NBA, Toronto Raptors set record broadcast viewership numbers in Canada


The 2018-19 regular season ended on Wednesday night and it turned out to be a record-breaking one in Canada.

The NBA announced on Thursday that Canada has set records for broadcast viewership, national partnerships and licensed merchandise sales.

"As the regular season ends and excitement for the playoffs builds, our record growth this season signifies basketball's surging popularity in Canada," said NBA Canada Managing Director Dan MacKenzie via press release.

"The historic growth in a number of areas speaks to the Raptors' success, the level of talent coming out of Canada, and the heightened profile of our players. The NBA is well-positioned for continued growth in Canada at a time when interest in the game has never been higher."

Viewership in Canada was up 29% year-on-year across Sportsnet and TSN.

DeMar DeRozan's return to Toronto on February 22nd was the most watched regular season game ever in Canada with an average audience of 710,000 on TSN.

With the Raptors poised to make a run to the Finals, expect the interest and viewership to continue to increase throughout the postseason.

The 2019 NBA Playoffs begin on Saturday, April 13 across RDS 2 in French - and Sportsnet and TSN.

More record-breaking highlights from the 2018-19 regular season in Canada via NBA Canada:

Record Partners and Activations:
• This season the NBA has a record 32 partners in Canada, including Canada-specific deals with Bell, Molson-Coors and OLG.
• The number of activations by the NBA's partners in Canada grew 46% since last season, the largest year-over-year increase ever in the country.

Record Merchandise Sales:
• 26 - NBA merchandise sales across retail and online outlets in Canada grew 26% year-over-year, marking the strongest year of sales ever for the league in Canada.

Social Media Growth:
• 20 - Followers of the NBA's Canadian Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts have increased 20% year-over-year.

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