Why are the Stanley Cup Finals on NBC Sports and not NBC?


Since 1995, the Stanley Cup Finals have had two or three games broadcast on a cable channel, and the rest of the games shown on a broadcast network. Before 1995, going back to 1981, almost all finals games were on cable channels. (1981 is around the time that national cable channels were just starting to take off.) From 1976-1979, the finals were syndicated on broadcast channels, and before that, only a few games were televised.

Unfortunately for those of us that watch free TV, there is a recent trend toward putting more sports events on pay TV, despite the lower ratings. The majority of this years NCAA basketball tournament, including all the games of the Final Four, were on cable TV only.

In the case of the Stanley Cup Finals, the fact that not all the games are shown on broadcast TV might be due to the fact that hockey is not as popular in the U.S. as baseball, football, or basketball. However, it could also be that, just like the NCAA tournament, the networks are...

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It's not news that Stanley Cup Finals ratings are utterly abysmal, but here we are talking about them again because it's another year and the NHL has decided to hold another annual round of playoffs. Hooray for us, because the hockey has been really great! But not so good for NBC, which saw Games 1 and 2, broadcast on the mothership and not the impossible-to-find-on-your-dial Versus NBC Sports Network, suffer hilariously low ratings. Some 66 TV shows scored higher ratings last week than either game. (If anyone has actually seen Dogs in the City, Swamp People, and/or Mountain Men, and there are millions of you, now I'm curious what I'm missing.)

And as Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl pointed out today, even the Brazil-Mexico friendly on Sunday drew some 3.3 million viewers on Univision, 800,000 more than Game 2 of the Devils and Kings the day before on NBC. And though it may seem like this narrative turns up every year, the 2011 Finals were actually pretty popular. A closely...

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This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure

The a-capella version of Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie might not be the kind of loud, hard-driving anthem you'd think NBC Sports would use to advertise the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals. But that's exactly what the network will use as the commercial soundtrack for the 2014 Finals between the New York Rangers and either the Chicago Blackhawks or Los Angeles Kings.

The upcoming Stanley Cup promo spots will continue to use the Freddie Mercury/David Bowie vocals from the 1981 classic rock song NBC that has employed this week to drive tune-in for the Eastern and Western Conference finals.

As soon as the Broadway Blueshirts finished off the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6 of their seven-game series Thursday night, NBC started working on new "Pressure" spots featuring the Rangers, Kings and Blackhawks -- and dropping clips of the eliminated Canadiens and Boston Bruins.

But they can't finish...

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Kings fans deserve the Stanley Cup just for their heckling.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, it was very easy for NHL experts and analysts to label the Los Angeles Kings a Cinderella story because of how bad they sucked early on in the season. They were bad enough to get their coach fired and they were bad enough early on that it took a hell of a late season run to avoid missing the playoffs entirely. But people conveniently ignored that the Kings were a sweetheart team before the season began, having made the playoffs last year and returning one heck of a talented squad.

Tonight, they can sweep the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup and put an exclamation point on an amazing comeback, but the problem isn’t that this was simply a team that just needed to get it right to become this good. It’s that nobody is even watching them now.

While Games 1 and 2 drew good ratings in New York and Los Angeles, according to figures provided by NBC, across the rest of the...

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Every Stanley Cup Playoff Game to be Televised Nationally for Third Straight Year

NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and NHL Network to Carry Games

New Playoff Format Allows for Brackets for Fans; Emphasis on Division Rivals Prior to Conference Finals

NBC Sports Live Extra to Live Stream All Games Airing on NBC, Plus All Games Airing on NBCSN and CNBC via “TV Everywhere”

NBC Sports Regional Networks to Air Live Coverage of First-Round Games & Comprehensive Local Team Coverage

NBC & NBCSN Combine to Cover Stanley Cup Final for Ninth Straight Year

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 2, 2014 – For the third consecutive year, every NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game will be presented nationally across the platforms of the NBC Sports Group. During April, May and June, NBC Sports Group will televise as many as 105 playoff games and possibly more than 260 hours of programming across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC (in primetime), and NHL Network. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live...

