As was announced yesterday evening, thanks to Josh Lewenberg of TSN, last Friday’s Raptors-Spurs contest was the most-watched regular season NBA game ever in the whole country of Canada. The official numbers are below:
The Raptors win over San Antonio last Friday was the most-watched regular season NBA game ever in Canada. DeMar DeRozan's return to Toronto attracted an average audience of 710,000 on @TSN_Sports and more than 2.5 million unique Canadian viewers.— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) February 25, 2019
Read that again: 710,000 and 2.5 million with an M! That latter number tracks as appropriate, given that it felt like the entirety of Toronto was living and dying on the emotional return of DeMar DeRozan. Obviously, as implied by Josh’s tweet, the viewership was spread out across the country, but still there’s a nice bit of symmetry there. And it felt nice to watch the Raptors beat the Spurs, for the emotional baggage to be offloaded, for the karmic balance to be restored in some small way.
(Update: And for the record, as per Lewenberg’s other announcements, the previous regular season viewership record for a TSN broadcast was the Raptors’ showdown with the Warriors from earlier this year. There could be a Sportsnet-aired game with higher numbers, but somehow I doubt it.)
Did HQ thoroughly cover the game at its aftermath? How could we not. The return of DeRozan to Toronto meant something special to everyone who has followed the team through the low times over the past decade and the boom of recent years. The Raps have moved on, as was always going to be the case, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate DeRozan for everything he did here. In any case, I’ll leave it at that for now.
For our part, we’ve got you covered on DeRozan mania right here:
- Kawhi Life and what it means to return home;
- Recap for Raptors-Spurs, a night of tributes;
- Five Thoughts on Last Night for Raptors-Spurs; and
- How Toronto’s past can help us embrace the future.
Now, we carry on.