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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 2, 2010

U.S.-Canada hockey game nets huge ratings


Sunday's Olympic gold-medal hockey game attracted a massive North American television audience, making it the most-viewed hockey game in the United States in 30 years and the most-viewed show of any kind in Canadian history.

Canada won, 3-2.

On NBC, the U.S.-Canada game drew an average of 27.6 million viewers and 15.2 percent of homes, the best such figures for hockey since Feb. 24, 1980, when Team USA beat Finland in Lake Placid, N.Y., for the gold.

It was the third-biggest U.S. hockey audience, trailing only that Finland game (32.8 million viewers) and the "Miracle on Ice" two days earlier against the Soviets, which attracted 34.2 million, even on tape delay.

In Canada, an average of 16.6 million people watched on nine channels in eight languages, forming the largest television audience in history in that nation. About 80 percent of Canadians (26.5 million) watched at least some part of the game.

For the 17 nights of the Games, NBC averaged 24.4 million viewers and 13.8 percent of homes in prime time, roughly in line with what it told advertisers to expect.