Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

June 13th, 2015 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports

photo credit: the Sun


by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail


Good morning readers. I am going to kick some things to next week since the world of sports is once again firing out interesting stories at a rapid pace. First let me thank Ryan Walsh of Sportsnet for going above and beyond in participating in our Q&A last week. On behalf of Jonah and the TSM readership, we wish Ryan the best working on the new show. Second, let me also welcome back Nelson Millman to the FAN. I did a long interview with Nelson last year, and I’m really happy he’s back at the helm at the FAN, even if just for a short while.


With those pleasantries out of the way, let’s get to work …


It’s Always Sunny in Arizona


After a brief hiatus the creative minds behind the popular sitcom that is the Arizona Coyotes are back. This season looks like it will continue to deliver the high quality comedy viewers in the US and Canada have come to expect from this franchise.


The new season’s arc will focus on the legality of ending a 15 year lease agreement after only its 2nd year. Long time fans of the show were saddened to see much beloved character “Mayor Scruggs” depart last season, but by the looks of it, new character “Mayor Jerry Weiers” is going to be a great replacement. He shocked audiences by threatening to remove hecklers from the room when the vote to end the agreement was taking place. He was also was on the receiving end of a very entertaining albeit slightly misinformed rant by local fan “Ronda Pearson”. Who know if she will turn into a bigger character as things unfold? Fans are also holding out hope that Judge Redfield T Baum might make a cameo at some point. Welcome back gang.


The media coverage of this story has been varied. As news that a vote to cancel the deal broke, several outlets were quick out of the gate. Seattle wants an NHL team and the local news covered what this vote might mean for the great state of Washington. In Arizona, the local news went into phenomenal detail about the Coyotes’ financial situation. In the centre of the hockey universe most of the major players chimed in as well, though Dave Shoalts was oddly silent. Perhaps he’s still in recovery from binge-watching the Coyotes over the last 5 years.


Among the Toronto media, Elliotte Friedman’s report stood out. In a piece entitled “Coyotes crisis rears ugly head at terrible time” Friedman takes an oddly pro-team stance for a story whose complicated legal details were just beginning to come to light. He writes about the owners being “blindsided” by the city’s actions. He also notes that he’s not a lawyer but asserts that the Coyotes will mount a vigorous defense. He quotes an anonymous Coyote but doesn’t get a quote from anyone else. The piece lacks the kind of balance needed to cancel the pro-team slant. Rick Westhead of TSN had a more neutral and much more in-depth story prior to the vote.


The most strange part of the piece is how Elliotte goes out of his way to say “two weeks before the draft and the start of the free-agency period, the timing is terrible.” This is how the piece ends, without any elaboration on what might have been a better time, or what bad consequences will result from this particular timing. It’s just a piece of personal opinion that is not explained at all. 


I’m not quite sure why Elliotte cares about the timing for the league. As a reporter your job is to cover what is in front of you. We have been told explicitly by Gary and by Rogers execs that the partnership was going to focus on the stars of the game as opposed to business and legal  issues, but we’ve also been told that there is full editorial independence for Rogers media members from this mandate. What to believe? You want to give people the benefit of the doubt. The same strange sympathy for the NHL was expressed by Sportsnet’s John Shannon



From the audience’s standpoint this sends a confusing message. Are you a journalist or a fan of the NHL? I’m not sure you can do both at the same time. Recall that when Strombo was brought on he explicitly said he was going to approach coverage as a fan – a comment that elicited much discussion. We can discuss Strombo’s fan-first performance at a later time.


Shannon continued by offering some advice for Glendale and the Coyotes ownership



Again, I can understand how John Shannon the fan wants this all to go away so we can get back to celebrating the game. But since the Coyotes are in an unusual financial arrangement with the Glendale taxpayers, transparency is also something to be celebrated. Damien Cox had a much more rational take on this whole mess:



The vote passed and the Coyotes are now without a lease agreement. Here’s a quick rundown of some interesting writing on what comes next:


– the one and only Mike Sunnucks gives us his perspective.

– TSN Drive’s Dave Naylor lays out why this is not like other public-private partnerships.

– The Post’s Scott Stinson does a nice job with some balanced opinion.


Over to you: Should reporters be expressing their sadness when stories like these break? 



The Network PR Wars


We’ve chronicled the statistically flawed mess that is the current radio ratings system at length on this site. Imagine if your job performance was a blank canvas on which you could paint whatever suited your tastes. That’s radio. It appears that things on the TV side are just as interpretively open. In depressingly typical fashion, both networks sent out word through their PR departments, trumpeting their seat atop the throne of #1 sports network in Canada. Media members leapt to twitter to bask in the glory of being part of the winning side.


