600,000 Swedes saw final

SVT audience numbers hit the roof in the middle of the night

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Sweden's Mika Zibanejad gives a TV interview after scoring the OT winning goal of the gold medal game against Russia. Photo: Andy Devlin / HHOF-IIHF Images

ZURICH/STOCKHOLM – 600,000 persons watched the decision of the U20 gold medal game on Swedish TV channel SVT.

Although the game began at 2am in the night in Sweden, the audience figures were huge in the Scandinavian country of 9.4 million inhabitants.

The audience averaged 530,000 persons and peaked at 600,000 at the end of the gold medal game against Russia that Sweden won 1-0 in overtime.

“The numbers are just fantastic,” said Per Yng, SVT’s sport director. “The junior national team has a special place in the TV viewers’ hearts and the players were worth every viewer.”

“It’s very pleasant. I could even not dream of such figures,” said Marcus Törngren, SVT’s editor during the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. “It just shows how attractive the World Junior Championship is for viewers.”

Sweden won U20 gold for only the second time in history after a 31-year draught. The country will host the U20 World Championship in two years in Malmö following next year’s event in Ufa, Russia.

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