Combine a rainy Sunday afternoon with a taut potential elimination game with a series that has barely seen a two-goal lead with a national television broadcast and what do you get?
Well, among other things, you get a massive television audience.
The NBC telecast of Game 6 of the Boston-Washington series earned a an average household rating of 8.63 in the D.C. market, equal to approximately 204,000 area households.
That makes it, at a minimum, the most-watched game of the Alex Ovechkin Era in this market. (The Comcast SportsNet all-time high rating was an 8.10 for Game 7 of the 2010 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against Montreal. Perhaps the most famous game in the Ovechkin Era, the 2011 prime time Winter Classic in Pittsburgh, earned a 7.6 in this market.)
NBC Sports PR tweeted that Game 6 was the highest-rated non-Stanley Cup Finals NHL game on record in the Washington market. We’re attempting to figure out whether any Stanley Cup Finals games actually earned a larger rating, but it’s possible Game 6 was the most-watched D.C. game, period.
If you include the Baltimore market, Sunday’s game delivered an average area audience of 260,000 households, with peak viewership of approximately 345,000 households.
The game also set non-Stanley-Cup-Finals records in the Boston market, with a 16.3 rating, according to NBC.
(First written up by Puck the Media.)