The Games surpassed the 2002 Salt Lake City Games but trailed the 1994 Lillehammer Games, which were highlighted by the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan controversy. The Lillehammer Olympics had 204 million viewers; the Salt Lake City Olympics had 187 million.
In Canada, CTV reported that 22 million people, about two-thirds of the Canadian population, watched as the Canadian Olympic hockey team defeated the United States for the gold medal Sunday. It was the most-watched television broadcast in Canadian history.
NBC reported that the game drew an average viewership of 27.6 million, the most-watched hockey broadcast since the gold-medal game between the U.S. and Finland in 1980. In Los Angeles, the game got a preliminary rating of 12.6, more than double the 4.95 preliminary rating of the Lakers on ABC.