6 Million Even Tune into USA-Finland

Courtesy of NBC Sports, the network’s broadcast of USA’s semifinal matchup against Finland (a 6-1 Team USA victory) drew 6.0 million viewers in the 3PM ET/12 Noon PT slot on Friday. ┬áThis is up a tick from the 5.9 million who watched the USA-Switzerland quarterfinal on Wednesday. ┬áNeither has matched the 8.2 million who watched USA-Canada on Saturday.

It’ll be fun to see what it can draw Sunday.

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Saturday and Sunday’s Hockey Action on the Networks of NBC

VANCOUVER – February 26, 2010 – The men’s ice hockey bronze medal game between Finland and either Canada or Slovakia is live on MSNBC and NBCOlympics.com. Live on CNBC, the men’s curling gold medal match between Canada and Norway.

MSNBC
10:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey -Bronze Medal Game (LIVE)

CABLE HIGHLIGHTS:
Men’s Ice Hockey: The men’s ice hockey bronze medal game is LIVE on MSNBC.

Sunday, February 28 (DAY 17)

NBC
Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey – Gold Medal Final (LIVE)

NBC HIGHLIGHTS (Daytime):
Men’s Ice Hockey: Gold Medal Final – The moment Canadians have waited for since learning Vancouver would host the Games some seven years ago: LIVE coverage of the Gold Medal Final in men’s ice hockey. If the home country plays in this game, Canadians across the country will stop and share in a nation-wide communal experience. In 2002, the Gold Medal Final between Team USA and Canada was the most watched television event in Canadian history.

Quotes From NBC’s Coverage of the Semifinals

VANCOUVER – February 26, 2010 – Daytime coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games continued today on NBC with live coverage of the men’s hockey semifinal game between Team USA and Finland. Team USA defeated Finland, 6-1, and will face the winner of Canada vs. Slovakia in the gold medal game. Also airing on USA Network, live coverage of the women’s curling bronze medal match between China and Switzerland and live on MSNBC speed skating pursuit men’s semifinals and women’s quarterfinals.

Al Michaels hosted the daytime show live from Canada Hockey Place. Joining Michaels for analysis were Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick. Mike “Doc” Emrick provided play-by-play, Eddie Olczyk provided game analysis and Pierre McGuire reported from “Inside the Glass.” Below are highlights from the game.

Michaels also sat down with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman during the second intermission to talk about the NHL and its participation in the Olympics.

NBC

HIGHLIGHTS OF MICHAELS AND BETTMAN INTERVIEW

BETTMAN ON NHL PLAYERS IN THE OLYMPICS: “We worry about the disruption in our season by being here for two weeks and shutting down, but what you’re seeing is really NHL hockey. This is a playoff atmosphere, this is an NHL arena, NHL ice, NHL rules, NHL officials, and NHL players so I’m very pleased with what we’re seeing out there.”

BETTMAN ON NHL PLAYERS IN SOCHI 2016: “It’s an open question. I know the media is making a big deal over the fact that we haven’t made a decision yet. It’s great to be here and these Olympic Games have been fabulous. The hockey has been great. That doesn’t take into account that there are count-availing issues that we’re going to have to deal with in deciding what makes sense going forward. You talk about Nagano in 1998, Czech played Russia for the gold medal game, and we didn’t get much of an impact being halfway around the world. What’s interesting to me is, we haven’t said no.”

“We have to sit with our Player’s Association. It’s a joint decision. We’ll meet with the IIHF and the IOC, to make sure that on things that we’ve learned about participating in these Games over the last four Olympics, three and this one, whether or not we can do things better. Then it’ll be a balancing act, and it’s something ultimately that the clubs will decide, not me.”

FIRST PERIOD

EMRICK: “It’s now the semifinal. Excitement across the country gets higher. The competition from the opponent gets stiffer.”

OLCZYK ON USA’S PATRICK KANE: “He has the ability to be a difference maker. I think the pace of this game hits Patrick Kane right between the eyes.”

OLCZYK ON USA’S ERIK JOHNSON: “Erik Johnson has really been a pillar of strength for Ron Wilson and Team USA.”

MCGUIRE ON SWEDEN’S GOALTENDER MIKKA KIPRUSOFF: “This is a monumental meltdown by Mikka Kiprusoff.”

OLCZYK AFTER USA’S SIXTH GOAL: “Six goals and we’re not even fifteen minutes into the first period.”

MICHAELS ON TEAM USA’S PERFORMANCE: “This is the equivalent of a football team leading another team 42-0 midway through the second quarter.”

SECOND PERIOD

MCGUIRE: “Fearless shot blocking by all American players in this tournament.”

OLCZYK ON TEAM USA’S GOALTENDER RYAN MILLER: “He’s probably the most consistent American player in this Olympics.”

MCGUIRE ON TEAM USA AFTER SIX GOALS: “The team’s still paying attention to little details.”

EMRICK ON TEAM USA: “It is still two perfect periods for Ryan Miller and Team USA defensively.”

THIRD PERIOD

EMRICK ON SLOVAKIA TAKING ON CANADA: “Never underestimate a Cinderella team that doesn’t know any better than to just keep going like Slovakia has been.”

EMRICK ON FINLAND’S ONLY GOAL: “Antti Miettinen has scored a scorcher.”

EMRICK ON TEAM USA’S WIN: “There was no anesthetic, this was surgical this afternoon.”

ROENICK ON THE U.S.-CANADA RIVALRY: “There’s no bigger rival for the United States in international hockey than Canada.”

ROENICK ON THE GOLD MEDAL GAME: “Everybody should show up to watch this game on Sunday.”

On CNBC, Canada held off a late rally to beat Slovakia, 3-2, in men’s hockey and earn the right to face the US in the gold medal game on Sunday on home soil.

CNBC, Men’s Ice Hockey Semifinal:
Canada 3 vs. Slovakia 2
Bill Patrick (Host), Mike Milbury (Studio Analyst), Jeremy Roenick (Studio Analyst), Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Eddie Olczyk (Analyst), Joe Micheletti (Reporter)

Sidney Crosby on the gold medal game: “It’s going to be emotional. It’s going to be intense.”

“We are in the finals now, and we know that our biggest test is yet to come here.”

Milbury on USA and Canada’s physicality: “That’s a real trademark of both of these teams going in to the finals.”

Roenick on the gold medal game: “Everybody at home, watch this game Sunday!”

Albert: “A collective exhale from 34 million residents of Canada.”

“Canada has been waiting for the opportunity to play for the gold on their home soil, and they will have that chance on Sunday against the U.S.”

“Fans continue to chant, we want USA!”

Albert on the final seconds of the game: “Furious pressure by Slovakia.”

Albert: “Slovakia falls just short and Canada will advance to play Team USA for the gold.”

Olczyk on the gold medal: “You just start thinking about a lot of things. You think about where you came from, all the people that helped you along the way, all the coaches, all the hard drives for mom and dad, all the sacrifices.”

Milbury: “I started off this tournament with some doubts about Scott Niedermayer. He hadn’t had a great season at Anaheim, but boy has he come a long way in this tournament.”

Women’s Gold Medal Game Draws 2.5 Million on MSNBC

From TVBytheNumbers via Sports Media Watch:

Canada’s win over Team USA in the Olympic Women’s Hockey Gold Medal game drew a 1.6 U.S. rating and 2.5 million viewers on MSNBC Thursday evening. The game was the 9th-highest rated and 6th-most viewed program of the night on cable television.

So good news that people are tuning in to give women’s puck a shot.