Almost 20 million Canadians have watched the national team play their two Group Games of the World Cup in Qatar, combined.
That’s according to data collected by Numeris, on behalf of Canadian media corporation BellMedia.
The accumulated data covers World Cup viewership figures across its Television networks; TSN (The Sports Network), CTV (Canada Television Network) and RDS (French speaking sports broadcaster)
Why is it interesting? Soccer is certainly not as popular as top US sports featuring Canadian teams in their top leagues. Viewership would be relative.
Would it be because there’s an even bigger excuse to watch with Canada competing?
BellMedia states that Canada’s first Group game broke viewership records and sits as technically, the third all-time highest viewer numbers for a sports event in Canada, the Super Bowl LVI being the first.
Around 8.9M Canadians tuned in LIVE to watch Canada play their first Group game against Belgium on Thursday last week. That was equivalent to 1 in 4 Canadians watching some or all the live broadcast.
The corporation also states that the game set a new viewership record with an average of 3.7M viewers across TSN, CTV and RDS. That made it the most watched FIFA WORLD CUP Group Stage game ever watched on Canadian TV, according to the data.
When compared with the Super Bowl LVI, there was an overall audience of 16.9M unique Canadian viewers with an average of around 8.1M. That reflects almost half of the Canadian population and 1 in 2 of the population tuning in.
But, dear readers, the record was broken again…
What about Croatia vs Canada?
Sunday’s game far surpassed Thursday’s viewing records and claimed it’s place as the second all-time most watched sports event in Canada, next to Super Bowl LVI.
Around 9.8M Canadians tuned LIVE in for Canada’s second Group game against Croatia, a further 1.1M more than Thursday. That also accounted for an increase in the average viewers with 4.4M watching it on BellMedia’s channels.
Half of Canada is watching the World Cup
BellMedia also reports that in total, around 18.8M Canadians have been watching LIVE coverage of the World Cup Group Stage games, that’s almost 50% of the population.
Individual games have also gathered in respectable audiences too. Games like the Argentina vs Mexico and Spain vs Germany managed to gather in over 1M each (1.8M and 1.5M respectively).
Who’ll be watching Canada vs Morocco?
Questions now arise about whether we’ll see an even bigger viewing record for Canada’s next game against Morocco on Thursday.
While the situation is far from ideal, it would show how much interest there is in Canada’s national team competing in the biggest football contest.
Unless you haven’t been following Canada’s World Cup journey, they’ve sadly failed to qualify for the knock-out stages due to losing their two previous games against Belgium (1 – 0) and Croatia (4 – 1).
Morocco will be their third and final Group Stage game and it’ll be their chance to leave a lasting impression of how far Canada has come as a footballing nation.
Will you be watching?