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MSNBC’s USA-Canada Hockey Ratings Pretty Much News Network’s Best Ever

We knew the USA-Canada hockey game would deliver big ratings for MSNBC – but it was only a matter of how big.

Last night’s game average 8.22 million total viewers last night, which made it just slightly the 2nd highest rated program of all time. But it also kind of won.

From the NBC Sports release:

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 MSNBC’s history behind the Democratic Presidential debate (2/26/08, 4.9 rating) and the analysis following the debate (4.4 rating).

Well it definitely didn’t win households – but the 10,000 total viewer difference is so close, it begs a second look. No hour on Election Night 2008 reached as high as 8.23 million total viewers. So where did NBC Sports get the number from?

That average comes from when MSNBC peaked – which was just for Sen. John McCain‘s concession speech during the 11pmET hour. It’s a stretch – but yes, at some point, some event reached a higher average than the great hockey game that aired on MSNBC and not NBC. But USA-Canada could make a case for the gold too.

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