monday night’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final  (Lightning vs. Stars) averaged a 1.7 rating and 2.88 million viewers on NBC (2.95M including streaming), making it the highest rated and most-watched game of the series, but the lowest rated and least-watched Cup clincher in at least two decades.

In fact, it was likely the least watched Cup clincher in more than three decades.

It should be noted that Game 6 was up against possibly the biggest NFL matchup of the  season so far (Baltimore-Kansas City).

NHL Ratings fell 54% and viewership 56% from last year’s non-clinching Blues-Bruins Game 6, which aired on a Sunday night and faced no notable competition. There was no Game 6 in 2018.

Game 5 on Saturday averaged a 1.5 and 2.71 million, down 53% and 50% respectively from last year (3.1, 5.45M). This year’s game aired opposite college football games and the NBA; last year’s game faced no such competition.


The full six-game Lightning-Stars series averaged a 1.2 and 2.15 million (including streaming), down 60% and 61% respectively from last year’s seven-game final (3.0, 5.47M) and the least-watched Cup Final since 2007 (Senators-Ducks: 1.80M). All six games of the series declined at least 50% in ratings and viewership.

The complete Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a 0.54 and 953,000 across NBC’s TV and digital platforms, down 38% in ratings and viewership from last year (0.87, 1.53M) and the least-watched postseason in at least a decade. The postseason, which took place sans-fans four months later than scheduled, included a number of weekday afternoon starts and head-to-heads with pro and college football.

It should also be noted that the NHL Finals ratings were on an upward trend the previous four seasons before this year’s Final, which was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local Ratings

Locally, Monday’s season finale averaged a 15.39 rating in Tampa-St. Petersburg — the market’s second-highest NHL rating on NBC. Game 1 of the 2015 final averaged a 17.93.

The last time the Lightning clinched the Cup Final — Game 7 of their 2004 matchup with Calgary — their win averaged a 28.1 on ABC.

Game 6 averaged a 7.28 rating in Dallas-Ft. Worth, that market’s highest NHL rating on NBC. The Stars’ previous Cup Final appearance in 2000 aired on ESPN/ABC.

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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8 Responses to Ratings For 2020 Stanley Cup Clincher Lowest In Three Decades

  1. hockeydruid says:

    Figured as Dallas is not a big draw in the East and even in Tampa people are not interested in the team. Sad because there was a lot of great hockey being played!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Me and my family loved the NHL and were confident that we could escape the BLM trash watching hockey….but that wasn’t the case, so we gave up all sports, truly sad

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s good. Sports don’t need racists, so it’s actually been a good thing. Thinning out the small minded people.

      • Anonymous says:

        It looks like oh, 50+% of the market of what was already a struggling didn’t feel like being lectured by a bunch of 20 something millionaires about the racial injustices of Canadian culture either. Pretty sure that’s gonna leave a mark for you and Gary 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      Bravo, my family all stopped watching as soon as they went on strike, even my father, who’s been a Leaf’s fan since they were winning cups left right and center made the decision to turn off the NHL.
      These PC blowhards in suits won’t understand until they’re broke. Looking at these numbers, it won’t be long!

  3. No, just bc I’m not a narcissistic woke Democrat,doesn’t mean I’m a Nazi. says:

    Still higher numbers than the woke NBA🤮🤮😂😂

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