College hockey's title game took a slight hit in the ratings despite the presence of super freshman Jack Eichel.
An average of 635,000 households saw Providence College goalie Jon Gillies make 49 saves as the Friars came back to defeat Eichel, the 2015 Hobey Baker winner and projected top-2 NHL Draft pick, and Boston University 4-3, according to Sports TV Ratings.
Airing on ESPN, Saturday's championship (April 12, 2015) had a 0.3 rating of adults 18-49.
The game featuring two Hockey East teams within an hour of Frozen Four site TD Garden in Boston was down 12% compared to the 2014 national championship. That contest drew 717,000 for Union's 7-4 win over the University of Minnesota at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Still, the 2015 Frozen Four had a higher viewership than 2013's all-ECAC final between Quinnipiac and Yale. The 635,000 viewers is the third-highest in the last decade. Only 2014 and Boston University's previous appearance in 2009 (656,000 in an overtime win against Miami) drew more on average. The small dip could have been larger given the high number (nearly a quarter) of viewers from the Twin Cities in 2014 with Minnesota participating.
On cable, only a Liga MX game had a higher number of viewers than the Frozen Four this weekend.
Thursday's Frozen Four semifinals on ESPN2 were also a mixed bag.
In Frozen Four games on ESPN2 BU/North Dakota averaged 290,000 viewers and Providence/Nebraska-Omaha averaged 196K: http://t.co/pt14YhwosN— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) April 10, 2015
Providence's 4-1 win over Nebraska-Omaha Thursday afternoon (April 10, 2015) easily outdrew its 2014 comparison. The 196K household average is 40K more that saw Union defeat Boston College. It's the second highest afternoon spot in a decade (2012's afternoon game aired on ESPNU).
Boston University's 5-3 win over North Dakota in the nightcap was 45K less than a year ago when Minnesota and UND squared off in the same slot. It's also lower than the two previous North Dakota Frozen Four semi games although both of those were against BCS schools (Michigan in 2011, Minnesota in 2014) with higher casual recognition. However, Thursday night's game was a slightly higher viewership than the previous BU appearance in the night spot (284,000 in 2009 against Vermont).
Frozen Four Title Game ratings since 2009
2015: 635,000 (Providence vs. Boston University)
2014: 717,000 (Union vs Minnesota)
2013: 402,000 (Yale vs. Quinnipiac)
2012: 353,000 (Boston College vs. Ferris State)**
2011: 624,000 (Minnesota Duluth vs. Michigan)
2010: 526,000 (Boston College vs. Wisconsin)
2009: 656,000 (Boston University vs. Miami)
**Game aired on ESPN2
Number is in households rather than estimated viewers. (I.E. 526,000 households watched in 2010 for an estimated 1.3M viewers.)