Turns out it was a bloody big deal.
TSN’s broadcast of Saturday’s Toronto FC home opener was the most-watched Major League Soccer game ever on English-language TV, drawing an average audience of 352,000 viewers. That represents an 18% increase over the previous week’s season opener in Seattle, which drew an average audience of 299,000.
The previous high for an MLS audience on Canadian English-language TV came in 2012, when an average audience of 335,000 tuned in to watch the Vancouver Whitecaps’ playoff.
The Bell Media channel said that 1.6 million unique viewers tuned in to watch TSN’s coverage of the match, which featured the home debut of several big off-season acquisitions, most notably former Barclay’s Premier League star Jermain Defoe, who was featured in a prominent Toronto FC ad campaign by Sid Lee earlier this year.