Thrills but no ratings record
NEW YORK — Super Bowl ratings were down 39 per cent in Canada this year, a drop that national rights-holder Bell Media blamed on a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decision mandating this year’s game feed from Fox not be substituted with a Canadian signal.
The New England Patriots’ 3428 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday night drew an average audience of 4.47 million viewers on CTV, CTV Two and TSN, a Bell Media spokesperson said in an email.
“It’s the outcome we predicted despite our efforts to mitigate the audience loss, and the support of the Canadian companies that stepped up to advertise on the domestic broadcast,” said Scott Henderson, Bell Media vice-president, communications. Last year’s Super Bowl between Denver and Carolina drew an average audience of 7.32 million on CTV.
Citing complaints from Canadian viewers, the CRTC ruled in 2015 that simultaneous substitution of Canadian spots over the star-studded American ads played during the Super Bowl would no longer be allowed. The ruling kicked in for this year’s championship game.
In the U.S., Fox drew an audience of 111.3 million viewers for the first Super Bowl to go into overtime, a smaller audience than the game has had in the past two years but still ranking among the biggest for a TV program in the U.S. The top Super Bowl audience — and the biggest for any American TV show — was the 114.4 million viewers who saw the Pats beat Seattle in 2015, according to the Nielsen company.