NBC sets streaming records for Stanley Cup final

Call us biased, but we bet that the numbers would have been even better had the Chicago Blackhawks been in the Stanley Cup final instead of the Los Angeles Kings. Still, according to NBC, this year’s Stanley Cup Final recorded record online streaming numbers “for virtually every metric,” according to a press release out today.

Here are the figures from NBC: “Live streaming for the five-game 2014 Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports Live Extra delivered 603,000 uniques and 37.14 million minutes, up 38% and 22%, respectively, vs. last year and made 2014 the most-consumed Stanley Cup Final ever.”

For the entire NHL playoffs, NBC said it had 1.52 million uniques and 201.50 million minutes watched, “the best-ever for an NHL post-season” and an increase of 180% in uniques and 183% in minutes as compared to last year.

One question we have for cable and broadcast execs: Do the authentication measures really help with cable subscriptions? Or are they just a kind of feel-good thing to make cable providers feel like people aren’t getting “free” content? I’d love to see some proof or stats that say the authentication measures are valuable — as opposed to the good will and free marketing you could reap by just making stuff free online. Because really, nothing is “free” online — if you want to watch sports online you still need broadband, which isn’t really free anywhere.

Off the soapbox now. And hoping that next year when the Blackhawks return to their rightful perch atop the league, the online numbers will double this year’s.

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