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Stanley Cup Playoffs Attract Largest Audience Ever

06/14/2010 12:22 PM

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NEW YORK (June 14, 2010) – After a regular season that saw record-breaking business success, propelled in large part by the NHL’s strategy of engaging fans through big events and robust digital offerings, the League built on that momentum with unprecedented success during a Stanley Cup Playoffs that attracted the largest audience across all platforms in the history of the sport.

The landmark playoff run was highlighted by the most-watched NHL game in the U.S. in 36 years; the highest audience for an all-U.S. Final in Canadian television history; the most-watched first two rounds on U.S. cable in history; the most-watched NHL game in TSN’s history; record TV ratings in local markets such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Boston; television and digital growth in non-traditional markets like Memphis, Kansas City, New Orleans and San Diego; another record year for unique visitors; the hottest of all hot markets in Chicago fueling a one-day sales record; in-arena sales for the Final growing by 129 percent; and measurable buzz on platforms like Google and Twitter.

"By whatever method of measurement you want to use -- be it ratings, revenues, page views, video starts, sponsor activations or simply the quality of play – the game, the players, the fans, our clubs and our partners teamed up to make 2009-10 a season to remember," said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

NHL COO John Collins said, “Our fans once again demonstrated their insatiable appetite for NHL hockey, which they consumed in unprecedented numbers across all of our platforms. These milestones spotlight the power of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and its importance to hockey fans around the world. It's a fitting cap to a season that saw record-breaking business success for the League.”

Below are business highlights from the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs:


  • On Wednesday, June 9, (Game 6) and the day preceding, five of the top 20 searches on Google were Stanley Cup related.
  • For week one of the Stanley Cup Final search interest for the Stanley Cup Final was up 23 percent over last year.
  • The Stanley Cup ranked as the number one trending topic worldwide on Twitter through the end of Game 6 (June 9).
  • According to the Chicago Sun-Times, The City of Chicago estimated that two million people attended the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade on Friday more than the estimated half-million that watched the White Sox World Series parade in 2005 as well as any victory parade for the Bulls in the 1980's and 90's.
  • According to, tickets for the Stanley Cup Final were driving a higher price on the secondary market than for the NBA Finals.


  • Total in-venue sales for Stanley Cup Final were up 92 percent over last year’s Final and gained 129 percent over the first six games of the 2009 Final.
  • Total sales for the entire 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs were up 22 percent.
  • recorded its best single day sales total on June 10, surpassing the previous single day record (Holiday 2009 Cyber Monday) by 25 percent and also eclipsed Penguins (Stanley Cup 2009) by over 50 percent.

“Sales in Chicago have been off the charts,” said Bryan Nosal of JC Penney. “We sold out in many locations within hours. The fan support has been tremendous.”

Jim Pasani of VF Licensed Sports Group, Majestic Athletic said, "Chicago's commitment to the Cup is like nothing we've ever seen and demand for Blackhawks apparel has exceeded our own high expectations. The Blackhawks victory caps off what has been a winning NHL campaign with fans and retailers appetites for NHL merchandise clearly on a strong upswing heading into 2011."  


  • Game 6 of the Final on NBC was the most-watched (8.28 million) and highest-rated NHL game (4.7) on U.S. television in 36 years.
  • NBC Sports broadcast four of the series’ six games (1-2, 5-6). Those four games averaged 6.1 million viewers, the best on network TV in 13 years.
  • NBC Sports’ coverage of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final earned the best overnight rating (4.1 rating and 7 share) for a Game 2 on record (NHL overnight data prior to 1975 is unavailable).