Hockey Canada Network |
2010 Gold Medal Game is The Apex of TV Viewing in Canada
March 13, 2010

It’s official. Just-released final data from BBM Canada confirms that last month’s Team Canada gold medal win is, without a doubt, the most-watched television broadcast in Canadian history, with a final audience of 16.7 million viewers. It was also confirmed today by Nielsen that, contrary to popular Canadian legend, the recent game delivered far more viewers than Game 8 of the classic Summit Series between Canada and the U.S.S.R. on , which had a total audience of 4.26 million viewers.

Vancouver 2010 gold medal game – 16,674,000 average viewers

Salt Lake City 2002 gold medal game – 10,300,000 average viewers

1972 Summit Series Game 8 – 4,255,000 average viewers

“There is no question the Vancouver 2010 gold medal game set an audience record for Canada, period,” said Jim MacLeod, president of BBM Canada. “Even if you take into account Canada’s larger population in 2010 compared to 20, the 2010 number is the largest by a comfortable margin. This just confirms the great support by Canadians for our Olympians.”

The purported television audience for the final game of the ’72 Summit Series has become legendary, with wild, unattributed rumours claiming anywhere from seven million to an incredible 18 million viewers watching the climactic Game 8, in which Paul Henderson scored the winning goal with 34 seconds left. Airing live at 12:30 p.m. ET on a Thursday afternoon on CBC, the country came to a halt as the nation watched, much like what happened at Vancouver 2010. But considering the Canadian population was only 22 million in 1972, suggestions of double digit audiences are improbable. CBC re-aired the game at 7:30 p.m. that night, attracting 4.07 million viewers, so even the combined audience (including the same viewers) is less than half of the audience for Team Canada’s historic 2010 win.

Unearthed from the Nielsen archives, the viewing data is the only accurate representation of the ’72 audience (BBM did not have a diary in the field during the time of the broadcast).

As previously announced, a peak audience of 22 million viewers (or the entire population in 1972) were watching when Sidney Crosby scored his “golden goal” for the overtime win at Vancouver 2010, while 26.4 million viewers watched some part of the match. The game captured an 85 share, meaning 85% of Canadians watching television at the time were watching the gold medal match. The game also delivered a 49.8 rating, meaning nearly half the Canadian population watched the entire game on average. The Canadian rating was five times that achieved in the U.S. (9.5) on NBC and its family of channels.

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada

2014 Esso Cup: MON 5 - EDM 4
Apr 22, 2014
Faith Steeves netteda hat trip to leadthe Rockets to itsfirst win.
2014 TELUS Cup: PA 1 - CHA 1
Apr 22, 2014
Goaltending stole the show as the Mintos and Grenadiers tied.
2014 WU18C: CAN 2 - RUS 3 (SO)
Apr 22, 2014
A shootout loss was still enough for Canada to clinch first in Group A.
2014 Esso Cup: WEY 3 - FRA 2
Apr 22, 2014
Caitlin Dempsey’st wo goals paced Weyburn past Fraser Valley.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 3 - HFX 0
Apr 22, 2014
Longo a marqué deux fois pour procurer un premier gain aux Young Nationals.
2014 TELUS Cup: MJ 3 - OKA 3
Apr 22, 2014
Another tie for both the Generals and Rockets, this time a 3-3 game.
2014 ESSO CUP STC 2 – SUD 1
Apr 22, 2014
A shorthanded goal from Alexa Vasko late in the second was the difference.
2014 Esso Cup: STC 3 – FRA 0
Apr 21, 2014
Sabres score twice on the power play to defeat Phantom Monday night.
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 5 - MON 1
Apr 21, 2014
Karli Shell scored twice and added an assist in Sudbury’s 5-1 win.
2014 TELUS Cup: CHA 3 - OKA 4
Apr 21, 2014
Special teams was key as the Rockets and Grenadiers skated to a tie.
2014 TELUS Cup: PA 4 - TOR 1
Apr 21, 2014
Four different players scored to give the Mintos the first win.
2014 TELUS Cup: HFX 2 - MJ 2
Apr 21, 2014
The Generals scored twice in the third period to earn the draw.
Photo Credit: