VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 10: A full house was on hand for the season-opening MLS game between the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Montreal Impact March 10, 2012 at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 2-0. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Via press release, TSN announced a record in TV audience for the 2012 Major League Soccer opener between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact. Via BBM Canada, a broadcast measurement and consumer behaviour data provider, confirms an average audience of 541,000 viewers with 288,000 on TSN and 253,000 on RDS, it's Quebec French sister station. In the light of this empirical precise data, as per statistical rules and calculation, we can easily conclude that the province of Quebec and specifically the City of Montreal rules.
47% of a national TV audience coming from only one province and probably mostly from a city is a good sign for MLS interest in Quebec and also Canada.
The TSN Press release on record audience goes as follows
Montreal Impact-Vancouver Whitecaps FC MLS Game Attracts Record Audience for TSN and RDS
- More than half a million (541,000) people tuned in to TSN and RDS for Montreal Impact's MLS debut -
To tweet this release: http://bit.ly/yE5kl9
Toronto, ON (March 12, 2012) - Saturday's highly-anticipated Major League Soccer (MLS) debut of Montreal Impact against Vancouver Whitecaps FC was the most-watched MLS game ever in Canada. Overnight data from BBM Canada confirms that an average audience of 541,000 viewers watched the all-Canadian match-up on TSN (288,000) and RDS (253,000).
Almost 2.5 million Canadians tuned in to catch some or all of the live MLS action on TSN and RDS.
MLS action continues this Saturday (March 17) on TSN, RDS, TSN Mobile TV, and Télé Mobile RDS with the Impact's home opener against Chicago Fire at Olympic Stadium. TSN soccer experts Luke Wileman and Jason deVos tee up the game during a special pre-game show at 1:30 p.m. ET.
TSN, along with RDS, are the official broadcasters of Major League Soccer (MLS) in Canada with a national broadcast package that includes 36 games featuring Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. TSN also has live coverage of 22 games featuring U.S.-based teams, along with exclusive Canadian coverage of the MLS CUP Playoffs, the MLS Cup 2012 and the MLS ALL-STAR GAME.
This is great news for MLS TV ratings , a league , like any league, that will play on rivalries to generate more and more TV audience. While not forgetting the quality of soccer being played, the importance of the number of TV viewers will be as important as the crowd in the stadiums.
TV revenue is a main revenue generator. Don Garber, the MLS Commissioner, is conscious of this fact as the MLS is swimming in the ocean of Major League Sports( NFL, NBA, NHL) while competing with the EPL and the Mexican Primera División.
Canada and Quebec are happy to do its part.