Ice hockey match equals MSNBC's election coverage numbers
An average of 8.22 million people watched the USA hockey team beat the Canadian hockey team, 5-3, on MSNBC Sunday night - virtually tying the network's best program average ever, which it achieved on Election Night, Nov. 4, 2008 (8.23 million viewers).
We're not sure if this says more about ice hockey or MSNBC's election night coverage. But, anyway, MSNBC is hoping maybe it will calm all those sports columnists, bloggers, and ice-hockey fanboys who thought NBC Universal had done the game wrong by telecasting it on the cable network instead of the NBC broadcast network.
We're dubious, given that MSNBC's record-tying stat was accompanied by word that the crowd watching the broadcast network's ice dancing/bob sledding coverage Sunday night hit 23 million.
"The mere structure of the NBC [Olympics] coverage has left a great deal to be desired this time around, and it came to a head last night when they shuffled the much-anticipated USA-Canada hockey game off to MSNBC, in part to use NBC as a showcase for probably the least anticipated of the figure skating events: ice dancing," complained one blogger, who happened to work for NPR -- but there was plenty more where that came from.
Here's what you need to know: Winter Olympics are the most-female skewing sports events on television. Ice hockey, on the other hand, skews heavily male. Ice hockey loses. Get over it.
Yes, we know, the game was expected to be a humdinger. And NBC did eventually cut away from bobsledding and show us the last 30 seconds of the game which, some might argue, was more cruel than showing nothing at all.
The company had, for days, been arguing its case for putting the game on MSNBC. It argued that putting the game on MSNBC meant it could run there without being sliced and diced into segments to be tossed into a giant salad bowl of Games coverage -- the official Games play pattern of NBC. Being on cable also meant being seen live, coast-to-coast.
Lisa de Moraes
February 22, 2010; 5:51 PM ET
Categories: TV News
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