16.6 Million Canadians Watched Gold Medal Triumph on CTV, Most-Watched Program in Nation’s History

From William Houston:

The Olympic hockey gold medal thriller on Sunday pulled in a record television audience in Canada.

A total of 16.6 million viewers watched Canada’s 3-2 overtime win against the United States, the largest viewership ever for a telecast on Canadian television.

That audience figure represents the combined total of viewers on nine channels, including the main CTV network, where the majority watched the game. Included among the nine channels were the affiliated French Olympic outlets as well as the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Rogers Omni ethnic channels.

It’s an impressive audience, but not a surprise given the hockey rivalry between Canada and the United States, and the quality of the game. Canada took a 2-0 lead, but the Americans narrowed it to 2-1 and then scored in the final seconds of regulation time to sent it into overtime where Sidney Crosby got the winner .

CTV reports that 80 per cent of Canadians (26.5 million) watched some part of the game.

44.2 million people in North America watched the game, on average.


16 Responses to 16.6 Million Canadians Watched Gold Medal Triumph on CTV, Most-Watched Program in Nation’s History

  1. Chris says:

    Probably the most watched hockey game in history.

  2. Colton says:

    Does this include RDS?

    • Josh says:

      “Included among the nine channels were the affiliated French Olympic outlets as well as the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Rogers Omni ethnic channels.”

  3. Patrick says:

    nhl will screw this up…it is what it is

    • Trent says:

      A whole bunch of people watched luge that normally don’t watch luge so when luge “ratings” go done or attendance at luge events doesn’t increase does that mean Luge governing bodies screwed up? No. Apply same thing to NHL.

  4. Andrew Kitchener says:

    CBC’s coverage was outstanding. Chris Cuthbert called a great game.

  5. leafsfan1967 says:

    Andrew Kitchener :CBC’s coverage was outstanding. Chris Cuthbert called a great game.

    That would be CTV not CBC. One of the big mistakes CBC and Hockey Night in Canada made during the lockout was to let Chirs Cuthbert go.

  6. Patrick says:

    did luge migrate to Miami and Tampa and Nashville and Anaheim and Phoenix? also where is the luge televised after the olympics. id say luge league screwed up too.

  7. Trent says:

    Patrick, you comment was NHL WILL screw this up. IE, moving forward. Ironically, Florida markets do better than a lot for hockey TV viewers for Olympics. But, I do agree those markets aren’t good, but that has nothing to do with the Olympics massive rating nor NHL “screwing things up in the future,” or not “capitalizing” on the #.

    Your point of where is luge televised after Olympics is exactly my point. People watch all sorts of stuff during Olympics that they would not normally watch. “Ice” Hockey is one of them, unfortunately.

  8. Patrick says:

    u missed my point. Im not saying we will see instant ratings for NHL. But the NHL has been handed an opportunity (golden 1) and history says they will screw this up. Examples of expansion in markets tv contracts with versus. If the NHL can’t find ways to market themselves and ganer 1%! Just 1% of the 27 million viewers that were possible watching a game for the first time since last 5yrs or since strike…that would equal 4x the viewers for VS and 2x the viewers for NBC. THe game itself is read and react. The nhl office will not react. The NHL network showed taped special of on the fly and nothing about the gold medal. Embarrasing to say the least. It was good hockey story and the NHL/Network missed an open net. The next day the commish on NHL live when asked how does the NHL take advantage of this opportunity said, we do what we have been doing. Chills for any die hard fan. More of the same. U must be kidding. NHL Network needs a serious change (more US based). A network in dispute with DirecTV, shutting out fans for an entire season and very likely for the playoffs. MSG issues that do not show HD feeds on center ice. Do not show HD feeds most nights. Yet every Blue Jays game on MLB package is in HD. Every MLB/NBA game in HD for that matter. Luge or any Olympic sport did not have 27 million viewers. Your comment is off base. Luge and NHL do have something in common…serious TV issues. I dare say Luge would actually do well. Heck if Deer Valley Skiing and Jeep outdoors adventure can draw better ratings on NBC right after an NHL game on Sunday afternoon..im confident luge could too. So Trent if the NHL does not find ways to market and promote itself and is find with the status quo….in my eyes its a path of the nhl finding ways to screw this golden opportunity up. U stick to your opinion and i’ll do the same.

  9. Trent says:

    The NHL (and hockey) is what it is.

    Team USA won the Olympics in New York in one of the greatest moments of the history of sports. It was followed by a New York based dynasty. Yet, grassroots hockey didn’t grow nor did NHL hockey nor did USA Hockey until 10 years later when 99 when to LA. Did the NHL screw up? Did USA Hockey screw up? Or is hockey just not a big deal to Americans? I take #3. Not to say NHL was perfect back then or is perfect right now. I just think that great ratings in the Olympics does not equal interest by casual people in the future. Hence my reference about luge. Luge drew millions of viewers, yet the sudden “interest” in luge won’t translate to anything to the sport going forward. Ditto bobsled and a bunch of others.

