NEWS
05/03/2016 12:41 EDT | Updated 05/04/2017 01:12 EDT

Raptors ratings improving, but still struggling to compete with hockey, baseball

TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors are getting more attention from Canadian television viewers, but are still struggling to compete with hockey and baseball.

Sportsnet says the Raptors' first-round Game 7 win over the Indiana Pacers had average audience of 1.53 million viewers Sunday night, making it the most-watched Raptors game ever in Canada.

Still, the NBA team was outdrawn by Saturday's NHL draft lottery, which pulled in an average of 1.57 million viewers.

Meanwhile, the network says the second round of the NHL playoff series between Pittsburgh and Washington is averaging of 1.5 million viewers, while a regular-season baseball game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday attracted an average of 1.1 million viewers.

The Raptors are also benefiting from not having to share television time with a Canadian NHL team this post-season. Last year's first-round series between Montreal and Ottawa averaged 3.2 million viewers per game on CBC, according to Sportsnet.

TSN says it averaged 643,000 viewers for its first-round games, an increase of 38 per cent over last year.

Toronto hosts Miami Tuesday night in the opening game of the Raptors' first second-round series since 2001.

The Canadian Press