Versus Ices Another Record Via Stanley Cup Final

Versus set another record Thursday night (June 4), as its coverage of Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals averaged 3.45 million viewers, the biggest delivery in the network’s history.

The game topped Versus’ previous record, which was set just two days before. Game Three of the Penguins-Red Wings series averaged 2.96 million viewers June 2, per Nielsen ratings data.

The Comcast-owned network’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs was up 27 percent over last year’s deliveries. During the NHL regular season, Versus’ hockey coverage was up 20 percent.  

Versus president Jamie Davis said that advertisers who follow the fans to Versus are rewarded by the loyalty of the NHL audience. “The public likes what we’re doing, and they’ve stuck with us all season long,” Davis said. “We’re seeing new advertisers coming to us that may have been in other places.”

The network this season saw a significant lift from official NHL partners Verizon, Bud Light and Honda, the latter of which stepped in to replace Dodge as the official vehicle of the league as part of a three-year, $12 million deal.

“Obviously the economy is crappy, but we’ve had a slew of sponsors jump in where others may have bowed out,” Davis said. “We’re younger and hungrier and we’re a better value proposition.”

During its two-game Stanley Cup run, Versus averaged 3.21 million total viewers. Through the first five contests, the NHL’s championship showcase is averaging 4.11 million viewers. (NBC carried Games One, Two and Five, averaging 4.51 million, 5.33 million and 4.28 million viewers, respectively.)

With a victory on Tuesday night, the Red Wings can clinch their 12th Stanley Cup, and their fifth since the 1996-97 campaign. NBC’s coverage of Game Six begins at 8 p.m. EDT.