Washington's Stanley Cup Victory Delivers Big Audience for NBC

(Bloomberg) -- The Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup victory Thursday night attracted the biggest Game 5 audience for the National Hockey League finals in 16 years, providing a boost for the NBC network.

About 6.7 million viewers tuned to see the Capitals win their first title by beating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on the network and its online platforms, NBC said Friday. That’s up 51 percent from a year ago and the biggest Game 5 since 2002. The series was the most-watched Stanley Cup in three years, according to the Comcast Corp.-owned network.

With the National Football League an obvious outlier, live sports continue to show resilience for broadcast and cable network owners, which have seen dramas and comedies lose viewers to other entertainment options. The NBA finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have also drawn large audiences.

While NFL ratings have fallen the past two seasons, regular season NBA viewership was higher this year, and last year’s World Series saw its third-highest audience since 2005.

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