Chris Zelkovich at Yahoo! breaks down how both sides can claim to have won. Species1967 over at PPP has a viewer’s analysis of where things stand on Rogers hockey.


Around the same time the Globe featured a long interview with Rogers CEO Guy Laurence. According to Laurence, Rogers’ hostile take-over of national hockey coverage in Canada has yielded a 10% profit margin. The piece also covers his relationship with Bettman. “The NHL has become one of Rogers’ closest allies. Mr. Laurence and Mr. Bettman have forged a tight relationship and stay in regular contact. They have seen eye to eye on plans to develop new digital technologies and bring a “stars-first philosophy” to Rogers’ coverage of the league, “so it’s not about escrows and strikes and fights and all this kind of stuff,” Mr. Laurence said.”


This last point is underlined by Gary: “I think with less of that talk, that’s one of the reasons ratings are up,” Mr. Bettman said. “I think a lot of people found it annoying.”


The Globe’s piece also mentions how fans are moving to online consumption as opposed to plunking down in front of the TV for hours on end. This is the topic I want to put on the table today. In the PR war to declare victory one main question emerges, at least to my mind: setting aside live sports action, how many of you are brand loyal to one station or the other? What can they do to capture your all important eye balls?


To put the question more specifically, do you actually care who talks over the highlights you watch? Do you tune in to watch specific personalities tell you about the games from last night? Here’s my background hunch: few people care, and the relevance of these kinds of shows is only going to diminish further. I could totally be wrong about this, but with 24/7 internet connections and Twitter you’re almost never in a position where you need to tune in to know the score. Once you know the score, highlight shows are way less interesting.


What about sports talk shows, like Landsberg or bits like what Cabbie does, or TSN’s Reporters? Here is there is a real opportunity to build a brand loyal audience because it doesn’t depend on time-sensitive info like scores. Here it matters much more what other content you’re bringing to the table. American shows like PTI are a model. I suppose this is the market Tim&Sid’s new show might be going for.


Over to you: this is an invitation to reflect on how your TV consumption has evolved over, say, the last 10 years. How have your habits changed? Other than the games, what sports content do you enjoy watching?


Quick Hits


On the topic of publicity and public-private arena financing, Vice continues to deliver great journalism. Here’s a very long read about how many of these deals are done with little to no public consultation. Calgary’s mayor is featured as one of the few politicians bucking that trend.


Bruce Arthur has a nice profile of China’s CCTV colour commentator for their broadcast of the Stanley Cup.


TSN has a very well designed micro-site for their soccer coverage. For the life of me I can’t figure out why there isn’t a big link to it off their front page. I especially enjoy reading Gareth Wheeler’s observations on the main story lines. As a casual fan this is exactly what I want to know.


Still with the Women’s World Cup, it is garnering big ratings both here and in the U.S.


Low Hanging Fruit


  • Bell fired president Kevin Crull for poor judgment. New Crull Mary Ann Turcke seems to have many of the same gifts in that department.


  • Speaking of dumb executive behaviour, Dean Blundell’s boss Sportsnet president Scott Moore tweeted a picture of strip club last week. I would have thought in the wake of FHRITP these kinds of people would be on their best behaviour. Guess not. [Tweet deleted minutes after I linked to it; thankfully the internet doesn’t forget]




  • Bob spoke about taking on Brady&Walker’s producer Jeff Azzopardi: “He’s happy to be on a show that people actually listen to.” Ouch. In that same vein, has there been a cross-over show yet? How many times had Tim and/or Sid been on PTS’ first segment or a roundtable by now? Bob couldn’t get enough of them.


  • Worst take of the week goes to Zaun Cherry. A woman in Boston was almost killed by a broken bat and Zaun’s comment on people getting hit by bats and balls at games: “they deserve it.”


  • I can’t quite explain it but I’m enjoying listening to Arash Madani on PTS much more than before. He’s saying interesting things and not getting drawn in to dumb debates or painful attempts at humour.




thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)


  1. DJ says:

    I wonder if Zaun’s comments have led him to “having the weekend off”??

    Also, I am not sure I understand the difference between Shannon giving his opinion of wishing the focus was on the finals and Cox giving his opinion of Coyotes should move.

    Another great read. Thanks as always.

  2. Poker Guy says:

    So, Nelson Millman back to the FAN 590.

