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Winter Classic game between Toronto and Detroit a ratings bonanza for CBC

Friday, 01.03.2014 / 5:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Winter Classic game between Toronto and Detroit a ratings bonanza for CBC

TORONTO - The Winter Classic drew a record TV audience for CBC.

An average of 3.57 million viewers tuned in for Wednesday's outdoor game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings in Ann Arbor, Mich.

CBC says it's the largest audience ever for a non-playoff game and the largest ever recorded for an outdoor game.

The previous record for a non-playoff game was 3.31 million for the season-opener between Montreal and Toronto on Jan. 19, 2013. The previous Winter Classic record was 1.91 million for the 2011 game between Pittsburgh and Washington.

The game, won by Toronto 3-2 in a shootout, drew well in the U.S. too with NBC attracting 4.4 million viewers, making it the second-highest rated Winter Classic behind the 2011 game (4.52 million viewers).

Sports TV ratings have skyrocketed in recent years following the introduction of a new ratings system.

Some 105,491 fans braved snow and cold temperatures at Michigan Stadium to watch the Winter Classic in person.

Quote of the Day

Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.

— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season