Blue Jays spring home opener sees insanely high TV viewership

After a near miss in last year’s playoffs and some heavy roster changes in the offseason, the Blue Jays are set to be a big draw in 2022. Still, Toronto’s opener viewership has exceeded expectations.

The Blue Jays’ home opener against the Pirates on Sunday, which was also the Jays’ first televised spring game, had 451,000 viewers on Sportsnet’s main channel, according to sports media analyst Adam Seaborn.

The Blue Jays outscored both the Canada-Turkey World Championship curling game (370,000 viewers) and the Toronto Raptors/Philadelphia 76ers game on Sportsnet One (356,000). Only the Formula 1 season-opening race on TSN (575,000) attracted more viewers. For comparison, an average of 500,000 viewers watched Blue Jays regular season games in 2020, according to a Forbes article.

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The biggest takeaway from these numbers is that fans are increasingly obsessed with Blue Jays baseball, and it’s hard to blame them. A 99-day MLB lockout threatened to delay the regular season, certainly adding more appreciation to the game once a new collective bargaining agreement was reached.

Toronto also excited its fans by adding to its roster for the second year in a row, first signing starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi to a three-year, $36 million deal and then raising reasonable scouting capital for the player. of Gold Glove third baseman Matt Chapman. , which received an enthusiastic reception from the TD Ballpark crowd on Sunday.

Excitement and television viewership should increase as we get closer to the Blue Jays’ regular season opener scheduled for April 8 at home against the Rangers.