Cup final captures 4 million on CBC

Wednesday's game delivers the biggest audience ever for a US vs US team matchup, while ratings stateside are the highest since 1974.

CBC and NBC hit the jackpot with Wednesday’s final game of the Stanley Cup which delivered record breaking viewers for the Canadian pubcaster, while numbers in the US were the highest in 36 years.

The Chicago Blackhawks historic win over the Philadelphia Flyers – ending a 49-year drought – averaged over 4 million viewers on CBC, making it the highest audience ever for a US-US. matchup in the Stanley Cup Final on the Ceeb. The audience peaked at 6.3 million viewers at 10:44 p.m. as Chicago won 4-3 in overtime. (All numbers 2+).

The sky-high ratings are not surprising, as BBM’s Personal People Meters have had a big impact on sports audiences since its introduction in August – including such events as the World Juniors, Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. (PPM better captures co-viewing, such as gatherings at bars).

In addition, there were 104,303 live streaming views on, according to the pubcaster.

The series on Hockey Night in Canada averaged 3.1 million viewers, marking a 44% increase over 2009. However the highest audience to a single game during the playoffs was 4.2 million for the Game 7 bout between Montreal and Pittsburgh on May 12.

Over on NBC, overnight data reveals Wednesday’s broadcast scored 8.2 million viewers, up 41% over last year, according to the New York Times. The previous biggest audience was for the third game between Boston and Philadelphia in the 1974 playoff.