Saturday’s 3-2 shootout victory for the United States over Russia averaged 4.1 million viewers for NBCSN’s telecast, setting a record for the network. Now imagine what the viewership might have been like if it were on free TV on NBC rather than its all-sports cable spinoff way down the dial. Also imagine if more West Coast viewers might have been awake for the 4:30 a.m. (PST) faceoff. Viewership peaked at 6.4 million for the eight-round shootout, which was roughly between 7 and 7:30.
The previous best for NBCSN was 4.0 million for Game 3 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and the eventual champion Chicago Blackhawks.