2019 marked the first time in the history of the NHL that a playoff game was played following the elimination of the Vegas Golden Knights.
(It almost makes it sound cool that the Golden Knights were eliminated. No? Oh well, I tried.)
Conventional wisdom would say that once Vegas’ team was gone from the playoffs, especially with the way it happened, that the market would shut their TV’s off from the rest of the postseason. However, the proved to be far from the case.
Las Vegas ranked 9th in the country for the top markets across the entire Stanley Cup Final drawing a 4.4 rating (meaning 4.4% of Vegas households were watched the games).
Top 10 Markets across the Stanley Cup Final on NBC/NBCSN
- St. Louis 28.7
- Boston 25.5
- Providence 19.2
- Buffalo 9.5
- Kansas City 5.6
- Pittsburgh 5.3
- Hartford 5.2
- Ft. Myers 4.5
- Las Vegas 4.4
- Denver 4.3
Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final came in as the most watched non-Golden Knights game in city history, pulling in a 7.6 rating, also ranked 9th in the United States.
As for Golden Knights games, the ratings were incredibly impressive once again, blowing all other competing shows out of the water.
TV Ratings by Game (based on average of all quarter-hours during game)
- Game 1 – 8.5
- Game 2 – 5.2
- Game 3 – 9.0
- Game 4 – 8.5
- Game 5 – 10.7
- Game 6 – 11.0
- Game 7 – 11.3
For comparison sake, 2018-19 opening night drew a 7.7 and 2018 Stanley Cup Final Game 1 pulled in a 30.3.
NBC announced that the first round of the playoffs was the most widely watched first round in the past seven years, and the first two rounds were the most watched on record.
The Golden Knights/Sharks Game 7 was the most-watched first round late game on cable in 16 years with a total audience of 1.138 million viewers. That number was up 77% from the last first round late game seven in 2016.
All in all, 2019 proved Vegas is clearly a hockey town, whether the Golden Knights are playing or not.