Hockey is still king in Canada, let there be no doubt. CTV claims their Olympic consortium BBM CUME score (Can U Makeit Enormouser) reached 10.6 million viewers for Sunday night's Olympic hockey game between Canada and the U.S. (featuring that bastard Ryan Miller, above, in the U.S. net as captured by veteran NBC shooter Paul Drinkwater). On CTV alone, the game drew 9.48 million, which topped even the crazy high total for the opening ceremonies.
CTV claims that's the biggest sports audience ever in Canadian TV history but it isn't. Millions more watched Team Canada defeat the Soviet Union 6-5 on Sept. 28, 1972. Hey, that was also on CTV (as well as CBC), but that was before people meters so whatever.
More surprising, perhaps, is the big audience the game drew south of the border. NBC bounced their live feed of Sunday's cross border hockey tilt over to news channel MSNBC where it still managed to pull 8.2 million viewers--the biggest TV audience for any hockey game in America in 37 years! That was against NBC's main Olympic coverage that night, which drew a robust 23 million.
If Canada can somehow fight its way back to the Sunday's hockey final, and if it is a rematch against the Americans, the TV rating is going to break records on both sides of the border. Canada takes that first step back tonight against Germany at 7:30 p.m. on CTV.