TSN announced yesterday that Saturday's Toronto FC v Vancouver Whitecaps game had drawn the largest television audience in Canadian history.
That's a warm, fuzzy stat for those of us that have been pining for the emergence of soccer on Canada's soccer stage, but it means little else.
In fact, I'd be more worried if Saturday's heavily promoted event wasn't the highest viewed game ever. After all, it was the first time two Canadian cities had a stake in watching an all-MLS game and the number pretty accurately reflected that.
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Last year, when Toronto FC would play its Saturday afternoon games on CBC, it would max out around 150,000-200,000. You simply double the regional audience and you've got Saturday's result.
I've long argued that the number would be higher if CBC would have the game a chance in an evening slot. But by comparison, their Saturday evening movie would garner around 800,000 and that's pretty hard to argue against.
If you're still looking for a stat to justify your sports existence in a mainstream world, look for a regional MLS game, played in the evening, where only Toronto FC or Vancouver Whitecaps are involved.
Having had some time to get use to its place on the national network, the Vancouver at Seattle (Sat. June 11 - 9pm PST) or Toronto at DC United (Sat. Aug. 6 - 7:30pm EST) will be the games you can point to and say the TSN Effect is truly working.
TSN PR has corrected its earlier declaration. The highest rated game was between Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy in April 2007.