Thrills but no rat­ings record

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

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.

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