When the Tragically Hip played the final show on the Man Machine Poem tour in Kingston back on August 20, the CBC broadcast it live on TV, radio and online.
The official number of people who listened or watched was 11.7 million, but the actual number was probably much higher because it didn’t take into account the all the people who gathered to watch at house parties, at bars and restaurants and at big public gatherings.
But for sake of argument, let’s say that an even 12 million people participated in the broadcast at some point. That’s fully one-third the population of the country.
How does that compare to when the Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964? The population of the US was 192 million back then. It’s estimated that 73 million people watch that performance.
This means in percentage terms, that universe-changing Beatles event was only slightly bigger than the Hip broadcast. Amazing, no?