Canada’s sports network, TSN saw its audiences grow throughout 2018 – bolstered by a raft of major sporting events.
As TSN closed out 2018 after delivering Canada’s biggest lineup of championship sporting events, the network announced that data from Numeris confirms TSN remains Canada’s most-watched speciality network in 2018, as the average audience of the network’s five national feeds lead those of its closest competitor by +13%. TSN also leads by +21% and +38% in the key A18-49 and M18-34 demos, respectively.
“In 2018, we expanded the TSN brand in new and exciting ways, offering subscribers even more access to the biggest and best roster of iconic sports programming that lives right here on TSN,” said Stewart Johnston, President of TSN, Bell Media Sales, and Marketing. “Canadians consistently turn to TSN’s five feeds and digital platforms for the most memorable moments from across the sporting landscape. This year’s continued audience growth speaks to the depth and breadth of the programming that we offer, as well as the power of TSN’s 60+ championship moments, which we look forward to sharing with viewers once again in 2019.”
Average audiences on TSN grew 15% in 2018. Driven by a multitude of marquee properties including the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, CFL On TSN, MLS On TSN, NFL, and more, TSN attracted strong linear audience numbers throughout the year to maintain its hold on the top spot.
A total of 30.8 million unique Canadian viewers watched TSN this year, representing nearly 86% of the Canadian population. TSN also remains the most-trusted source for sports news and information, led by its flagship news program SPORTSCENTRE, with more than 1.4 billion hours consumed this calendar year-to-date.
TSN digital platforms also recorded strong increases in 2018, with a 19% increase in video views compared to 2017, and an 84% increase in live streaming, driven by the launch of TSN Direct, the network’s premium live and on-demand subscription video streaming service, which launched just in time for the 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA™.
A total of 25.9 million viewers tuned in for the 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ on CTV, TSN, and RDS, accounting for 72% of the Canadian population. The tournament’s strong ratings were highlighted by the average audience of 3.9 million viewers who tuned in to TSN, RDS, and CTV for the 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ Final between France and Croatia. The 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ helped make June 2018 the best month ever for TSN digital platforms, with a total of 16 million video starts and 5 million unique visitors across all digital platforms.
Average audiences for the CFL On TSN regular season finished up 4%, reaching 14 million unique Canadian viewers, and up 9% in the key A18-34 demo. The season culminated with the 106th GREY CUP, which was watched by 8.4 million unique Canadian viewers on TSN and RDS.
MLS regular season games were up 23% for the 2018 season on TSN and CTV, and the networks’ extensive coverage of golf’s majors also saw significant audience growth, with The PGA Championship up 29%, The Open Championship up 25%, and The Masters up 12%.
TSN has driven strong audiences with its fan-favourite coverage of the NBA’s hottest team, as RAPTORS ON TSN broadcasts are up 71% for the 2018-19 season thus far over the same time last season, highlighted by the team’s overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 29, which became the most-watched Raptors regular season game in Canadian speciality television history with an average audience of 582,000 viewers.
Additionally, TSN’s wall-to-wall coverage of the NFL in simulcast with CTV2 continues to see significant growth, with Sunday Night Football up 21%, Thursday Night Football up 18%, and Monday Night Football up 13% on the two networks.
TSN’s Champions Live Here campaign highlights the network’s position as Canada’s Sports Leader by leveraging the network’s unmatched programming lineup of live sports and championship events. The multi-platform campaign emphasises the value for TSN subscribers by focusing on the network’s wide variety of marquee championship sporting events airing across TSN’s five national feeds.
TSN’s massive lineup of marquee live sports properties also includes the SUPER BOWL, NBA FINALS, the WORLD JUNIORS, men’s and women’s IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, regional hockey coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadians, and Winnipeg Jets, as well as Season of Champions curling coverage, headlined by the TIM HORTONS BRIER, SCOTTIES TOURNAMENT OF HEARTS, and the ROAR OF THE RINGS. TSN also delivered extensive coverage of marquee tournaments including NCAA® MARCH MADNESS® and every tennis Grand Slam, and is Canada’s home for NASCAR, F1®, UFC® events, Soccer Canada, Skate Canada and Rugby Canada events, and much more.
Canada’s most-watched speciality network wraps up the year with one of the most-watched broadcasts on the sports calendar – TSN’s complete live coverage of every game of Canada’s favourite holiday hockey tradition, the 2019 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP. The World Juniors headline a stellar holiday schedule that includes the NFL PLAYOFFS, SPENGLER CUP, COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF, and much more.