American television ratings rise for Stanley Cup final opener

STAMFORD, Conn. – The Detroit Red Wings’ victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup final opener was the highest-rated and most-watched cable telecast of the championship round in six years in the United States.

The Red Wings’ 4-0 win on Saturday night had a 1.8 rating in the U.S. – drawing over 2.3 million viewers. The rating was the highest for an NHL game on Versus, topping the audience that watched the Penguins’ Game 2 victory over Philadelphia in this year’s Eastern Conference finals.

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Only Lance Armstrong’s final ride in the 2005 Tour de France had a higher rating in Versus history (2.1).

Versus will show Game 2 of the finals on Monday night before the series shifts to NBC for the remaining games.

The Game 1 rating is a 157 per cent increase over last year’s opener and a 100 per cent rise from two years ago.