    Interesting…Let’s see if he can ‘right the ship’

  3. Billyjoejimbob says:

    Agreed on Westhead’s work, but he’s been accused of being biased against the the NHL. I find his existence interesting and don’t believe for a second TSN would have hired him (and allowed him to do the work he’s doing) if they would have kept the rights.

    I didn’t see Friedman’s piece the same way. There was an article yesterday about the hearing where it said LeBlanc was upset this would not be resolved by the start of free agency. That’s where he’s going with his piece, that it’s devastating for the Coyotes’ ability to do business. That guy is no cheerleader, he’s gone after the NHL pretty hard during their lockouts.

    He said on radio yesterday that having the vote come down with 5 minutes to go in Game 4 is awful for the league, and I don’t know how you could disagree with that.

    But everyone sees things differently, I guess.

  4. Alex says:

    My only issue with Madani is that he seems to interrupt or jump in quickly in a segment. In a 10-15 minute segment, there should be plenty of time for most questions. Also, with pts on tv, do people not signal each other or use the cough button to coordinate things? I’ve seen that often in person in sports talk station studios in the past.

  5. GreyCountyMike says:

    mike (in boston): As always, you provide a great Saturday read for us. Thanks so much.

    When it comes to the business of sports, Westhead is in a league by himself in this country. Others just don’t compare well.

    As for Madani, I agree: He’s really come on as a solid PTS contributor, mostly by just playing things straight. Far too many people who appear on that show regularly get sucked into this “Inside Bob’s World” type of humor … and it’s incredibly pompous and insiderish. Even Brunt gets on that soapbox sometimes, joking about McCown’s palatial estate, hired staff, hanging out with Cynamon and Sokolowski, etc., etc.

  6. mario says:

    Thanks for a great read..Great news Nelson Millman back at the Fan maybe he can bring it back to the station it once was.

  7. Curt says:

    I see Moore’s tweet has been removed. The guy always seemed like a dirt bag to me. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the arrogance he shows on a consistent basis has been passed down throughout Sportsnet. As you can guess, I’m not a “fan” of the SN network, generally speaking. Which is not to say I’m a TSN guy either. Both networks have their problems – some more serious than others.

    Both stations have become PR departments for the content they carry/own. When instead, they should have coverage of events based on the relevance it has to viewers. While both networks have come off as petty in this regard, I feel SN has taken the lead. TSN, to their credit, still lead with hockey and give extensive coverage. SN, on the other hand, usually only give passing reference to events they do not carry/own, like the Women’s World Cup, tennis, CFL, etc. It’s probably not a big deal for most people, but this kind of thing has always bugged me. I’d rather have professionalism over cheerleading. Rant over.

  8. mike (in boston) says:

    Moore’s tweet is back up via the magic of screen grab. But to be fair, it’s my second favourite Moore tweet behind this one:

    Scott Moore ‏@MooreScottmoore Mar 5
    Told @RTARyerson students there’s no such thing as “social” media. It’s all mainstream and everyone is accountable for what we broadcast

  9. rob j says:

    I expect as much criticism by Rogers of the NHL as I do of TSN against the CFL

  10. (Another) Andrew says:

    Both stations have become PR departments for the content they carry/own.

    They don’t seem to be aware of just how bush league that makes them look.

    SN, on the other hand, usually only give passing reference to events they do not carry/own, like the Women’s World Cup, tennis, CFL, etc.

    I don’t think there was a single French Open segment this year on PTS and I didn’t hear any on Brady & Lang, though the former is a big tennis fan. (Admittedly I only heard them about an hour or so each day so I could’ve missed it). As soon as the tournament ended PTS had a segment on Eugenie Bouchard’s problems – guest co-host Arash Madani might’ve influenced that.

    As for Shannon I think I’ve actually heard him saying that he will always defend hockey. I guess that includes the NHL. I think he might be one of those defensive Canadian hockey fans who gets jealous of other sports. One time when there was a brawl in some baseball game he was gloating about “all the fighting in baseball” or something like that. Some sports fans act like babies.

  11. (Another) Andrew says:

    And another thing. Gary Bettman seems to be enjoying CBC/Sportsnet/The Fan interviews all of a sudden. No longer testy he’s all smiles and almost buddy-buddy with whoever is doing the interview including McCown. (At this rate he’ll be getting a nick name like “Gibby”). Knowing that the interviewer is now on your team (ie softball questions only) has done wonders for his personality.

  12. Alex says:

    I want to say Tebbutt was on PTS not that long ago talking about Bouchard and the guy last week. It’s hard to judge appearances on PTS now since i dont listen when Reid is co host and just rely on seeing names before deleting the podcasts.