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Heading into the Stanley Cup Conference Finals, the suits at NBC were surely crossing their fingers and doing whatever superstitious ritual they could think of to get a dream Stanley Cup Final in the ratings department: Rangers vs Blackhawks.

Chicago. New York. Two members of the original six. Two of the biggest markets in the country. Two teams with national namebrand recognition. Two cities with hockey in their sports DNA. It wouldn’t get better than that.

Instead, after three games in the west and the east, NBC is looking straight down the barrel at a matchup that is most certainly a polar opposite: Ducks vs Lightning.

Tampa Bay. Anaheim. Two of hockey’s more recent expansion representatives. Warm weather. Sunshine. Palm trees. It’s not exactly the ghosts of Stan Mikita and Eddie Giacomin.

Why is this the case? The numbers tell the story.

The Ducks were involved in the lowest rated Stanley Cup Final in the last 20 years back in 2007....

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The Stanley Cup Finals are coming

Started in 1892, the Stanley Cup is one of the longest-running sporting competitions in North America.

But history isn’t the only reason to love this lightning-fast and furious championship. No other cup mixes skill and aggression so beautifully. Few other cups have such eccentric traditions, from playoff beards to lucky octopi. And no other cup actually grows in size each year, as more room is made for engravings!

You don’t want to miss it — so here’s our streaming guide.

Watch the Stanley Cup Finals live on NBC (USA)

NBC is showing the 2016 Stanley Cup in the USA, and they’re streaming it at nbcsports.com too.

Here’s how to watch live on NBC with a VPN:

Connect to a U.S. ExpressVPN server. Visit nhlstream.nbcsports.com. There’s no direct cost, but you’ll need to sign in with a US cable or satellite subscription. Click the Stanley Cup stream and start watching.

Watch the Stanley Cup on...

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Well, that was close.

NBC Sports narrowly avoided its worst-case scenario this June: a four-game sweep in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Game 4 was about as close as it gets, a 2-1 New York Rangers victory that included a late 3rd period puck just hanging out on the goal line behind Henrik Lundqvist, which would have tied the contest for the L.A. Kings, if not for a thinly built-up wall of ice preventing a cheap score.

Also read: NBC Sports Boss on NY-LA Stanley Cup Finals: Biggest Markets Don’t Mean Biggest Ratings

Had Los Angeles closed the series Thursday, not only would NBC have missed out on a lengthy series full of ad sales, Lord Stanley’s Trophy would have been handed out on NBC Sports Network — a cable channel that pulls in far fewer viewers than the broadcast network. That is not exactly ideal for a sport with an exposure problem.

Since 2006, two of the potential seven-game Stanley Cup have aired on NBC Sports Network, formerly Versus —...

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NEW YORK (AP) — NBC Sports is switching up its broadcast schedule for the Stanley Cup Final.

In recent years, Games 1 and 2 had been on NBC, with Games 3 and 4 on cable partner NBCSN. If necessary, the final three games returned to NBC.

This season, Monday's Game 1 will air on NBC, but Wednesday's Game 2 will be on NBCSN. NBC Sports announced Friday that if the series between Pittsburgh and San Jose is tied 1-1, Game 3 will be on NBC, putting that pivotal matchup on the main network. Game 4 would be on NBCSN.

But if one team leads 2-0, Game 3 will air on NBCSN, with a possible championship-clinching Game 4 on NBC. The potential final three games will remain on NBC.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or...

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The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 last night in triple overtime in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, but it was NBC who really scored. Going from 8 PM-1:06 AM ET, the game drew a 4.8 overnight rating, which is up 100% from the 2.4 overnight rating of last year’s Game 1 between the LA Kings and New Jersey Devils. Wednesday’s result was also the best overnight rating for an Stanley Cup Final Game 1 since the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers in 1997, which drew a 5.2 overnight rating on Fox. Up 140% from the fast nationals 1.0/3 of last year’s Game 1, preliminary ratings have Wednesday’s game between two of the league’s Original Six garnering 2.4/7 among Adults 18-49. The game was watched by 6.42 million viewers overall based on time slots across the country. As is typical with live events like sports, those results will likely be adjusted in the final numbers later today. NBC topped the night among Adults 18-49 with encore heavy CBS No. 1 in total...

