The Los Angeles Kings can complete a sweep of the New Jersey Devils tonight in game 4 of the Staley Cup finals and put the cap on one of the most dominant playoff runs in hockey’s history in the process.The only problem? The game will be broadcast on cable channel NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus), meaning that if trends from this year hold, under two million people will be watching.
Game 3 of the Kings-Devils series drew 1.74 million viewers, down 37% from Game 3 in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, which was also aired on a cable channel.
It gets worse, though. In 2010, game 3 of the Blackhawks-Flyers had more than double the amount of viewers, with an audience of 3.6 million.
For some cross-sport perspective, game 5 of the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat series drew a 7.6 overnight rating according to Sports Media Watch, which roughly equates to well over 8 million people.
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