    Did Naylor having anything to say about Sam’s leaving the Alouettes? And he flew out to montreal to cover sam’s signing too.

  13. Neil says:

    Fear not folks, Netflix will soon be joining in on the bidding for broadcast rights. Netflix will probably be watching closely on how well the Jags and the bills do on live stream via yahoo, Once that passes the smell test Netflix will gear up. I don’t doubt that you may even see Netflix bring it’s own sports network. Prices may increase somewhat, but with a bazillion people right now on Netflix I can’t see a significant price increase if they start acquiring rights to live sports.

  14. Sam says:

    Bob’s parting comment on Friday: “There is only one thing more boring than soccer, and that’s… women’s soccer”. Sounds like Bob knows the same thing Eric Bischoff does “Controversy creates cash”.

    Reid: I find him tolerable when he’s playing it straight – certainly better than some of the alternatives.

    Arizona/Phoenix: Totally agree with Cox. And further, if I was Glendale – I’d totally be trying shove it up Gary’s ass as much as possible. They are only doing the same thing the NHL’s doing to them. Re Shannon’s comments – I’d like to know whether City of Glendale considers the NHL a “partner” – probably about as much as the players do.

    Friedman/Rogers NHL cheerleading: Personally I doubt that there’s been a directive to lob soft balls at Gary. However, its hard to believe that the “journalists” aren’t adjusting their output based on the new rights deal. If Friedman or anyone else came out with a great scoop that made the NHL look stupid its hard to believe the uppity-ups at Rogers would be congratulating them.

  15. WestdaleRocks says:

    I waited with breathless anticipation for some commentary on the radio ratings, which were released this past week. And……..nothin. Not a word.

  16. Neil says:


    I would assume that rating will show that Rogers has turned it up a notch here in Ratings. The Jays should draw nicely, as Canada’s only baseball team is currently on a 10 game winning streak and right in the thick of a playoff run, Hockey has done extremely well throughout the playoffs most games going 7. TSN has no legit answer right now, The nba playoffs has not been much of a draw neither was the ncaa final. I guess football season and hockey couldn’t get here fast enough for TSN.

  17. I have to say, Mike (In Boston) reporting that Nelson is back at the helm of the Fan 590, even if it is an interim stay, made my day, and what would even make it more would be for Nelson to go on the air for an hour and take calls with all of the changes in broadcast media and the cannibalism going on.

    Huge shout-out to Ryan for really going out of his way to interact with us, even those who IMO did not show him enough respect for his opinions, as we on the outside can call things black and white with no ramifications, but for Ryan and people in the business, there are limits to what they are capable of saying in a public forum.

    The last few weeks this site has been on fire, and I hope it continues through the summer doldrums, although the Jays look like they are going to be providing some talking points if they keep this up.

  18. More than a few folks have talked about Mumbles Milmann bringing “the FAN back to where it used to be”, or words to that effect. What does that look like in 2015?

    Love or hate Kollins, from what I understand, the overall station numbers are about the same as 2010 when he took over, and considering that the listening public now has 500+ other options, isn’t treading water in this media climate success of some kind?

    I suspect Mumbles will have far bigger problems to face in the next 3 years, BobCat gone, Tim and Sid gone, another losing Jays season, generally pissed off advertisers and much faster growth in media competition than Kollins had to face.

    I was indifferent to Kollins, but for Millman going forward, what would success look like?

  19. Neal says:

    Glad to hear Nelson Millman is back at The Fan.

  20. Andrew says:

    Shots fired on Twitter, Bruce Arthur vs Al Strachan. If I wasn’t so old I could post a link.

  21. Dogpounder says:

    Strachan’s been firing shots for a long time. It’s great.

    And I see nobody wants to talk Jays unless their losing. That’s nice.

  22. Dogpounder says:


  23. Curt says:

    Regarding the Jays – still a lot of skeptics out there, I reckon. We’ve seen this movie before…

  24. Darrell says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the fact that Millman is back at the FAN. Hope he can right the ‘sinking ship’ Kollins created! Best news heard in a long time!

  25. Too Much says:

    Should journalists be expressing their sadness when news like this breaks? No, not if you are a journalist. (But I’m with another commentator who said Damien Cox’s comment was as personal as Shannon’s was.) The rub is, who is a journalist and who is editorial? Big difference. I expect journalists to report; I expect editorial to present an opinion. I like both. And I really am scared for the death of print because no one apparently wants to pay for anything on the internet, yet the best reporting comes from the carcass that is print. Be careful what you wish for – yes you will get “news” for free, but whether it is truly objective reporting is questionable.

