TV Ratings: Los Angeles Audience for Kings-Blackhawks Game 7 Dwarfed by Chicago

The Kings and the Blackhawks
The Kings and the Blackhawks
 AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The Kings may be heading to the Stanley Cup Finals, but Los Angeles hockey fans remain a bit more tepid in their enthusiasm for the sport.

Though Sunday's overtime Game 7 victory for the Kings drew a conference finals best for NBC Sports Network viewers in the nation's No. 2 TV market, initial ratings have the Chicago Blackhawks' hometown pulling five times that number. That's a 22.7 rating in the losing town, the nation's No. 3 market, for the team's best delivery ever on NBCSN.

By comparison, Los Angeles viewers averaged a good-for-California 4.8 rating in metered markets. The game actually pulled a higher rating in Buffalo, where it averaged a 7.3.

Final ratings for the game give NBCSN a total of 4.14 million viewers. That makes it the most-watched non-Olympic event in network history, outperforming previous highs set by Stanley Cup finals games.

With the cup in sight, what would be the second in three years for 2012 victors L.A., local viewership should be further goosed. And NBC Sports execs are likely holding their breath in hopes that a coastal rivalry -- the Kings face the New York Rangers -- will improve this year's Stanley Cup showing overall after last year's more niche showdown between Chicago and the Boston Bruins.

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