NBC will be pulling for Blackhawks in Game 7; Rangers, too

Once again, the biggest Blackhawks fans outside of Chicago will be NBC Sports executives for Game 7 Saturday. It’s all about ratings.

The Blackhawks’ victory in Game 6 did a 16.6 local rating on NBCSN Thursday; 1 local ratings point is worth nearly 35,000 homes. That means an estimated 577,000 homes tuned into the game in Chicago, with a peak of 831,000 homes in the third period.

Meanwhile, the game was viewed by only 166,000 homes in Los Angeles, a city that isn’t nearly as obsessed with the Anaheim Ducks or hockey.

Just do the math, and it is easy to see why NBC wants the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, where the Chicago numbers can account for as much as 25-30 percent of the national rating.

NBC’s dream scenario for the Final would be Blackhawks-Rangers. Everything is there: two of the three biggest markets in the country and two Original 6 teams with major national appeal.

NBC would settle for either the Blackhawks or Rangers in the Final. As for a potential Anaheim-Tampa Bay Final, don’t even go there from NBC’s perspective.

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