    TSN vs Sportsnet: TSN all the way. It does make a difference to me which I watch. Still love the panel; like most of the personalities on TSN (Sportscentre, etc). Just as a whole a more credible and interesting bunch.

  26. Too Much says:

    Also I’m with Mike in Burlington re Mr. Millman. It’s a whole different world these days vs. when he was leading the Fan. That’s not a diss, it’s reality. Way more competition for attention; what worked in the past isn’t necessarily a panacea for today.

  27. Mike S says:

    For anyone looking for details on the recent radio ratings here is a link which has a bit of information:

  28. mitch says:

    Why do we even think Millman will have any power? Moore runs everything over there, all departments. He makes all the decisions. all of them. everybody else just nods, takes care of day 2 day and collects a paycheck.

  29. Neil says:

    Nelson jumped back on a ship with a lot of dead weight(Jeff Blair, Bob Mcowan, Brady and Walker)Sorry guys Nelson can’t anchor this thing. 590 will be under water shortly.

  30. Alex says:

    I presume Shannon would not call himself a journalist, he would likely say he is a tv personality or pundit. And since he always carries water for the league, his reaction isnt a surprise. He wants the best for the league, which is likely also the best for his employers.

  31. Sam in Scarb says:

    Sooo the cup finals will be over this coming week.
    The 5 Billion+ hockey coverage I am sure will see some “tweaking” before next season.
    I have thoughts on the 4-6 bodies that should be given the gas-pipe right after Gary looks again foolish in presenting the cup.

    More interesting,will any of the bodies be picked up by the better hockey broadcasting station ?

    My guess is none !

  32. d says:

    Interesting narrative about a sinking ship but I doubt much will change with Millman as PD. I don’t see how anyone could think the FAN’s lineup is worse now than when Nelson was there.

    I like Mike Hogan but he was a little bland, especially when talking CFL. Same as Don Landry. Him and stellick were good at first but their bits got stale and their overall sports knowledge was that of Dean Blundell. Stellick knows hockey, and he’s being used in the correct role now. Landry was another CFL guy who’s comedic bits and pop culture references were dated and stale.

    Barb Digiulio was fun and had a great radio voice but again, lacked sports knowledge.

    Howard Berger…

    And can anyone really say they would rather hear Eric Smith and Jack “HELLO” Armstrong and or Doug MacClean than Brady and Walker. No comparison.

    On a side note Blundell hasn’t been as bad as I thought he would be. I wondered why the Fan took a chance on him and I can only assume it was to bring in younger listeners and keep him from going to TSN. I will say the one thing that makes his show “unlistenable” is the CONSTANT giggling in the background. It was like that at 102.1 as well. I know it will never happen but Blundell’s shtick is perfect for overnights. The number one thing I would change at the Fan would be to go back to 24 hour local radio.

    If you were Nelson Millman and we’re given carte blanche, what changes would you make at 590.

  33. Marcus says:

    Hi Mike, great job as always with the summary.

    I don’t think personal opinion should be allowed to seep into reporting. As has already been pointed out, there’s a difference between reporting and editorializing. With reporters having their own opinion pages on their employer web sites, blogs, and even Twitter accounts, they have plenty of places to express their own feelings about a topic. The news article itself, though, should remain balanced and objective, with sources cited where possible.

    Regarding event watching, whenever a network has exclusive coverage of an event, you’re obligated to watch that network, whether you like the personalities or not. However, there often is choice in pre-, post- and in-between game coverage, and yes, that’s when I’ll switch to the station whose announcers and analysts I prefer. TSN was really clever in this regard once upon a time when CBC would broadcast Hockey Night in Canada with no pre- or post-game shows, and so TSN would run That’s Hockey before and, I believe, after the game as if they were broadcasting it. The CBC eventually woke up, of course, but that’s a perfect example of how to get people to watch your network even when you don’t have the event.

    I will choose a network for analysis based on the credulity and credibility of the announcers. I don’t have time to following things in depth as I once did so I rely somewhat on them to bring me up to speed. Choosing which network/ analysts you watch is a bit like visiting another family in their home. Sportsnet is like some loud, obnoxious family where everyone feels the need to talk over each other. The CBC is like the painfully earnest family who try to say and do the right things, but make things feel awkward. TSN is like a low (or lower) key family who have different personalities can but are calmer and more sure of themselves. This is why I’m most comfortable with TSM in general.

