Here’s how the formula, which is based on regression analysis, estimates that NBC will do in the U.S. with the Blackhawks-Lightning matchup (the margin of error on the game-by-game estimates is about plus or minus 1.0 ratings points).
http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/m...tings-bonanza/But what if the New York Rangers had beaten the Lightning instead of not showing up for Game 7, like the Carl Hagelin jersey that was mailed to my apartment two days too late? (I’m not bitter.3) That would be the best possible matchup for NBC. Among U.S.-based teams, the Blackhawks have the best local hockey market in the Western Conference, while the Rangers have the best one in the Eastern Conference (despite sharing it with two other teams). Ratings would likely have been well into the 3s for the series, with a potentially massive number — the model estimates it at 5.8 — in the event of a Game 7.
This is nothing new, but it does show the actual mathematics behind the theory and projections put forth by Silver that I completely agree with, personally speaking.
Hawks/Rangers not just could have, but almost certainly would have been an absolute blockbuster.