The Stanley Cup Finals continue to roll on the Motor City with the Red Wings vs. Sid the Kid.
Game 3 of the Detroit Red Wings-Pittsburgh Penguins series on NBC beat the competing Game 5 of the Eastern Conference NBA Finals between the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics on Wednesday in Detroit, with hockey getting an 18.8 rating and 29 share (in households) on WDIV compared to a 15.9/25 for the Pistons on ESPN.
The number would have been higher though, if it didn’t have to compete with “Hockey Night in Canada” on CBC, which is available over-the-air to viewers in the Detroit market through Windsor’s CBET-Channel 9, which is right across the border. Viewers who didn’t have Versus (or just wanted the CBC coverage) for the first two games in Detroit turned to CBET in droves.
In Pittsburgh, the game on WPXI-TV drew a huge 33.1/47, easily dominating its’ time slot.
Nationally, NBC drew 4.5 million for Game 3, up from last year’s games three and five of last year’s Anaheim-Ottawa final. But the game still placed fourth in the ratings.
Trivia: Before 1975, CBET was known as CKLW-TV, sister station to legendary Top 40 outlet CKLW-AM. The station signed on in 1954, and was later sold to General Tire/RKO. CKLW-AM-FM-TV were the only Canadian media outlets ever owned by an American company. That prestige came to an end in 1969, when the Canadian government forced General Tire/RKO to sell the trio.