    As far as the future goes, I think that streaming will be the way things go. Plunking yourself down for a few hours is a sure path to an early death by sedentary behaviour. But I do like commentary with my highlight packages on my mobile apps! Sometimes it’s obvious what the highlight is about, but I do appreciate an analyst pointing out what I should be observing. And if you don’t like to hear it, no worries – everyone gets the concept of the Mute button on their devices.
    P.S. @Dogpounder, whom did you mean by the “no one” who wants to talk Jays unless they’re losing?
    P.P.S. There is a pretty exciting NBA final going on. MIB or TSM, let’s hear your take on our Canadian networks’ coverage of this.

  34. Mike S says:

    When TSN went from two channels to five I was hoping that meant they would use those extra channels to air shows that used to sometimes get pre-empted……….however this past week there were three days where they did not show Pardon the Interruption because they had World Cup soccer on four channels and Off The Record on the fifth channel

    I am a big PTI fan so the good news for me is that PTI is available via podcast………..however in my opinion this should never happen………if TSN insists on not airing shows like PTI at their regular time the least they could do is show it on one of their 5 channels later in the day or sometime overnight………….as far as I know that never happened

  35. Robert says:

    I have to say I’m enjoying Rob Faulds work doing play-by-play in Buck’s absence. I didn’t think much of him when he was full time a few years ago, but it’s a nice change from Martinez’ constant jabbering.

  36. Not that Chris says:

    I was a big fan of Nelson Millman when he was the Fan’s PD years ago. I always found it refreshing that he would regularly appear on some of the stations shows, and take listeners calls/feedback. I hope he does the same this time around. However, to suggest he’s coming back to save a ‘sinking ship’ is beyond ridiculous. The station boasts a strong line-up, that delivers solid ratings. Unlike Millman’s first run as PD, the station now has a competitor, and as of now, the Fan’s competitor is still completely irrelevant in the market. The weekly comments here reflect that. Nobody cares about TSNR, nor talks about them, really.

    Totally agree with, Robert. I really enjoyed Rob Faulds doing play-by-play this weekend.

  37. Skatez says:

    I only “discovered” this site about 5 months ago. I really enjoy the articles; especially since I really missed Zelkovich’s takes in the Toronto Star. I’d say 80% of the comments are great and related to the initial post by the site admin. However, the 20% or so who take to the forum to make it their personal Rogers’ pinata, it gets old real quick. I, too, have issues with their cellular business and their constant public branding of everything including their a-holes, but it’d be nice if the comments are somehow related to the article.

    As a result of the extreme weather conditions, the CFL game in Winnipeg will be delayed.

    Bloody hell, Rogers purposely altered the weather conditions. And on PrimeTime, Bob avoided discussion of it because he’s a corporate guy now. Oh, and that’s why they charge me an extra $10 on my cable bill, so they can change the weather over Winnipeg and this destroy TSN’s credibility.

    We get it. You hate Rogers and anything which is somehow connected to them. Guess what? They know that you know… And they really don’t care. All about the Bordens (Benjamins, for any U.S. readers).

  38. Skatez says:


  39. Anthony says:


    Agree x 1000%

    A small amount of people use these boards to derail conversations into their personal hatred and its gotten old quick.

  40. d says:

    Perfectly put skates.

  41. mike (in boston) says:

    Skatez – my personal opinion is this: we have been very lucky around here that the readership is mostly interested in debate. So people tend to make points in response to what others have to say, and to frame their comments in ways that will elicit responses from others. I really like the conversational aspect of the site and try to encourage it in my posts.

    But like any website with a comments section, some people just want to vent and I’m OK with that too. I just take to it for what it is — a rant — and move on. Things tend to get out of hand when people try to debate or shut down other people’s rants. This is pretty rare and i’d like it to stay that way.

    p.s. – thanks for reading and commenting!

  42. mike (in boston) says:

    re: the Jays. I have definitely written a lot of critical things here over the last 2 years, but that’s because the team has been disappointing both in season and in the off-season. I had something on the recent success of the team and the media response but cut it due to length. I’ll probably use it next week.

    In general I try to keep the number of topics to two or three, otherwise the column gets too long and the comments section too scattered.

  43. mike (in boston) says:

    WestdaleRocks – TSM and I are working on getting a more complete picture of the ratings before we comment on it. It’s frustrating for all of us how difficult it is to get access to basic facts.

  44. mike (in boston) says:

    lastly – if the FAN is a sinking ship then TSN1050 is a sunken shipwreck. After 4 years in business their overall ratings are terrible.

