Bolstered by NBCSN’s coverage of the triple overtime affair in which St. Louis took down defending champion Chicago, viewership of NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the NHL postseason rose 43% over the first two days.
NBCSN and CNBC averaged 448,000 viewers over seven telecasts, compared with 313,000 on average for six games a year ago, according to Nielsen data.
The second day of 2014 opening-round playoff action on NBCSN and CNBC averaged 428,000 viewers, up 35% from day 2 of the corresponding period a year ago.
As alluded to above, the Blues’ 4-3 win over the Blackhawks in the third overtime period -- Alexander Steen (pictured) ended matters 26 seconds into that stanza -- played big on April 17, averaging 697,000 viewers, making it NBCSN’s second-best, first-round game to date, trailing the 844,000 watchers for Philadelphia-Pittsburgh on April 11, 2012. St. Louis-Chicago peaked with just over 1 million viewers in the 11:15 p.m. (ET) quarter hour.
The Blues-Blackhawks game set streaming records on NBC Sports Live Extra, registering the most live starts,161,000, for an authentication-required NHL game, topping two 2013 Stanley Cup Final games. The game also set first-round records in live minutes (2.7 million), uniques (52,000), and visits (60,814),surpassing all unauthenticated first-round games in 2012 and 2013 in those categories.
As for other April 17 action, the Los Angeles-San Jose game on NBCSN averaged 381,000 viewers, 25% more than in NBCSN’s comparable window last year with Detroit-Anaheim.
CNBC’s early game, matching Philadelphia and the New York Rangers from 7 p.m. through 9:38 p.m., averaged 284,000 viewers, up 11% from the network’s comparable window last year with Ottawa-Montreal.
CNBC’s second contest, Colorado’s 5-4 triumph over Minnesota in overtime, netted an average audience of 178,000 from 9:38 p.m. to 12:53 a.m.
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