PuckTheMedia says: It was only fitting that a playoff run that delivered record ratings in each round ended with a Game 7 that broke all viewing records for CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA. A stunning average audience of 8.76 million Canadians tuned in, making it the most-watched NHL broadcast in CBC history, and second-most watched sports broadcast ever, just behind the 2002 Olympic Men’s Hockey Final between Canada and the USA at 8.96 million.
The game peaked at 11.2 million viewers at 9:40 p.m. ET with five minutes left in the 2nd period. The game reached a total of 18.45 million Canadians (more than half of the Canadian population), by far the most ever for the Final on CBC.
Top 5 sports audiences in CBC history*:
2002 Olympic Men’s Hockey Final, Canada vs. USA: 8.96 million
2011 Stanley Cup Final, Game 7, Boston vs. Vancouver, 8.76 million
2011 Stanley Cup Final, Game 6, Vancouver vs. Boston, 6.6 million
2011 Stanley Cup Final, Game 5, Boston vs. Vancouver, 6.1 million
2011 Stanley Cup Final, Game 1, Boston vs. Vancouver, 5.6 million
Game 7 drew 8.54 million viewers on NBC in the U.S., the best for any NHL game in 38 years. These figures add up to the highest North American viewership for any Stanley Cup Final in history averaging a record 18.3 million viewers in the U.S. and Canada.
MOST-WATCHED STANLEY CUP FINAL GAMES IN U.S. (1966-2011):
1. 5/18/71, Montreal-Chicago – Game 7, 12.41 million, CBS
2. 5/11/72, Boston-NY Rangers – Game 6, 10.93 million, CBS
3. 5/10/73, Montreal-Chicago – Game 6, 9.41 million, NBC
4. 6/15/11, Boston-Vancouver – Game 7, 8.54 million, NBC (Last Night’sGame)
5. 4/30/72, NY Rangers-Boston – Game 1, 8.51 million, CBS