  45. Antonio says:

    I’ve also enjoyed Madani as co-host. I would even go so far as to suggest he should replace the always-incompetent Strombo. As a host you want a qualified moderator – essentially someone who knows the game well enough but defers to the experts on opinions or inside stuff. Unlike GS, Madani doesn’t have a speech impediment and is not hyped-up like a giddy school girl.

    Oh, I suppose Rogers’ next step would be to find said “experts.” The current panel are anything but.

  46. Dan says:

    Mike S says:
    “When TSN went from two channels to five I was hoping that meant they would use those extra channels to air shows that used to sometimes get pre-empted……….however this past week there were three days where they did not show Pardon the Interruption because they had World Cup soccer on four channels and Off The Record on the fifth channel”

    I’m not sure where I read it, but TSN are showing PTI and whatever other shows that are being pre-empted on TSN GO. For as long as there are customers with analogue cable and only get one TSN feed, TSN will continue to put events across numerous feeds in order to get the biggest viewership possible. Once everyone goes digital and can get TSN1,3,4,5 they will have no need to offer the same programming across more than one feed at the same time.

  47. Steve Clark says:

    To try and address MiB’s questions>

    1. I think that the idea that non-league news overshadows, or at least, casts a bit of a shadown on your Stanley Cup is something worth lamenting about, to a certain extent. All leagues either have an official, or I’m sure unoffical policy that any news unrelated to the actual Stanley Cup will not be publicizied until after the Cup finals, or at the very least will be minimized. At a time when you are showcasing your best in a final that has been compelling, though short of goals, it’s not in the best interest of the league to have address something else. That said, Scott Oake did a pretty solid interview with Bettman and balanced the Finals with the Glendale sitaution well. And he got Gary to give the quote that drews the most attention when he basically tossed Glendale City council under the bus.

    As for the other question.
    2. I’m loyal to good solid sports programming rather than brand loyal. I really enjoy TSN’s The Reporters and try not to miss it, and I enjoy PTS on the TV too, and try to catch at least some of it when I’m not listening on the radio. It’s more of a question of the personaities, rather than the brand.

  48. Neil says:


    While I respect your opinion I disagree and think it’s a bit of a stretch.
    Rogers communications particularly through their media division(Radio, Print and TV) controls a lot of media and other things in this market and it’s nobody’s fault. When the guy pushing the content is the same guy selling the content platforms, I think it’s going to be hard to deviate from a conversation about that guy especially because he consistently pushes a bad product, the conversation is either going to be about the terrible coverage,terrible product (jays or cell phone) or billing errors, point is the company can’t be trusted on any level(that’s the disadvantage of cross promoting). You turn on your tv it’s likely Rogers Cable your subscribing to, you turn on your Radio in your car, if it’s sports it’s likely the Fan a rogers owned radio station, if it’s sports on TV your probably watching a Rogers owned team on a Rogers tv network. I hardly think it’s everyone’s narrative to go out on a tangent on this site, however when there is the lack of choice in the marketplace and pretty much two guys own the entire landscape of sports and sports broadcasting and communications the Telco’s are always going to be in the convo not to mention in front of a firing squad.

  49. Anthony says:

    @Skatez, your point remains valid

  50. Neil says:


    This is a great media blog with strong opinions about sports and those who participate in the industry from the media side., I’m sorry you feel that you always want to comment on other things not relating to sports and media,but rather issues that other commenters have with the site, media personalities etc. It’s unfortunate. MIB does a great job.

  51. Anthony says:

    @Neil, I simply am agreeing with what a poster said (which I think im allowed to do), I didn’t address you and will not moving forward, at TSMs request.

    Please do not drag me into a name calling argument, I dont have the time or care that much.

  52. Anthony says:

    And just to add, it doesn’t look like I’m the only one who agrees looking at the follow up post.

  53. Skatez says:

    Unfortunately, you’re love stricken. There’s 29 other hockey teams in the NHL. There are other levels of hockey, other baseball teams and more importantly, other more useful things in life than sports. I know that comment may be sacrilegious for some of you, but if you’re overpowered, outmatched and outnumbered by the this bogeyman called Rogers. Why succumb to their will? In essence, you’re in an “abusive” relationship, and you can’t walk away.

