Stanley Cup playoffs averaging record 1.16 million viewers in the U.S. through first 2 rounds

NEW YORK (AP) — The first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs have been the most-watched in the U.S.

Going into the conference finals, the playoffs are averaging 1.16 million viewers across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS and truTV. That is a 9% increase over last year.

The conference semifinals, where all four series went at least six games, averaged 1.55 million, a 12% jump.

The Florida Panthers' 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 6 on May 17, averaged 2.2 million on TNT, truTV and Max. The first game of the Carolina Hurricanes-New York Rangers series on May 5 averaged 2 million on ESPN.

The first round of the playoffs averaged 934,000 viewers, the second-most watched first round for the NHL in the U.S.