Stanley Cup Game 7 TV Ratings: Florida Panthers-Edmonton Oilers’ Drama-Filled Matchup Attracts NHL’s Highest Viewership Since 2019

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The NHL turned its postseason into a must-watch TV for North American sports fans.

Nielson indicated the opening three rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs drew the highest average television ratings in the United States since 1996.

The viewership grew stronger in the Stanley Cup Final, highlighted by a drama-filled Game 7.

Boosted by Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers rallying from a 3-0 deficit to force Monday night’s deciding match, league brass experienced a spike in NHL interest.

NHL Watches Stanley Cup Final Viewership Spike

With low enthusiasm enveloping the 2022-23 Stanley Cup Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Panthers, national broadcast ratings slumped 43 percent as Vegas earned their initial Cup title in five games.

This spring, fans turned to the NHL, attracted by McDavid leading Canada’s quest to become the country’s first league champion since the 1992-93 Montreal Canadiens, and the scrappy Panthers returning for another shot at the Cup.

NHL ratings started high as the playoffs’ opening weekend experienced an 11-percent increase. Streaming across a series of networks, including ABC, CBC, ESPN, Sportsnet, TBS, TNT, truTV and TVA Sports, the four-round postseason steadily earned a brighter spotlight.

With the Panthers and Oilers qualifying for the final series, the TV ratings for the conference finals rose 34 percent from last season’s third round.

Drama helped create additional Stanley Cup interest.

NHL Strike Interest Gold

The Panthers jumped out to a dominating 3-0 series advantage, but McDavid responded, sparking the Oilers’ comeback with wins in Game 4 and 5. McDavid earned the Conn Smythe Award for playoff MVP and was the first skater to register back-to-back four-point outings.

The Panthers held McDavid scoreless in Game 7, securing a 2-1 victory at Amerant Bank Arena.

Capping the most-watched postseason since 2018, Game 7 of the Cup final drew an average of 7.7 million viewers on ABC. Across North America, more than 16.3 million watched the finale, making it the second-most watched NHL match, according to NHL public relations.

The Panthers’ first league title in the franchise’s 30-year history was also the most-viewed contest not involving an Original Six franchise.

Buoyed by a season that generated $6.2 billion in annual revenue, according to Drexel Sport Business, the NHL intends to carry its momentum to this weekend’s draft in Las Vegas.

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