Canada’s FIFA World Cup opener breaks audience records

Canada's opening match at the FIFA World Cup Qatar on Wednesday broke viewing records, attracting an average audience of 3.7 million viewers across TSN, CTV, and RDS, according to preliminary overnight data from Numeris. (Bell Media)

Canada’s opening match at the FIFA World Cup Qatar on Wednesday broke viewing records, attracting an average audience of 3.7 million viewers across TSN, CTV, and RDS, according to preliminary overnight data from Numeris.

The match, marking the first appearance of the Canadian Men’s National Team in the tournament since 1986, is now the most-watched FIFA World Cup Group Stage match on record and the second-most-watched sports broadcast of the year behind Super Bowl LVI. It also attracted the biggest live streaming audience of any broadcast on record for TSN.

Overall, the match reached 8.9 million unique Canadian viewers, with nearly one-in-four Canadians tuning in to watch some or all of Wednesday afternoon’s live broadcast. Audiences peaked at 4.9 million viewers at 3:50 p.m. ET as the game ended in a 1-0 victory for Belgium, the #2 ranked FIFA team.

Through the first four days of the tournament, a total of 13.1 million unique Canadian viewers or roughly 34% of Canadians have tuned in for live game coverage across all three Bell Media networks.

On social media, TSN says it’s earned more than 31 million views and nearly 63 million impressions across its platforms.

Canada returns to the pitch Sunday, Nov. 27 against Croatia, with pre-game coverage beginning at 7:45 a.m. ET on TSN and CTV, and 10 a.m. ET on RDS.

TSN’s coverage is being led by on-location hosts James DuthieLuke Wileman, and Lindsay Hamilton; studio host Kelcey Brade; on-location analysts Steven CaldwellJulian de GuzmanKevin KilbaneJanine Beckie, and Tosaint Ricketts; studio analyst Carmelina Moscato; on-location reporters Matthew Scianitti and Daniel Zakrzewski; social media reporter Corwin McCallum; and rules expert Joe Fletcher.


Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 30 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.

* indicates required