Originally posted on Variety:
The NHL’s 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers averaged about 5 million viewers on NBC and NBC Sports Network, according to Nielsen, making it professional hockey’s second-most-watched championship round since 2006.
This year’s best-of-seven matchup of teams from the country’s two largest markets, won in five games by Los Angeles, couldn’t match the numbers for the 2013 dream matchup of the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, itself a top-10 market battle but one featuring teams with broader national appeal. Last year’s series, won by Chicago in six games, averaged 5.75 million viewers — the largest audience for a Cup Final in at least 20 years.
Friday’s double-overtime clincher for the Kings averaged 6 million viewers on NBC to become the most-watched Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in six years. NBC won the ratings race on all three of the nights it…
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