ZURICH – Finnish broadcaster YLE had one of its best days ever last Sunday. The ratings peaked at 2.6 million viewers when Finland poured in five goals during the third period against rival Sweden. That’s half of Finland’s population.
Also the numbers for Swedish sender TV3 were excellent as an average of 1,654,000 viewers tuned in to watch what turned out to be a disappointing 6-1 loss to the archrival. The Swedish numbers peaked at 2,166,000 viewers.
YLE’s average number was almost identical with the Swedish peak – 2.1 million.
Vesa Pihanurmi, Director of YLE’s program planning, says that the 2011 IIHF World Championship gold medal game outdrew all other broadcasts so far in 2011.
“Very few broadcasts in Finland manage to top the two million rating,” said Pihanurmi. “Only the ceremony from the national day of independence from the castle can sometimes get these numbers.”
Last time Finland won gold (1995) YLE recorded 2.2 million viewers. The 2011 IIHF World Championship was shown in 114 countries or territories and reached approximately 700 million cumulated TV viewers.
The 2011 tournament drew 406,807 spectators in Bratislava and Kosice, which is the 8th-highest attendance number in the history of the event. It is an excellent number for a tournament where the capacity of the main venue was just under 10,000 seats.
The record is 552,097 from 2004 (Prague & Ostrava, Czech Republic) – number that the Finns and Swedes hope to beat when they co-host the 2012 IIHF World Championship in Helsinki and Stockholm.