Toronto, ON (March 21, 2011) – TSN scores a record audience in its inaugural game as the official broadcaster of Major League Soccer in Canada. The highly-anticipated Vancouver Whitecaps FC–Toronto FC season opening game on Saturday attracted an average audience of 289,000 viewers on TSN – making it the most watched MLS game ever on Canadian television.
The audience for the first-ever meeting between two Canadian MLS teams surpassed the previous MLS audience high set for a Toronto FC-Columbus Crew game in 2009 (261,000 viewers).
TSN’s audience for the historic game on Saturday was 53% higher than the Toronto FC’s broadcast debut on conventional television last season (April 25, 2010).
Overall, close to 1.4 million unique viewers tuned in at some point to TSN’s MLS coverage on a highly competitive day in sports broadcasting.
Playing in their first-ever MLS match, the Whitecaps FC defeated their Canadian rivals 4-2 in an entertaining game in front of a sold-out crowd at Empire Field in Vancouver.
TSN’s MLS coverage was led by play-by-play commentator Luke Wileman and colour analyst Jason deVos.
MLS ON TSN coverage continues with the Toronto FC home opener against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, March 26 at 1:30 p.m. ET live on TSN.
In total, TSN and TSN2 will broadcast 24 MLS regular season matches this year featuring Toronto FC and/or Vancouver Whitecaps FC, plus an additional 25 games showcasing non-Canadian clubs. TSN is also the official Canadian broadcaster of the MLS ALL-STAR GAME, MLS CUP playoff games and the highly-anticipated MLS CUP.