Why a San Jose-Montreal Stanley Cup Final Is Bad for TV

May 13th, 2010 by Stephen Dupej Leave a reply »
Last night, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, and about a week ago, the San Jose Sharks eliminated the defending Western Conference champions, Detroit Red Wings.

The Penguins and Red Wings dueled in the Stanley Cup Finals the past two seasons, and were big rating draws in the U.S., with Game Seven of last year's final drawing a 4.3 Nielsen Rating of roughly eight million viewers.

The 4.3 rating was the highest rating for a NHL game since Game Seven of the 2003 finals between Anaheim and New Jersey, which drew a 4.6 rating.

But now that the Penguins and Red Wings are out of the tournament, the remaining  teams will have to do. However, possibly the worst-case scenario for the NHL is a Montreal-San Jose final.


Well, for one thing, NBC doesn't want a team in the finals that won't factor in the Nielsen Ratings. As such, a Canadian team like Montreal would drag down the U.S. ratings.

Conversely, it seems pretty obvious if you were to ask CBC what their dream final for this season would be, as their response would be the “Canadiens vs. ...

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