The final NHL Stanley Cup game on NBC attracts 3.6 million viewers
The final numbers are in, and the National Hockey League attracted 3.6 million viewers for Game 5 of its Stanley Cup Final on NBC, the league’s last season on the network.
On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens, 1-0, to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. As with pro basketball, the NHL’s main event is off schedule due to the pandemic. But compared with the 2020 Stanley Cup, which was played last September, viewership recovered.
This series averaged 2.52 million viewers. The 2020 series, featuring the Lightning and Dallas Stars, averaged roughly 2 million viewers throughout six games. The 2019 Stanley Cup Final featured the Boston Bruins — one of the “original six” hockey clubs in the NHL — and St. Louis Blues and averaged 5.3 million viewers throughout seven games.
The first four games of the 2021 series averaged a total audience delivery — linear, cable and streaming combined — of 2.23 million viewers on NBC’s broadcast network and sports channel, NBCSN.
The NHL ended its 16-year relationship with NBC this year and moved to ESPN and WarnerMedia. The league increased its media rights fee to more than $625 million per year courtesy of the new deals. ESPN and TNT will divide the upcoming Stanley Cup broadcasts.
A new way to activate
But before NBC Sports concluded its coverage, Lightning left winger Patrick Maroon executed a personal business deal.
Maroon became the first NHL player to activate a marketing agreement after the Lightning clinched the series. During an on-ice interview with NBC, he mentioned Shavelogic and triggered their deal. The company makes shaving products and signed Maroon to a six-figure contract with stock options and an ambassador role. The agreement was negotiated by NHL agent Rob Grant of Octagon’s hockey division.
Shavelogic also signed a deal with the NHL in May and is now allowed to leverage the league’s intellectual property and have its brand displayed at future Stanley Cup events.
Maroon, 33, finished the NHL regular season with 18 points (14 goals and four assists) in 55 games. He has one year remaining on his contract, valued at $1 million. In his career, Maroon has made $15 million, according to Spotrac.