Versus Toasts Best Stanley Cup Cable Rating Since 2002

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Versus’ May 24 coverage of the first game of the series netted the best Nielsens for a Stanley Cup Finals contests on cable since 2002.

The Detroit Red Wings’ 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night averaged a 1.8 household rating and almost 2.32 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

That marked the highest-rated and most-watched game in the Stanley Cup Final round on cable since 2002 and the best-ever on Versus. The Saturday-night shutout topped the 1.7 delivered by the Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers on May 11 in the second game of the 2008 Eastern Conference finals.

Moreover, the 1.8 average, up 157% from the 0.7 mark for the 2007 Cup opener and double the 0.9 for the first game of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals, was the second-best for the Comcast Corp.-owned service, which earned a 2.1 household rating on July 24, 2005, Lance Armstrong’s final ride in the 2005 Tour de France.

Locally, Versus scored an 8.4 household rating in the Detroit DMA, tops in all of cable for the time period. In Pittsburgh, Versus garnered a 19.0 mark, No. 1 in all of TV for that time period.

Tonight, Versus will present the second game of the series at 8 p.m. from Detroit, preceded by Hockey Central at 7:30 p.m.

The contest will overlap ESPN’s coverage of the fourth game of the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference finals series as the Boston Celtics visit the Detroit Pistons, which tips off at 8:30 p.m., as well as FSN Detroit’s presentation of the Major League Baseball match-up of the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels at 9 p.m.

On Saturday night, the NHL game faced off against ABC’s coverage of the third game of the hoop series, plus FSN’s airing of the Tigers’ 19-3 triumph over the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park in Detroit.

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