Sunday night’s Super Bowl LIV broadcast drew an overnight, estimated 7,837,000 viewers on CTV and TSN, up 81 per cent over last year’s overnight audience according to Numeris data released Monday. Factor in the French language audience watching the game on RDS and a grand total of 9.5 million viewers across Canada watched the game.
The huge jump was no surprise. For the past four years, Bell was forced by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission to offer Canadians the American feed of the game. This chopped Bell’s 2019 audience down to 4,332,000 Canadian viewers with millions more opting to watch the game on a border station affiliate with the American Super Bowl commercials all intact.
2016-2019 were the Super Blais years, named after former CRTC chair Jean-Pierre Blais. He threw the flag and changed the sim-sub rules for this one exception after dozens of letters demanding Budweiser and Doritos ads from south of the border be made available in Canada. It was an offside call that cost Bell millions in lost ad revenue, a blindsiding tackle considering the amount they negotiated with US broadcasters for rights to NFL games was concluded before this game changer was imposed.
Immediately following the game, won by Kansas City over San Francisco, CTV simulcast the fourth season premiere of the celebrity competition series The Masked Singer. Premiering after the game at 10:40 p.m. ET, the series drew an overnight (unconfirmed), average minute audience of 1,615,000 on CTV, with 667,000 of those viewers within the coveted 25-54-year-old demo.
In the U.S., according to the Programming Insider, preliminary numbers show that the game was seen by a combined 102 million viewers on Fox, Fox Deport as well as on streaming platforms. That was up 1.4 per cent from the 100.7 million who watched last year’s Super Bowl on CBS. Sunday night’s audience was the 10th largest in the history of U.S. Super Bowl broadcasts.