Saturday night, millions across Canada and around the world tuned in for the nearly three-hour broadcast to celebrate Canada’s unofficial poet laureates, The Tragically Hip, as they brought down the house in an emotional and historic performance.
Just how many Canadians watched Gord Downie, Paul Langlois, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair and Johnny Fay play the final date of their Man Machine Poem tour at Kingston’s K-Rock Centre? According to preliminary numbers… 11.7 million Canadians (about 1/3 of Canada’s population) tuned in on television, radio and online streaming at some point during the live, commercial-free broadcast of The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration.
“For nearly three hours on a summer Saturday night, an entire nation paused to celebrate and pay tribute together. Thank you to Gord, Paul, Rob, Gord and Johnny for an intimate and unforgettable shared experience,” said Heather Conway, CBC’s executive vice-president of English services in a release.
The men’s gold-medal hockey game at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics is considered to be the most-watched broadcast ever in Canada.
The Tragically Hip — frontman Downie plus guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker, bassist Gord Sinclair and drummer Johnny Fay — kicked off the tour in Victoria on July 22. The tour was announced after Downie revealed he has terminal brain cancer.