Photo courtesy TSN
A weekly digest of the top Canadian sports business news, tweets, and more. All links are curated by hand by the Sports Business Canada team. Posted every Sunday/Monday. Submit your links to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Good Old Soccer Game
Despite suffering a heartbreaking shootout loss to the Seattle Sounders last Saturday night, MLS Cup was a ratings win in Canada. According to Bell Media, 1.5 million viewers tuned into the game on TSN and RDS, making it Canada’s most-watched MLS game in history. There had been some debate about whether ratings for a one Canadian MLS final in a prime time sports slot could surpass ratings for an all-Canadian semi-final, but the numbers for MLS Cup represented a 10% increase over the previous all-time record set last month during the MLS Eastern Conference Championship between TFC and the Montreal Impact. Audience levels peaked at 11pm EST with 2.7 million viewers tuning in to see the final penalty kicks. Overall, 4.2 million Canadians watched some part of the game. The MLS Cup was also the most-watched program in the Greater Toronto Area on Saturday night, delivering a 35% share and edging out Hockey Night in Canada‘s Original Six matchup between the Leafs and Bruins. As for social media reach, TSN reported that their Instagram and Snapchat stories throughout the game garnered 270,000 and 250,000 views, respectively.
Toronto FC Breaks All-Time Audience Record Yet Again. 1.5 Million Viewers Tuning in to 2016 MLS CUP on TSN & RDS https://t.co/RYrh6Axctj
— MLS on TSN (@MLSonTSN) December 12, 2016
— Paul M Fruitman (@paulfruitman) December 9, 2016
Fight Night in Toronto
No George St-Pierre, no problem. Despite all the excitement going on at BMO Field, UFC’s return to Toronto last Saturday night was a sellout. The gate was $2,429,300 Canadian, beating a gate of $995,624 Canadian for UFC 186 in Montreal.
The UFC's return to Toronto ended up being a sell out. Attendance was 18,057. Gate was $2,429,300 CAD/ $1,843,101 (USD) #UFC206
— Mike Johnston (@MikeyJ_MMA) December 11, 2016
According to TSN, Apple is in late-stage discussions with the NHL regarding a “major partnership” that could see iPads and other technologies implemented on team benches and elsewhere in arenas.
— Sponsorship Space (@SponsorTalk) December 8, 2016
#Rio2016, #OurMoment, #WeTheNorth. Our friends at Twitter Canada look back on Canada’s Year on Twitter in 2016.
— Twitter Sports CA (@TwitterSportsCA) December 6, 2016