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Boosted in part by strong synergistic interest in New York, NBC Sports generated impressive viewership numbers on Saturday for its back-to-back coverage of horse racing’s Belmont Stakes and hockey’s Stanley Cup Final.

The Belmont, held annually in New York, drew its second largest audience on record — 20.6 million for the 6:23-7:15 p.m. ET window, according to Nielsen — as auds tuned in to see if California Chrome could become the first horse in decades to win the Triple Crown. It fell short (placing fourth), but the heightened interest in the race drew helped bring nearly three times as many viewers as last year (7.0 million).

NBC drew a whopping 57% more viewers for its coverage of the race than ABC did in 2008 for the last time a horse was in position for the Triple Crown (13.1 million). Since the Nielsen People Meter era began in 1988, the only other Belmont Stakes to draw a larger audience was the 2004 edition in which Smarty Jones was in position to win the...

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The NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs are the best playoffs any of the four major sports have to offer and this year’s run for the Cup hasn’t been different. We have been treated to a roller coaster of excitement, punctuated by a pair of Game 7s over the weekend to decide the Stanley Cup finalists.

It’ll be Tampa Bay vs. Chicago in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final series that begins Wednesday night, with the experience ladened, tradition-rich, original-six Blackhawks aiming for a third title in six years. The Blackhawks opened as -150 favorites on the odds to win the Stanley Cup and t he Lightning are the +130 underdogs on the latest Stanley Cup odds.

2015 Stanley Cup Finals Odds & Expert Picks

Here’s what you need to know about the Stanley Cup finals:

Television: NBC, NBCSN

Livestream: NBC Sports Live extra

Game 1: June 3 – Tampa Bay 8 p.m. ET NBC Game 2: June 6 – Tampa Bay 7:15 p.m. ET NBC Game 3: June 8 – Chicago 8 p.m. ET NBCSN Game...
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The 2012 Stanley Cup Final, commonly known as the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, was the championship series of the National Hockey League (NHL) 2011–12 season, and the culmination of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. This was the 119th year of the Stanley Cup's presentation. The Western Conference playoff champion Los Angeles Kings defeated the Eastern Conference playoff champion New Jersey Devils four games to two, capturing the first Stanley Cup title in the team's 45-year history, dealing the Devils just their second Stanley Cup Finals defeat in five tries and first since 2001. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.

The 2012 Final ended a long Stanley Cup Final appearance drought for the Los Angeles Kings, who had appeared in the Finals only once in franchise history, in 1993, when the Wayne Gretzky–led Kings lost to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.[1] The New Jersey Devils last appeared in 2003 when...

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The broadcasts of Summer and Winter Olympic Games produced by NBC Sports is shown on the various networks of NBCUniversal in the United States, including the NBC broadcast network, Spanish language network Telemundo, and many of the company's cable networks. The event telecasts during the Olympics air primarily in the evening and on weekend afternoons on NBC, with varying times on its cable networks (such as after the close of the stock market day on CNBC, the early mornings on MSNBC, and overnights on the USA Network).

The on-air title of the telecasts, as typically announced at the start of each broadcast and during sponsor billboards, is always the official name of the games in question – for example, The Games of the XXIX Olympiad for the 2008 Summer Games. However, promotional logos may reflect the more common location-and-year name format, such as "Beijing 2008".

NBC has held the American broadcasting rights to the Summer Olympic Games since the 1988 games and...

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The limousine was going around to Manhattan hotels picking up NBC broadcasters. It was three hours before tipoff of Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals. Nobody was thinking basketball.

“He’s going to kill himself,” one person said.

Matt Guokas was the network’s lead analyst. He can’t recall who made the glum prediction, but there wasn’t much disagreement.

“Why do you think that?” Guokas said.

“He can’t stand not to be liked,” the person said. “So he can’t stand this.”

He was O.J. Simpson. This was arguably the most memorable, surreal and influential night in modern sports history.

Twenty years ago, Simpson got into a white Ford Bronco, pointed a .357 Magnum at his head and held America captive. It was the bookmark event for Generation X. If you don’t remember where you were that night, you were probably too young to remember anything.

It was bizarre. You had a sick feeling. It was very unnatural.

-- Matt Guokas, NBC NBA Finals...

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