Super Bowl takes a ratings hit, but still pulls in second biggest Canadian audience ever

Chris Zelkovich
Chris Zelkovich
Denver's mauling of Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Sunday's Super Bowl wasn't as compelling as 2015, but still drew a big audience.

It might have been the quality of the game, or possibly the halftime show, but Sunday's Super Bowl took a 10 per cent ratings hit in Canada.

According to Numeris overnight ratings, an average of 7.3 million viewers watched on CTV and another 1 million tuned into RDS to watch the Denver Broncos defeat the Carolina Panthers for a total audience of 8.3 million. That was down from the record 9.23 million who watched New England defeat Seattle last year.

Despite the drop, this year's audience was the second-largest in history as a total of 18.2 million individual viewers -- or 52 per cent of the population -- watched at least some part of the game.

True to Super Bowl tradition, the audience peaked at 10.3 million during the halftime show.

Once again, the ratings showed that the Super Bowl is now a Canadian television staple, regardless of who's playing on the field or on the bandstand. Put two teams, any two teams, in the big game and it will draw a big audience.

The top five Super Bowl audiences in Canada have taken place in the past five years.

Last year, the Super Bowl was the most-watched broadcast in Canada and you have to wonder if those numbers will go up next year. The 2017 game is supposed to mark the end of simultaneous substitution for Canadian Super Bowl broadcasts, meaning that those much-hyped American commercials will now the seen here.

Bell Media, which owns Canadian rights to the game, and the NFL are appealing that decision.

The story was pretty much the same south of the border.

CBS recorded an average of 111.9 million viewers, down 2.3 per cent from last year but still the third most-watched television show in history. The top three were all Super Bowl broadcasts.

A total of 167 million Americans watched at least part of the game. It had a 73 share, meaning 73 per cent of all households watched at least some of the game.