Olympics: USA-Canada gold medal game airs live coast to coast

us-canada-hockey-320.jpgThe Winter Olympics will end with a treat for hockey fans -- and everyone will get to see it at the same time.

NBC has decided to air the gold medal hockey game between the United States and Canada live in every time zone, rather than tape-delaying it for the West Coast as it's done for most of its Olympic telecasts the past two weeks. The game airs at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT.

It's probably a sound decision: When Canada and the United States met in the round-robin portion of the tournament, the game drew more than 8 million viewers on MSNBC. With a gold medal at stake it's almost certain that number will increase. (We're guessing the game will be a pretty big draw north of the border too; the 2002 U.S.-Canada gold medal match scored the biggest TV audience in ever in Canada.)

The hockey game will be the centerpiece of NBC's coverage on the final day of the Olympics. The network will also feature the final cross-country skiing event, the men's 50k, during its afternoon (noon-6 p.m. ET/PT) coverage and will cap things off with the closing ceremony at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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