NBC’s broadcast of the Chicago Blackhawks‘ triple-overtime win against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night averaged 6.4 million total viewers across its five-hour run, making it the most watched Stanley Cup Game 1 match-up in 16 years, falling just 9,000 viewers shy of the all-time record-holding Detroit-Philadelphia face-off of 1997.
Versus last year’s Los Angeles-New Jersey Game 1, the broadcast was up 119 percent in total audience and up 177 percent in the household rating, scoring a 3.9.
Viewership for the prolonged contest peaked during the first OT period, which started at 11:15 pm and drew 7.44 million viewers.
All told, Game 1 emerged as the No. 1 program of the day across both broadcast and cable in the 18-49 (tied with a 2.5), Men 18-49 and Men 25-54 demos.