UPDATE, 12:20 PM: Turns out a lot of people like to get up early on a Saturday to watch hockey – a lot. The final Nielsen numbers are in and yesterday’s 7:30-10:30 AM USA 3-2 Olympics victory over Russia’s men team drew a record 4.1 million viewers for NBC Sports Network. The most to ever watch a hockey game on the channel. In fact, the audience peaked all the way up at 6.4 million in the last half hour as the two teams went head-to-head against their respective goalies in the 8-round shootout. That’s the most viewed half-hour in NBCSN’s history. Additionally, Saturday’s results beat the previous NBCSN hockey audience record of 4.0 million who tuned in on June 17, 2013 to watch the Stanley Cup Final Game 3 between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks. The USA-Russia game yesterday also delivered NBCSN’s best-ever daytime audience with 2.9 million watching as the channel continues it’s third straight viewership weekend day record of the Sochi Games.
PREVIOUS, 6:52 AM: No one’s won an Olympics hockey medal in Sochi yet but NBC Sports Network has hit its own Gold. NBCSN scored a record 3.3/10 rating in overnight metered-markets for its live Saturday morning broadcast of the dramatic U.S. and Russia men’s hockey game. The Americans won yesterdays’ 7:30 – 10:30 AM ET game 3-2 after a to-the-wire 8-round shootout. The ratings results of Saturday’s game, which took place in front of a crowd of 11,678 (including Russian President Vladimir Putin) at the Bolshoi Ice Dome, surpasses NBCSN’s previous high of 3.1/5 in overnight metered-market results. That result was from the 2013 Stanley Cup Final Game 3 match-up on June 17 that year between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks in Beantown.
Highlights of yesterday’s hockey game were shown on NBC‘s primetime coverage on Saturday night. NBCSN plans to run the game in full again this afternoon. Both the USA and Russia played again today, beating Slovenia and Slovakia respectively.