TORONTO – The 2018-19 regular season marked a banner year for the NBA in Canada, as the league 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. “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.”
Below please find record-breaking highlights from the 2018-19 regular season in Canada:
Most-Watched Regular Season in Canada:
- This season was the most-watched NBA regular season ever in Canada, with viewership up 29% year-over-year across Sportsnet and TSN.
- The Toronto Raptors’ win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, Feb. 22 was the most-watched regular-season game ever in Canada, with an average audience of 710,000 viewers on TSN.
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.
The 2019 NBA Playoffs tip off Saturday, April 13 on RDS2, Sportsnet and TSN, with 16 teams competing for a trip to the NBA Finals and the chance to win The Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.