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Canada-USA Hockey on MSNBC draws 8.2 million viewers; 167 million Americans have watched 2010 Vancouver Olympics

Last night’s highly anticipated Olympic Hockey match-up between Canada and USA — which ended in USA’s 5-3 upset over Canada — drew an average 8.22 million viewers on MSNBC.  That’s just shy of MSNBC’s record average viewership for a program (the networks coverage of John McCain’s concession speech on November 4, 2008 — from 11:19-11:29 p.m.  — drew 8.23 million viewers).

In related news, NBC says that more than half of all Americans (167 million) have watched the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics on the various networks of NBC Universal through the first 10 days of the games.  That’s three million more than the first 10 days of the 2006 Winter Games (164 million).

Head on over the jump for the full press release.

87 MILLION WATCH OLYMPICS SUNDAY ON THE NETWORKS OF NBC UNIVERSAL

87 Million is Biggest Single-Day Audience To Date For Vancouver Games, 16 Million More than Comparable Day for 2006 Winter Games

69 Million Total Viewers Watched the Olympics in Primetime on NBC and MSNBC

8.2 Million Average Viewers Watched Canada-USA Hockey on MSNBC

VANCOUVER – February 22, 2010 – NBCUs Sunday Olympic broadcasts were seen by 87 million total viewers, the most viewers for any day so far for the Vancouver Games, 16 million more and 22 percent higher than the comparable Sunday from the 2006 Games (72 million), according to data available today from The Nielsen Company.

The primetime coverage on NBC and MSNBC that included figure skatings original dance and alpine skiings mens super combined on NBC and the USA-Canada hockey game on MSNBC had 69 million total viewers, the best viewership for the comparable Sunday night since the *tabloid-fueled Lillehammer Games (79 million).

*Fueled by the tabloid coverage of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal.

8.2 MILLION AVERAGE VIEWERSHIP FOR WATCH USA-CANADA HOCKEY GAME ON MSNBC: An average audience of 8.22 million watched the USA hockey team defeat Canada, 5-3, nearly matching the best average viewership for a program on MSNBC. (Election Night Coverage, 8.23 million on Nov. 4, 2008).

The hockey game on MSNBC received a national household rating of 4.3, the third highest-rated program in MSNBCs history behind the Democratic Presidential debate (2/26/08, 4.9 rating) and the analysis following the debate (4.4 rating).

To date, more than half of all Americans (167 million) have watched the Vancouver Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal through the first 10 days of the Games; three million more than watched the first 10 days of the 2006 Winter Games (164 million).

10-DAY AVERAGE IS NEARLY 6 MILLION MORE THAN 2006; BEST SINCE TABLOID-FUELED LILLEHAMMER GAMES: The 26.0 million average viewers for the first 10 nights of the Vancouver Games is the most for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics since the Lillehammer Games (39.4 million). The 26.0 million is nearly six million more and 27 percent higher than the average viewership of the first 10 nights from Torino in 2006 (20.4 million).

OLYMPICS DOMINATE PRIMETIME AGAIN: The average viewership of 23.3 million last night for NBCs primetime is four million more than and 21 percent above the comparable night of the 2006 Winter Games (19.2 million).

The Olympics won Sunday night in another dominating performance that faced a full slate of original competition including 60 Minutes, Amazing Race, Undercover Boss and Cold Case on CBS; Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters on ABC; The Simpsons, The Cleveland Show and American Dad on Fox.

Head-to-head (9-10 p.m.) the Olympics had nearly 14 million more viewers than an original episode of Desperate Housewives on ABC (24.7 million vs. 10.9 million, up 127 percent). On this comparable day at the 2006 Winter Games, Desperate Housewives out-drew the Olympics head-to-head by seven percent (23.4 million vs. 21.9 million).

Head-to-head (10-11 p.m.) the Olympics nearly tripled the viewership of an original episode of Brothers and Sisters on ABC (21.1 million vs. 7.9 million, up 167 percent). On this comparable day at the 2006 Winter Games, an original episode of Greys Anatomy on ABC out-drew the Olympics head-to-head by 31 percent (24.4 million vs. 18.6 million).

MOST DOMINANT WINTER OLYMPICS TO DATE VS. COMPETITION: Through 10 nights, NBCs Olympics coverage is more dominant over the competition than any Winter Olympics on record (dating back to Calgary in 1988).

