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The Panthers defeat the Oilers to capture their first Stanley Cup

Jordan Rothel Jun 26, 2024 10:59:21 AM

The Oilers may have lost the 2024 Stanley Cup finals but the viewing figures for the nail-biting 7-game series demonstrated the power of linear TV.

Stanley Cup Finals 

The 2024 NHL Stanley Cup finals came down to a thrilling game 7 on Monday night between the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers. Almost 17 million (1) Canadians tuned into the game to see if Edmonton could snap our country's 31-year Cup drought. Unfortunately, it did not work out that way for the Oilers after forcing a game 7 from being down 3-0 in the series. 
Optimism was high when the series started, people tuned in expecting to see the Oilers, led by the one and only Connor McDavid, take care of business. 
In Game 1 10 million Canadians tuned in for at least 1 minute. Figures dropped slightly over the next two games with 9.4 and 9.1 million viewers respectively as the Oilers failed to capture a win. With viewing trending down, Edmonton stepped up and dominated game 4. Viewing levels matched game 1 heights with 10 million tuning in to see the Oilers win and Connor McDavid setting a playoff assist record by surpassing none other than Wayne Gretzky. 
The Oilers continued their push to tie up the series, taking both the next games in front of a growing linear TV audience (10.8 and 11.9 million viewers tuning into games 5 and 6). With the city of Edmonton and growing parts of the country behind them, they travelled the 4500 km back to Florida hoping to make history as the only team to win the Stanley Cup after being down 3-0. A feat not achieved since the 1943 Toronto Maple Leafs. 


CP172416291Image: Jason Franson/Canadian Press

Viewing to Game 7

12% of viewing to game 7 was from out of home and 33% of viewers watched in groups of 3 people or more. Fans congregated in various locations such as the Ice District in Edmonton for the outside viewing party and in Richmond Hill where the local Connor McDavid fans watched their local sports hero compete at the highest level. 

Despite the Oilers' defeat, the Florida Panthers' first-ever Stanley Cup win highlighted the value of experience, following their loss in the finals to Vegas last season. This outcome should bring optimism to Canadians, particularly Oilers fans, as they look forward to the future with hope and excitement.

Total reach for the final playoff game was 2.2 times higher than last year, which should leave the league, broadcasters, and advertisers thirsty for more.  Even the reach of the 7 Stanley Cup finals games surpassed that of the NFL Super Bowl from earlier this year by 5%. 
So, while our collective Stanley Cup drought lives on, I do not think it will be for much longer as more Canadian franchises should be ready to compete for the Cup in the coming seasons. 


(1) Total Canada, Ind2+ reach across all stations (CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports) calculated using InstarTV