Suc­cess means more eye­balls

Toronto FC suc­cess drives up rat­ings while strug­gling Jays’ num­bers drop

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY NEIL DAVID­SON

Toronto FC and the Blue Jays are cur­rently at dif­fer­ent ends of the stand­ings and their TV num­bers have gone up and down as a re­sult.

But the Jays’ TV au­di­ence con­tin­ues to dwarf that of the Ma­jor League Soc­cer team.

Canada’s strug­gling base­ball team, from April through July, av­er­aged 706,300 view­ers com­pared to 895,400 over the same time pe­riod last sea­son, ac­cord­ing to Sport­snet.

Toronto went into Tues­day’s game against the vis­it­ing Yan­kees at 52-59 in the Amer­i­can League East base­ment.

Toronto FC (12-3-8) is cur­rently lead­ing the East­ern Con­fer­ence and MLS stand­ings. TSN says TFC games on TSN/ CTV are av­er­ag­ing 93,000 view­ers this year in terms of total au­di­ence, com­pared to 59,000 over the same time pe­riod last sea­son.

The White­caps sea­son av­er­age is 86,000, com­pared to 69,000 in 2016.

The Mon­treal Im­pact are av­er­ag­ing 80,000, com­pared to 73,000 last sea­son.

All three teams have seen dou­ble-digit in­creases in the 18-34 de­mo­graphic over the same pe­riod last sea­son: Toronto FC up 39 per cent, Mon­treal Im­pact up 22 per cent, and the Van­cou­ver White­caps up 12 per cent, ac­cord­ing to TSN.

Mon­treal (7-8-6) stands ninth in the East while Van­cou­ver (98-4) is sev­enth in the West.

Soc­cer and base­ball have a way to go to catch hockey when its comes to TV au­di­ence.

Sport­snet says last sea­son’s Hockey Night in Canada’s rat­ings were up 11 per cent from 2015-16 with an av­er­age au­di­ence of 1.8 mil­lion view­ers for the 8 p.m. AT game, and up six per cent (821,000 view­ers) for the late game.

Sport­snet’s re­gional Leafs broad­casts av­er­aged 536,000 last sea­son, up 32 per cent from the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

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