World Cup: Canada's CBC Draws Record First Round Ratings

The audience for the opening Brazil vs. Croatia game was 73 percent higher than that for the 2010 World Cup opening match.

TORONTO – The World Cup opening round has seen Canadian broadcaster CBC post TV rating records for soccer coverage here.

The audience for the Brazil vs. Croatia game Thursday consisted of an average of 1.6 million Canadian viewers — 73 percent higher than that for the 2010 World Cup opening match, according to BBM Canada data.

And the overall reach of 5.2 million Canadians was up nearly 2 million more viewers than the opening match in 2010.

There also was proof Canadian footie fanatics remain in touch with their British Empire roots, as the England vs. Italy matchup Saturday drew an impressive 2.73 average viewers.

The CBC is increasing its World Cup audiences during the Brazil tournament as the same time zone means key games air during Canadian primetime, compared to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when games often aired earlier in the day.

The result: The high-profile Sunday evening Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina matchup netted 1.86 average viewers for the pubcaster.

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