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The World Juniors land in Toronto and Montréal on Boxing Day. Since taking over the tournament’s broadcast rights in 1991, TSN has worked closely with Hockey Canada to help build the tournament into Canada’s favourite hockey holiday tradition. So, how do we pull off the most wonderful time of the Canadian sports year? Let’s take a look at the people and production, past and present, surrounding the World Juniors on TSN.
TSN has more than 120 production staff working in Toronto and Montréal during the World Juniors. As part of a long-time tradition, crew members away from their families share a Christmas meal together – trimmings and all.
This year marks TSN’s 25th anniversary broadcasting the World Juniors. In 1991, the year TSN took over as the World Juniors broadcaster, Eric Lindros led Team Canada to a gold medal over Pavel Bure’s Team Soviet Union.
The IIHF’s highest individual prize, the Paul Loicq Award is awarded for exceptional contributions to international ice hockey. The award is named after Belgian Paul Loicq, who was the IIHF’s President for 25 years (1922-1947), and also a player and referee.
It wasn’t until 1994 that all Team Canada games played in Europe were televised in Canada. The 1994 World Juniors in Ostrava, Czech Republic marked the first time TSN substantially upped its coverage of Team Canada.
Mark Milliere, TSN’s Senior Vice-President of Production, recently shared some of his thoughts with the Toronto Star on Canada’s love affair with the World Juniors:
“You know, you are watching young men with the Canada flag on their chest, best on best in the world, and you’ve got time. It’s over the holiday season so you can watch — everyone, the entire family can get into this — so now it’s bleeding beyond the sports fan. It’s getting everyone into the tent.”
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Currently, nine of the Top 15 most-watched telecasts on specialty TV are World Juniors games.
Top 15 Audiences on Specialty TV in Canada
1. 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship: Gold Medal Game – 6.1 Million
2. 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship: Gold Medal Game – 5.4 million
3. 100th Grey Cup – 5.4 million
4. 98th Grey Cup – 5.1 million
5. 97th Grey Cup – 5 million
6. 101st Grey Cup – 4.5 million
7. 99th Grey Cup – 4.3 million
8. 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship: Semi-Final Game – 4 million
9. 102nd Grey Cup – 3.8 million
10. 2009 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Gold Medal Game – 3.7 million*
11. 2003 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship: Gold Medal Game – 3.5 million*
12. 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Preliminary Game – 3.4 million
13. 2005 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Gold Medal Game – 3.2 million*
14. 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Semi Final Game – 3 million
15. 2011 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship Preliminary Game – 3 million
*Audiences prior to August 31, 2009 based on BBM Nielsen Media Research Mark II meters
For this year’s tournament, TSN will use 20 cameras for every game featuring Team Canada, including a super slow-motion camera.
Jordan Eberle’s iconic “CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!” goal – as dubbed by Gord Miller’s unforgettable call – from the 2009 World Juniors has been featured on SPORTSCENTRE Top 10 and TSN hockey highlights more than 500 different times.
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