Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, May 24, 2021

for openers
This year’s National Hockey League Stanley Cup Final will have the Chicago Blackhawks and the Philadelphia Flyers. What it won’t have is a repeat of last year’s Saturday-Sunday scheduling of Games 1 and 2 on NBC. Instead, this Saturday’s Game 1 will be followed by Game 2 on Monday, setting the pattern for an every-other-day series.

I’m not sure why the Peacock Network is forgoing 2009’s Stanley Cup Weekend format. After all, it was a solid ratings success last year, and I thought it keyed viewership for that entire series:

You can debate how successful that would have been for NBC had it been, say, Columbus versus Florida. But I’m convinced that it’s the right way to kick off the showcase series of the playoffs: No opening-night pomp, followed by a day or two off for casual viewers to promptly forget about the whole thing. Saturday night served as the lead-in for a returning audience on Sunday, and the ratings momentum remained sustained from there, right through to Game 7’s breakthrough. So that two-game opener schedule will remain in place next year (and beyond).

So much for “remaining in place”. There’s nothing on NBC this Sunday in primetime that would prevent a hockey game from breaking out on network air. The only thing I can figure: Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Final is scheduled on another network. Perhaps the TV folks still aren’t confident that the NHL can top the hoopsters when going head-to-head.

Still, a Saturday night Game 1 between two of the more iconic American hockey cities should provide something of a boost. And Monday will still be part of the Memorial Day extended holiday weekend. So who knows? Maybe a ratings boost will fall into the league’s lap this year without the back-to-back backing.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/24/2010 11:09pm
Category: Hockey, SportsBiz, TV
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    My previous concern over this past weekend’s Stanley Cup Final schedule on NBC seemed unfounded. By the numbers, Game 1 and Game 2 turned in great ratings, with a 2.8 and 4.1 share respectively. So I guess back-to-back Saturday-Sunday championshi…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 06/01/2021 @ 11:41 PM

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