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CBC-TV touts long-awaited return of 'Hockey Night in Canada' -- and viewers

Monday, 01.21.2013 / 5:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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CBC-TV touts long-awaited return of 'Hockey Night in Canada' -- and viewers

TORONTO - CBC is touting the long-awaited return of "Hockey Night in Canada" — and its Saturday night viewers.

The public broadcaster says it drew record numbers for the first NHL broadcast of the season Jan. 19.

CBC says the battle between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens drew a record average audience of 3.3 million viewers.

Citing ratings data from the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement, CBC bills that showdown as the most-watched regular season Prime East game ever on the network.

And is says that an afternoon game featuring the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets drew an average audience of 1.49 million viewers, breaking another record for a Saturday afternoon game.

Meanwhile, nearly 1.47 million viewers took in the Anaheim Ducks/Vancouver Canucks match-up at 10 p.m. ET.

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I'm very excited about what happened today. We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on Phil Kessel, who he acquired from the Maple Leafs in a trade on Wednesday