Versus ended its two-game 2011 Stanley Cup Final coverage with a drop in ratings.
NBCUniversal's national cable network averaged a 1.6 U.S. rating and 2.71 million viewers for its June 8 coverage of Game 4 of the Boston Bruins-Vancouver Canucks series, according to Nielsen data. That was off 5.9% and 13.3%, respectively, from a 1.7 mark and 3.13 million viewers for the comparable Chicago Blackhawks-Philadelphia Flyers Game Four last year, which aired on a Friday night.
For its Game 3 presentation on Monday June 6, Versus netted a 1.6 mark and 2.76 million viewers, declines of 20% and 23.3% from the 2.0 and 3.6 million viewers for the comparable game from the 2010 final, which was Versus' biggest telecast ever.
Hence, the network's two telecasts averaged a 1.6 U.S. rating and 2.7 million viewers telecasts, off 15.8% and 19.9%, respectively, from a 1.9 rating and 3.37 million viewers for last year's Stanley Cup action.
Versus' cause was hampered by a pair of non-competitive contests - the Bruins outscored the Canucks 12-1 in the two games to even matters. The series is also suffering from comparisons to its predecessor, which featured the Original 6 Blackhawks, which won their first Stanley Cup since 1961 and the big market love-em, loathe-em Flyers, not to mention the Canadian factor, where Nielsen doesn't track results from north of the border.
Still, Versus notched significant growth from the last time it televised Stanley Cup Final action featuring a Canadian club -- the network netted a 0.5 rating and 675,000 viewers for its two Ottawa-Anaheim games in 2007.
Through the first four games - the first two were on NBC - the 2011 Stanley Cup Final averaged a 2.0 rating and 3.4 million viewers, compared with a 2.3 and 4.24 million a year ago.
NBC will carry the rest of the series, starting with Game 5 on June 10 in Vancouver. Game 6 is set for June 13 in Boston, while a seventh game, if necessary, would see the clubs fly back to the Pacific Northwest.