The testimony of former FBI director James Comey in a Senate hearing Thursday morning and afternoon had about twice the local rating of Pittsburgh's 6-0 rout of Nashville Thursday night in game five of the Stanley Cup Final.
Comey's testimony detailing his uncomfortable and awkward dealings with President Donald Trump had a 14.8 local household rating on the top six broadcast and cable news channels that carried it from 10 a.m. through 12:30 p.m.
It wasn't as high as some experts were predicting, but it would have been the No. 2 program locally in prime time during the May sweeps, behind only CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," which averaged a 15.9 household rating live and seven days later.
To put the rating in further perspective, the Comey rating was about 30 percent of the rating for the first presidential debate in fall 2016 between then-Republican nominee Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. That debate had a combined 48.9 rating points on the 10 channels that carried it.
Fox News had the highest local rating for the Comey testimony, a 3.5. WIVB-TV (Channel 4), the local CBS affiliate, was second with a 3.0 rating for the Comey testimony. That is lower than its daytime programs and noon news usually average. WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), the local NBC affiliate, was third with a 2.9. MSNBC was fourth with a 2.0 and CNN and WKBW-TV (Channel 7), the local ABC affiliate, tied for fifth with a 1.7.
Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals had a 7.7 rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), 30 percent lower than the 11.0 rating for Nashville's win in Game 4. It also was lower than the rating for game 2, which was carried on cable's NBCSN. Still, Buffalo will likely be the No.3 or No. 4 market in ratings for the game.
The Penguins' dominance in taking a 3-2 series lead led viewers to either change the channel or go to bed. The game had a high rating of 11.0 at 8:45 p.m. that dropped to a 7.9 rating at 9 p.m. and a 5.9 rating at 10 p.m.