A dramatic game and now a dramatic audience! Overnight data from BBM Canada confirms that a record audience of 6.88 million viewers watched last night's 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal game on TSN and RDS. Overall, the game was watched by 14.2 million unique viewers - or close to half of the country's population - who tuned in to watch some or all of last night's broadcast on TSN and RDS.
TSN's average audience for the dramatic game was an outstanding 6.23 million viewers an all-time record for the network and the most-watched telecast on Canadian television since the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
RDS registered its second highest audience ever for a World Juniors game with 652,000 viewers.
The audience for the Canada-Russia gold medal game peaked at a remarkable 9.3 million viewers on TSN and RDS late in the third period as Russia completed the biggest comeback in World Junior championship history to beat Canada 5-3 and win the gold medal in Buffalo, NY.
"While last night's finish was heartbreaking, it is absolutely wonderful to see the country embrace these young men as they work so hard to bring the gold medal home to Canada," said Stewart Johnston, President of TSN. "Hockey Canada has made the World Juniors an important part of the Canadian landscape and each year all of us at TSN are very proud to play a role in bringing the drama, excitement and emotion to so many people."
"It was a difficult loss but we are thrilled that so many Canadians watched and cheered on Team Canada last night," says Bob Nicholson, President of Hockey Canada. "We are also extremely proud of our longstanding partnership with TSN – a partnership that has grown the game of hockey across the country."
TSN's pre- and post-game programming also had impressive audiences with the Post-Game Show attracting an average of 3.56 million viewers and the Pre-Game Show registering an average of 1.9 million viewers.
The gold medal game capped off what has been the most successful IIHF World Junior Championship ever for TSN. The average audience for the seven games featuring Team Canada was a remarkable 3.2 million viewers (includes preliminary round games, quarter-final and semifinal match-ups and the gold medal final).