TORONTO Ė It was an epic game with an epic audience to match. The thrilling IIHF World U20 Championship gold medal game made television history for TSN. An astounding 12.3 million viewers - or more than one in three Canadians - tuned in to some of or the entire broadcast. The average audience Ė 5.3 million Ė is an all-time record for the network.
Preliminary overnight data confirms that TSNís average audience for the game was an outstanding 5.3 million viewers - an all-time record for the network and the largest audience recorded on Canadian television since 2005. It is the sixth largest audience for any broadcast on Canadian television in records that date back to 1994.
An astounding 12.3 million viewers - or more than one in three Canadians - tuned in to some of or the entire broadcast.
Audience levels peaked at 7.5 million viewers in the final minutes of the third period as tournament MVP Jordan Eberle scored for Team Canada and sent the dramatic game into overtime.
Team USA went on to win the game in OT, grabbing its first World Junior title since 2004.
"TSN has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world over the past 25 years, but this one will go down as one of the most exciting and emotional games we have ever broadcast," says Phil King, President of TSN.
"It is a tribute to Hockey Canada that this tournament has grown to where it is today - capturing the attention of the nation every year. We are absolutely thrilled so many Canadians joined us for the game and we canít wait to do it again next year in Buffalo."
"It is wonderful 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 worked so well for both organizations and has grown the game of hockey across the country."
TSNís support programming also had impressive audiences with the Post-Game Show attracting an average of 3 million viewers and the Pre-Game Show registering an average of 1.3 million viewers.
The gold medal game caps off what will go down as the most successful IIHF World U20 Championship ever for TSN. The average audience for the six games featuring Team Canada was a remarkable 3.1 million viewers (includes four preliminary round games, one semifinal game and the gold medal final).
TSN also saw impressive audiences for its broadcast of non-Team Canada games. The Russia-Switzerland quarterfinal game (2-3 OT) had an average audience of more than one-million viewers and the United States-Sweden semifinal game (5-2) set a new standard for digital television with an audience of 902,000 for its broadcast on TSN2.
TSN has been televising the IIHF World U20 Championship since 1991. Eight of the top 10 programs of all time on TSN have been from the U20 broadcasts with seven of those games registering audiences of more than 3 million viewers.
Online, TSN.ca scored with its World U20 coverage registering 145,000 live streams for the gold medal game - a record for primetime online streaming. Throughout the tournament, World Juniors on-demand content registered 1.4 million video views.
The tradition returns December 26, 2010, as Canada looks for redemption at the 2011 IIHF World U20 in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York.
Top Five Audiences on TSN:
5.3 Million -- 2010 World U20 Gold Medal Game (Canada. vs. USA)
5.1 Million -- 2009 Grey Cup (Montreal vs. Saskatchewan)
3.7 Million -- 2009 World U20 Gold Medal Game (Canada. vs. Sweden)
3.5 Million -- 2003 World U20 Gold Medal Game (Canada. vs. Russia)
3.3 Million -- 2010 World U20 Canada-USA (Preliminary Round - New