Millions watch Tragically Hip live on CBC

The CBC's broadcast and livestreaming of The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration concert reached 11.7 million people on Saturday night, according to preliminary audience figures.

Broadcast featured last stop on band's Man Machine Poem tour, potentially its last

Members of the Tragically Hip gather onstage to acknowledge their fans after ending their Man Machine Poem tour in Kingston, Ont., on Saturday night. From left: Rob Baker, Paul Langlois, Gord Downie, Johnny Fay and Gord Sinclair. (CBC)

The CBC's broadcast and livestreaming of The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration concert reached 11.7 million people on Saturday night, according to preliminary audience figures.

The commercial-free special presentation was carried live on radio and TV and was streamed live online via the CBC's website, apps, YouTube channel and Facebook page.

The show allowed people to watch and listen to the last concert of the iconic Canadian band's Man Machine Poem tour, from the group's hometown of Kingston, Ont. The tour was announced after lead singer Gord Downie revealed he has terminal brain cancer.

The TV broadcast alone averaged four million viewers. 

"It was an honour and a privilege for CBC to bring this unprecedented event to audiences across the country and around the world. This is public broadcasting at its very best," said Heather Conway, CBC's executive vice-president of English services. 

"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."

The Tragically Hip — frontmanDownie plus guitarist Paul Langlois, guitarist Rob Baker, bassist GordSinclair and drummer Johnny Fay — kicked off the tour in Victoria on July 22. 

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