By Alan Pergament
In news that probably won't be talked about as much as Justin Timberlake's funny apology to Buffalo on "The Tonight Show" Friday night, Buffalo was the top-rated market for Team USA's 1-0 loss to Canada Friday in the semifinals of the men's hockey tournament at the Sochi Olympics.
The rating in the Buffalo market for the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) telecast was a 12.1, about 40 percent higher than the 8.5 rating for second place Minneapolis-St. Paul. Boston was third with a 7.5, Pittsburgh fourth with a 7.1 and Providence fifth a 6.9.
As impressive as the local viewership for the game was here, it doesn't count the viewership on CBC out of Toronto or at all the WNY restaurants and bars that carried the game during lunch time.
Here's the rest of the Top 10: 6. Chicago (6.2) 7. Detroit (5.8) 8. St. Louis (5.5) 9. Philadelphia (5.3) 10. New York (5.1).
The game had the highest overnight rating for any NBCSN hockey game with a 3.4. That was slightly ahead of the 3.3 rating for the USA's 3-2 shootout victory over Russia in the preliminary round.
Buffalo also was the top-rated market for USA's 3-2 overtime loss to Canada in the women's gold medal game Thursday with an 8.8 rating.
By the way, during his "Tonight Show" apology Timberlake partially blamed the long delay in re-scheduling his concert planned for tonight on the Buffalo Sabres schedule at the First Niagara Center. The postponed concert now is scheduled for July 9, which will be almost three months after the Sabres disappointing season is over.
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