Super Bowl hits six million on CTV

Sunday's bout between underdog New Orleans and favorite Indianapolis breaks television records for CTV, CBS.

Super Bowl XLIV has become the most-watched television event ever in the US and the biggest NFL championship game for CTV.

Sunday’s monster final – that saw underdogs the New Orleans Saints defeat the high-flying Indianapolis Colts 31-17 – delivered a record six million viewers for CTV, making it the most-watched event on the broadcaster since it began keeping track in 1994. The first Super Bowl appearance and win for the Saints nabbed an additional 650,000 viewers on RDS. (All numbers 2+.)

CTV says the game is the second most-watched event on Canuck television – thanks in part to BBM’s Portable People Meters – with the top audience belonging to CBC for the gold medal hockey game at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The Super Bowl peaked at eight million viewers in the final minutes of play.

In the US, an estimated 106.5 million viewers watched on CBS, surpassing the 1983 finale of M*A*S*H to become the highest-rated program in television history, according to the Associated Press. The game also surpassed the previous record viewership for a Super Bowl; last year’s contest between Arizona and Pittsburg which drew 98 million viewers.

The results come as CTV announced on Monday that it has signed a new four-year deal with the National Football League, extending its broadcast partnership through to 2013. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Included in the deal are NFL regular season Sunday early games, all playoff games and the Super Bowl. CTV scooped NFL rights and the Super Bowl from rival Global in 2007.

Meanwhile, the premiere of Undercover Boss, following the game, delivered an average 1.8 million viewers. Episode two of the new business-minded reality series airs next Sunday at 9 p.m. on A, as the Vancouver Olympics get underway on the main CTV channel.

From Playback Daily