Hockey scores big as the Stanley Cup Finals start tonight

Well as Chicago gets  ready to host Boston starting at 8 p.m. on NBC the last two holders of the Stanley Cup will face-off in the Finals.  Meanwhile, even before the game starts tonight it has been a great Stanley Cup Playoffs thus far.

The suits at both the NHL offices and the network executives at NBC could not be happier. The rating are just in and the 2013 Stanley Cup Conference Finals, which recently concluded and aired across NBC and NBC Sports Network, are the most-watched Conference Finals in 17 years and up 111% from last year, according to data provided by The Nielsen Company. The round was highlighted by its last two games, which scoured viewership records for both NBC and NBC Sports Network.

In addition, the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs so far this post-season, consisting of the Conference Quarterfinals, Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals, are the second-most watched in 16 years.

Locally there were big numbers as through the first three rounds of the playoffs, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York and Pittsburgh have all posted record ratings on NBC and/or NBC Sports Network in their respective markets.