CTV's four hour Olympic Infomercial Sunday night was the most-watched Olympic infomercial ever. The network issued a release Monday stating it was also Canada's most-watched Super Bowl broadcast.
Goosed to crazy new heights thanks to those ratings 'roids, the new BBM Canada Portable People Meter data, CTV says an overnight, estimated 6,025,000 Canadians watched the network from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday night, when CTV featured mainly promotional spots for their upcoming Winter Olympic coverage as well as some Super Bowl football coverage.
Add the roughly 650,000 estimated to have watched the actual football game in Quebec on RDS and the total Canadian Super Bowl tally approaches 6.7 million, over half a million more than watched The Grey Cup last November on TSN and RDS.
CTV claims that's the second-biggest Canadian audience since they've began tracking People Meter data in the early '90s. Not surprisingly, the network has inked a deal with the NFL to air the next four Super Bowls. Plans to fill time during non-Olympic years were not released.
In the U.S., where viewers were deprived of Olympic profiles, music videos and other Games reminders every three minutes, the average Super Bowl audience is estimated so far at over 106.5 million viewers on CBS. That would make it the most-watched TV program ever, finally topping the 106 million who saw the horrible final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983.
In both countries, the new reality series Undercover Boss got a huge sampling thanks to the Super Bowl/Olympic Infomercial lead in. CBS says 38.61 million stuck around for Undercover Boss Sunday night. In Canada, over 1.8 million watched the head of Waste Management picking up garbage on CTV.
The Canadian Super Bowl take was roughly double the audience from last year. While the game was exciting, last year's NFL tilt was even more of a nail-biter. The gigantic boost may the latest evidence that the new Portable People Meters are indeed ratings 'roids, goosing live event sports broadcasts to unheard of levels in Canada. Even last Friday's Leafs/Devils game on Rogers Sportnet scored 834,000 according to a release from that network Monday, their third 800,000+ regional Leaf draw in as many weeks. CBC's Hockey Night in Canada continues to crack the two million mark on Saturday nights, again about double last year's score.
Canadian Junior Hockey and football have now cracked the five and six million mark since PPMs were introduced last September. CTV--which, in case you haven't heard, has the Olympics starting this Friday--no longer must think BBM stands for Broken Business Model. Not since PPM stands for Permission to Print Money.
An Olympic backlash may be brewing, however, if the twitter postings in the past 24 hours are any indication. Type "CTV" into a twitter search and release a firestorm of frustration and anger over the network's giddy Games hype.
"have you guys seen that awful CTV official music video/song for the games? a fromage fest!" tweets ABeautifulLife. "If CTV asks me one more time 'do you believe?' I'm going to throw the TV out the window" says neelmalik. "Who is responsible for replacing every channel's Superbowl feed on Shaw to the CTV feed? I pay for CBSHD expecting CBSHD," says jevans.
Oh well. Let the games begin.