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


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 (9-8-4) 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 7 p.m. ET 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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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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