Last Thursday’s gold medal victory by Canada over Czechia in the World Junior Hockey Championships drew an overnight, estimated 4,189,000 viewers on TSN.

That capped a steady growth in viewership for TSN over the course of the Halifax-based tournament. The day before, Canada’s semi-final victory over the USA Juniors was watched by an overnight, estimated 3,417,000 viewers. The quarter final game on Monday, Jan. 2 against Slovakia drew an audience of 2,485,000.

TSN has enjoyed enormous ratings success with this late-December, early January tournament — especially when Canada wins. It pretty much owned the broadcast and specialty tiers Thursday night, despite many scripted series returning to prime time with new episodes on other channels.

CBC’s mid-season premieres, for example, got slammed hard against the boards by the Wednesday and Thursday games which more or less ran from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The live, overnight audience for the season premieres of Run The Burbs and Pretty Hard Cases, for example, were down on Wednesday night to pretty much immediate family members. After all these years, CBC should know better when tossing shows up against the WJHC bandsaw.

Even well-known import simulcasts on Citytv, CTV and Global could not compete, at least in overnights, against a Canadian, overtime, gold medal victory.

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