Sunday night’s Raptors’ Game 7 win — featuring Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer beater shot –became the most-watched NBA game in Canada.
According to the NBA, nearly 5.8 million Canadians –up from the average 2.2 million viewership — watched some or all of the Raptors’ final game in the series against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sportsnet.
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“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, in a release.
“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.”
The second round of the NBA playoffs saw a 73% increase in Canadian viewership from last year.
The Raptors’ regular season was also the most-watched season ever in Canada, with viewership up 29% year-over-year across Sportsnet and TSN.
On social media, Leonard’s game-winning shot went viral. The video has tallied up a combined 16 million views across the NBA’s platforms with 10 million of those views being from Instagram alone.
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The Raptors go on to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday.