NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Battle for Ratings

Americans are more interested in the NBA Finals than the Stanley Cup, but Sunday night’s television ratings prove that the NHL isn’t a mere afterthought.

With Game 2 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Celtics on ABC and Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Blackhawks and Flyers on NBC simultaneously, the two major networks squared off for eyeballs.

The basketball game on ABC attracted far more viewers than anything else on TV. ABC had a 10.9 rating with an 18 share in the overnights for the prime-time portion from 8-11 p.m.  That was an increase of five percent (10.4/18) from Game 1 on Thursday night.

But despite being overshadowed by the NBA, the hockey game didn’t fare too badly itself. NBC averaged an estimated 4.0 rating with a 7 share from 8-11 p.m., meaning that four percent of households with televisions watched Game 5, while seven percent of households with their TVs on were watching.

NBC’s ratings on Sunday night were even better than Versus’ 3.1 rating for Game 3 on Friday, the largest TV audience for the Stanley Cup Finals on cable in eight years.

Here are the half-hour ratings for both Game 2 of the NBA Finals and Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals from Sunday (all times Eastern):

NBA Finals, Game 2 (ABC)

8 p.m.: 7.9/14 (No.  1)

8:30 p.m.: 9.7/16 (No. 1)

9 p.m.: 11.1/18 (No. 1)

9:30 p.m.:
10.4/16 (No. 1)

10 p.m.: 12.3/19 (No. 1)

10:30 p.m.: 13.9/22 (No. 1)

Stanley Cup Finals, Game 5 (NBC)

8 p.m.: 3.4/ 6 (No. 3)

8:30 p.m.: 4.2/ 7 (No. 2)

9 p.m.: 3.7/ 6 (No. 2)

9:30 p.m.: 4.7/ 7 (No. 2)

10 p.m.: 3.6/ 6 (No. 3)

10:30 p.m.: 4.3/ 7 (No. 2)

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