Winter Olympics: NBCSN Scores Highest-Rated Hockey Game Ever with Canada-U.S. Semifinal

NBCSN’s live Sochi coverage went out on a strong note Friday, as the semifinal men’s hockey game drew the service’s highest rating ever with the puck sport.

The network’s Feb. 21 coverage of Canada’s 1-0 win over Team USA netted a 2.7 household rating/8 share, according to Nielsen live + same-day fast nationals data. That outpointed the 2.6 for the U.S.’s shootout win over Russia on Feb. 15, and also exceeded the rating for any Stanley Cup playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals games in the network’s history.

U.S.-Canada averaged 3.9 million viewers, compared with the 4.1 million for U.S.-Russia, which benefited from more group viewing early that Saturday morning, pushing NBCSN to its best-ever weekday daytime viewership with 1.7 million viewers from 6 a.m.-3 p.m. (ET). Viewership for the game peaked at 4.6 million in the 1:30 p.m. half-hour.

The linear audience was supplemented by more than 2.12 unique users for the “TV Everywhere” authenticated live stream --  the most every for any NBC Sports Digital event, ahead of the 2.10 non-authenticated uniques for Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012, and perhaps the largest verified streaming audience in U.S. history.

NBCSN concludes its weekday daytime Sochi Olympic coverage with its 10 live telecasts ranking as the 10-most watched weekday daytimes in the network’s history during the aforementioned time period.

NBC’s Friday night curated primetime presentation – featuring 18-year-old American Mikaela Shiffrin becoming the youngest-ever to win alpine goal in the women’s slalom and two gold-winning performances by Victoria Ahn’s in short-track -- averaged 14.9 million viewers from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and an 8.8 household rating/15 share. That was down from the comparable Friday night for the 2006 Torino Games, which featured the figure skating gala and averaged 15.9 million viewers and a 9.7 rating/17 share. The comparable Friday for the live 2010 Vancouver Games, highlighted by the final race for Lindsey Vonn and Apolo Ohno’s eighth and final career Olympic medal-winning performance, averaged 24.5 million viewers and a 13.9 rating/24 share.