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by Ken Schott

Parting Schotts

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NBC Sports Network gets record viewership for U.S.-Japan women's soccer gold-medal game

The United States women's soccer team's 2-1 victory over Japan in Thursday's gold-medal game drew 4.35 million viewers and had a rating of 2.74, the most-watched and highest-rated event ever on NBC Sports Network, NBC announced Friday. It topped the 3.6 million who watched Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers on June 2, 2010.

In addition, the game got 1.467 million streams on, the most-streamed event in Olympics history.

NBC Sports' prime-time coverage Thursday attracted an average of 22.9 million viewers. Even though that's the lowest number of these Games, it's the most-watched second Thursday for non-U.S. Summer Olympics since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics (23.7 million).

It topped the comparable night from the 2008 Beijing Olympics (22.4 million) and the 2004 Athens Olympics (21.5 million).

The 14-day average prime-time viewership of 31.9 million viewers is 3.3 million more viewers than the first 14 nights from Beijing (28.6 million) and 6.2 million more than the first 14 nights from Athens (25.7 million).

Thursday's rating/share was 13.6/23, just 1 percent off the comparable night from Beijing (13.8/23) and Athens (13.8/24).

The 14-night average household rating of 18.0/30 is 7 percent higher than the first 14 nights from Beijing (16.8/29), and 15 percent higher than the first 14 nights from Athens (15.6/27).

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