    The status quo did deliver the 27 million viewers by the way. I agree with you on the VS on DTV thing being a joke. MSG HD isn’t available on dishnetwork, btw. And not every Jays game is in HD in EI. Heck, MLB EI isn’t even available on dishnet. NFL had major carriage issues with NFL Network and blackout situation that some say is about 3 decades outdated and no team in LA. Yet somehow the NFL is strong. Why? Because Americans like football. Clearly history tells us that outside of small pockets, hockey isn’t a priority for Americans. That isn’t a putdown, it is a fact. NBA isn’t a priority for Canadians. The National NBA contract in Canada is patheticlaly small. It makes the VS/NBC NHL deals look like platinum deals.

  10. Trent says:

    Patrick, this guy agrees with you:

    NHL needs post-Olympic marketing plan
    Posted on Thursday, March 04 2010

    I’m not a hockey fan. That’s no great revelation to those who know me, but I have to admit that I tuned into the Olympics to watch the games, including Sunday’s gold medal final.

    And you know what? I enjoyed it.

    Canada’s 3-2 overtime victory over the United States was riveting, one of the greatest sporting events I’ve watched in a long time. It didn’t match the Miracle on Ice in 1980, but it was such a memorable epic nonetheless. Having the best players in the world makes it a great tournament, which is why NHL players should return for the 2014 Games.

    Now that the Olympics are over can the NHL capitalize on the sport’s newfound popularity? It’s up to Commissioner Gary Bettman to make the most of this opportunity.

    But will he?

    Bettman used to work in the NBA’s marketing department, so you would think he learned a thing or two from the league’s image-conscious commish, David Stern. But Bettman apparently doesn’t get it that to grow your league you have to sell the people in your league.

    Hockey is a religion in Canada, but it’s still a niche sport in the U.S. with limited interest outside the northern part of this country. Although the passion for the NHL is strong in Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Detroit, it lacks the nationwide appeal of the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.

    The gold-medal game got huge ratings because it wasn’t just the hard-core hockey fans tuning in. The challenge for the NHL is how to keep the casual observers interested. To do that, the league has to do a better job of marketing its stars.

    Everyone knows who Peyton Manning is because he’s constantly promoted by the NFL and the products he endorses. The NBA and its corporate partners go out of their way to hype LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. You have probably heard of Derek Jeter even if you don’t follow baseball.

    But where are the advertising campaigns for the NHL’s best and brightest? Why is it that former NBA great Charles Barkley, who has been out of the league for a decade, has more commercials than the face of the NHL, Sidney Crosby?

    Alex Ovechkin might be the most exciting player in the world, but what is the NHL doing to make him a household name outside hockey circles?

    The U.S. team has plenty of young players the NHL can push. After what Ryan Miller did in Vancouver, you could build a pretty good marketing campaign around him. Same goes for Patrick Kane and Zach Parise.

    The NHL’s bogus television contract might be the biggest obstacle to growing the sport in this country. The league has a deal with NBC and yet it says a lot about how hockey is perceived nationally that the network didn’t televise games until after the U.S. beat Canada in the preliminary round.

    You had to go to sister station MSNBC to watch hockey because NBC apparently felt it would get better ratings showing ice skating, downhill skiing and snowboarding. Even curling got more air time than hockey, for crying out loud.

    The NHL’s primary network outlet in the U.S. is Versus, which eliminates a lot of potential fans because anyone with DirectTV doesn’t have access to the network.

    If people can’t watch the games, how can the NHL possibly increase its fan base?

    The Olympics were a great celebration of hockey. The tournament got the attention of people who don’t follow the sport. But can the NHL build on that momentum? That remains to be seen. This was written by Allen Wilson and appeared in The Buffalo News.

  11. Patrick says:

    I think i agree with Allen Wilson

  12. Patrick says:

    I think i agree with Allen Wilson…i get all my jays game in HD on DTV. Luge – bobsleding would do well…jeep adventures does better than NHL on NBC. My point on history of NHL again. Missed opportunity back in 1980 and 1989 when Gretzky was traded to LA. NHL’s marketing plan…throw in a bunch of sun belt teams. Had the status quo not been followed…perhaps 30+40 million viewers alone in the US. The NHL wanted to go to the Olympics back in 98 because they wanted to grow the game. Yet they felt all they had to do was send their players. Takes more than that. You stick to your opinion and Ill stick to mine.

  13. Patrick says:

    also i never brought in competing against nfl/nba/mlb…..LOL. Simply said they would mess this up….ur comment seems to show that too…lol

  14. Trent says:

    My point – no sports despite great ratings at winter olympics will have any growth; can’t just pinpoint the NHL.

    DTV was better at using SNET ONTARIO HD feeds this year, but you didn’t see any TSN HD games. Are San Diego Padres on HD on DTV last year? No. How about the ridiculous FOX Saturday blackouts on EI. So does that mean MLB is incompetent. You seem to want to point out the NHL warts (and yes there are many) and praise other leagues, while ignoring their warts that may be worse than the NHL’s warts. Have you checked out the bad NFL and NBA markets lately?

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