There may have been only a few people who bothered to read all the way through the comments on my post about Toronto fans at the MLS All-Star Game. One major point of contention was whether or not very many people were actually watching the exhibition match (the implication being that it didn't matter how the fans behaved because few saw it).
My argument all along wasn't that it was a huge amount, but that compared to most Major League Soccer games and the ratings they generally pull, the All-Star Game was a showcase and no doubt watched by many. Even if the respect the league players gain or lose can't be measured, the people watching can be, or at least a rough estimate.
Turns out, quite a lot of people were watching (once again, it's relative to MLS standards). The ratings increase is especially notable because it was a weekday broadcast, when ratings are typically lower for sports.
From the NY Times:
The ratings for the All-Star Game broadcast Thursday by ESPN and Telefutura were the highest in league history. ESPN had a rating of 0.47 and reached 453,000 households, and Spanish-language Telefutura had a rating of 0.37, reaching 389,000 households. The total was a 124 percent increase over last year, according to The Sports Business Daily.