The NHL’s Stanley Cup final is coming up on its fourth game tonight, with the Tampa Bay Lightning leading two games to one over the Chicago Blackhawks. The series is leading in another way, too: television ratings.
Yahoo Sports reports that Game 3 of the series on Monday night resulted in the second-best rating ever on the NBC Sports Network for a Stanley Cup final game.
The series is doing phenomenally well in Chicago, where Game 3 drew a 24 rating that boosted the national viewership to a 2.88 rating.
Only one Stanley Cup Final game has drawn better than Game 3, and that was another Game 3, of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins. Its national rating was 3.1
The Top 5 markets for Game 3 on NBCSN were Chicago (24.00), Tampa (13.20), Buffalo (4.27), Boston (4.23) and Providence (3.84).
In Tampa, the team is hosting viewing parties that grew too big for the Amalie Arena courtyard, and have since moved to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
In Chicago, official road watch parties are spread among a series of bars and restaurants.
Of course, the Stanley Cup Final is facing a lot of competition for sports fans’ attention. There’s the Women’s World Cup, the NBA finals, tennis and golf tournaments. And of course, baseball.
But records are likely to draw advertisers, and close-fought games are bound to send ratings even higher.
For story ideas, see if there are viewing parties in your town, and which team’s fans dominate. Watch social media to see what kind of buzz surrounds each game.