• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Sochi: Ice Skater's World Record Has Japanese Viewers Up Late

Sochi Russia Winter Olympics - H 2014
AP Images
Japanese skater Hanyu broke the world record in the short program early on Friday morning

Yuzuru Hanyu's short program performance Friday, the first by a male skater to break the 100-point barrier, pulled in a huge TV audience at home, despite its 3 a.m. broadcast slot.

TOKYO – Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu's record-breaking short program aired in the early hours of Friday morning, Japan time, registered viewing figures of 13.4 percent for the broadcast on NHK, according to figures from Video Research Inc.

PHOTOS: Sochi: 10 Best Fashion Moments On (and Off) the Ice

The event began at midnight on Thursday, but Hanyu didn't take the ice until around 3 a.m. Nevertheless 13.4 percent in the Kanto region around Tokyo, and 15.3 percent in the Kansai area around Osaka, toughed it out to watch the 19-year-old score 101.45 from the judges — a new world record and the first performance by a male skater to break 100 points — on public broadcaster NHK's main terrestrial channel.

Hanyu competes in the freestyle program on Friday night, and is favored to win gold for Japan.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair