Oilers’ heroics boost NHL ratings, spark hope for new fans

Oilers’ heroics boost NHL ratings, spark hope for new fans

The National Hockey League (NHL) couldn’t have scripted a better scenario for a ratings boost than the dramatic turn of events in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Oilers, led by superstar Connor McDavid, defied the odds by forcing a Game 7 after falling behind 0-3 to the Florida Panthers. This comeback not only kept fans on the edge of their seats but also proved to be a financial boon for Disney’s ABC, the NHL’s broadcast partner.

A ratings windfall

This year’s Stanley Cup Finals switched gears, moving from cable channels on Warner Bros. Discovery to the widely accessible Disney-owned ABC. This prime real estate on a major network likely contributed to the impressive 36% jump in U.S. ratings compared to last year. The Edmonton Oilers’ dramatic comeback also played a role, generating an estimated $12.6 million windfall for ABC in ad revenue thanks to the extended series, according to Sportico.

McDavid’s heroics lure casual fans

The story lines were perfect for drawing in new viewers. McDavid’s shot at a first Stanley Cup, hockey’s ultimate prize, under such extraordinary circumstances, has proven irresistible for casual fans. This, combined with the historic comeback attempt and the Canadian team’s drought-breaking potential, has created compelling narratives that transcend die-hard hockey viewership.

A turning point for the NHL?

Industry insiders believe Monday’s Game 7 has the potential to create new hockey fans and pave the way for the league to retain them. This unexpected drama could be a turning point for the NHL, expanding its reach beyond its core fanbase and securing a brighter future.

Media Jobs