The 10-night primetime average of 26.0 million is 25 percent higher than the combined delivery of Fox, CBS and ABC (20.8 million).

The most dominant prior Winter Olympics was Salt Lake City, which through 10 nights led the three-network competition by 23 percent (Olympics – 29.6 million, Combined three networks – 24.1 million)

The national household rating of 13.2/21 for Sunday night is an increase of 14 percent over the comparable Saturday night in Torino in 2006 (11.6/18). The 14.5/24 average household rating to-date is more than two ratings points and 20 percent higher than 2006 (12.1/19).

NBC OLYMPICS MOBILE SURGES: NBCs Olympics Mobile platforms (WAP site and iTunes App), through just 10 days have amassed more than 54.3 million page views already surpassing the total number of page views for the entire 17-day Beijing Games (34.7 million) by 56 percent.

There have been 1.3 million mobile video streams in just 10 days, more than four times the total number for the entire 17-day Beijing Games (301k).

By the time the Opening Ceremony broadcast started at 7:30 p.m. on Feb 12, NBCs Olympics Mobile had already generated more page views than the entire 2006 Winter Games (1.07 million).

NBCOLYMPICS.COM HAS MORE USERS THAN ENTIRE 2006 WINTER GAMES: In just eight days, NBCOlympics.com has delivered 29.5 million total unique users, according to Omniture, more than 16 million more unique users and 122 percent higher than the entire 17 days of the 2006 Winter Games (13.3 million).

NBCOlympics.com has delivered 26.2 million video streams to date – nearly 22 million more and 471% higher than Torinos first 10 days (4.6 million).

METERED MARKET RATINGS BY TIME ZONE (Nine-Day Average):
Mountain Time Zone 19.7/32
Pacific Time Zone 16.2/29
Central Time Zone 16.1/25
Eastern Time Zone 15.6/25

TOP 25 METERED MARKETS (10-Day Average):
1. Milwaukee, 22.8/35
2. Denver, 22.7/37
3. Salt Lake City, 22.4/38
4. Seattle, 21.0/38
5. Minneapolis, 20.5/35
T6. St. Louis, 19.4/30
T6. Columbus, 19.4/30
8. San Diego, 19.1/32
9. Portland, 18.8/34
10. West Palm Beach, 18.7/27
11. Cleveland, 18.1/28
12. Kansas City, 18.0/27
13. Nashville, 17.7/26
14. Boston, 17.6/31
T15. Phoenix, 17.3/28
T15. Providence, 17.3/29
17. Oklahoma City, 17.2/26
T18. Austin, 17.1/28
T18. Tulsa, 17.1/25
T18. Ft. Myers, 17.1/27
T21. Sacramento, 17.0/30
T21. Cincinnati, 17.0/26
23. Washington D.C., 16.8/27
24. Richmond, 16.7/25
25. Indianapolis, 16.6/27

TOP 25 METERED MARKETS FOR SUNDAY, FEB. 21:
1. Salt Lake City, 21.3/35
2. Milwaukee, 20.0/29
3. Denver, 19.5/30
T4. Kansas City, 18.0/25
T4. Oklahoma City, 18.0/25
6. Seattle, 17.6/30
7. San Diego, 17.0/27
T8. Columbus, 16.5/23
T8. Albuquerque, 16.5/23
T10. Minneapolis, 16.1/26
T10. Portland, 16.1/28
T10. West Palm Beach, 16.1/23
T10. Ft. Myers, 16.1/25
14. San Francisco, 16.0/28
15. Cincinnati, 15.9/23
T16. Hartford, 15.7/23
T16. Providence, 15.7/24
T18. Sacramento, 15.6/25
T18. Austin, 15.6/24
20. Cleveland, 15.5/23
21. St. Louis, 15.4/22
T22. Indianapolis, 15.3/23
T22. Tulsa, 15.3/21
T24. Detroit, 15.1/22
T24. Phoenix, 15.1/23
T24. Orlando, 15.1/22

NBC Universal, broadcasting its record 12th Olympics the most Olympics broadcast by any network, will present more than 835 hours of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage – representing the most total hours ever for a Winter Olympics, more than the last two Winter Olympics combined, and the most live hours ever for a Winter Games. The Vancouver Games are the first Winter Olympics to be presented entirely in high definition.

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