    Now if you’re really committed to change, sacrifice your current job and go study journalism or earn an MBA, and then apply and from within, make changes. But, to sit here and throw what amounts to grains of sand at a mountain in hopes it will crumble, well…

  54. rob j says:

    Off topic but wow, that TV ad for T and S’s new show is beyond brutal. Based on it alone, I would never watch

  55. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    I don’t see how the relative importance of TSN and Sportsnet can avoid declining. The entire concept of a ‘general sports’ media has already seemed antiquated for some time, much like the 1970s Ron Burgundy type of guy in the plaid jacket reading sports scores from the previous night during the 6pm local TV newscast. I doubt there are many left who watch exactly the same sports in exactly the same proportion assigned to them by these TV channels. For many years now the internet has provided far more sport (and/or team) specific venues for any news, discussion, commentary, and in more recent years the actual live games/events themselves. The broadcasters are irrelevant middlemen who will be bypassed by the content producers who can more directly reach their audiences.

    I don’t get anyone who still complains about TSN or Sportsnet not paying enough attention to some specific sport or team you like. Do you also expect CTV to freely promote Global’s programming line-up? Of course they’re only going to pay attention to what they carry and ignore everything else. If, for some unknown reason, you misguidedly thought there was some kind of law, rule, or inherent moral obligation to pay equal attention to any and all sports (not that it was ever possible or practical), sorry, but it has never existed.

    I watched a lot of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend (as with about 90% of what I now watch, on my TV screen from the internet), and I don’t know or care if TSN or Sportsnet knew it existed, since I’ve ignored them in recent years, and like many others I am on the verge of canceling my cable TV subscription.

  56. Neil says:


    I agree with you totally. Bell and Rogers media assets are in trouble with cord cutting and live streaming becoming more of a widespread trend in the market place. Shomi and Crave will not come close to the content deals and subscriber base Netflix has. I can see a Neflix sports entity coming where Netflix will have it’s own sports radio station and sports channel. I would assume ESPN,Fox and the other giants are gearing up for that battle.

  57. JP McGee says:

    NHL Playoff ratings down 20% from last year and 40% below what Rogers promised advertisers.–201309600.html

    This is an absolute disaster for Rogers pure and simple.

  58. Steve Clark says:

    I do not see it as a disaster. Is that factoring in streaming from tablets and other devices? Does that move the needle significantly? The big queston that Rogers has to answer is how to maintain ratings when there are no Canadian playoff teams? Not an easy question to answer. They also lost Detroit after the first round, and did not have Boston- Those are two teams with a loyal fan base. There are teams that likely will not draw, no matter what the situation. Southern belt teams, Florida teams are ones that have minimal interest. Rogers has a check list on what to look at for next year in order to increase/maintain ratings and putting forth the best on-air product. I’d say their check list looks like this:

    – Addressing lowered ratings , the further on the Stanley Cup goes and with the loss of Canadian teams
    – Streamlining personalities more for chemistry purposes
    – Finding the right desk position for Strombo (seriously he moved from left side to second from left to in the middle. 🙂 )

    Finally…I will fully admit to “trolling” but I do not have the dislike for Ken Reid that many on this forum have. In fact, I think he’s pretty good (I also like Glenn Healy and Pierre McGuire, so my opinion may be baseless)

    Meet Ken Reid everyone ! Cheers. All in Good Fun.

  59. Anthony says:


    Last night Prime Time Sports had Scott Bowman on talking eloquently about the way to manage players in a Stanley Cup run and other great stories.

    Ken Reid’s addition to the interview…

    ‘And Stephane Waite really yelled loud when he raised the Stanley Cup too’

    Bowman’s response was I think what we all where thinking….’Oh’

    I can’t make this stuff up….

  60. rob j says:

    I guess Zaun and that other guy did some ‘hey look at us’ and cut their hair for charity. When Bob was previewing their Jays infomercial, I mean PTS segment, he said ‘those drugs Zaun was taking did something to his hair…’ Finally someone refers to Zaun’s Mitchell Report appearance

  61. Don River says:

    However long it lasted, there was more Canadian playoff content this year than in recent memory. If ratings still dropped by that much, then calling it a disaster is probably being kind.

  62. Antonio says:

    I’m sure Moore will come out with some clever quip to distract from the drop in ratings. H should be canned.

  63. Neil says:

    Matter of time, before Moore is gonzo. Typically there is some trickle down effect when there is a change up top. Thing one down, Thing two to go.

  64. Daniel says:

    Regarding the recent decline in Fan 590 numbers, it’s hard to find that surprising. By taking Tim & Sid off, they took away their most vibrant show. Brady and Walker are good, but I think their show clicked better in the morning.

    Blundell has his fans, but I think the problem with his show is that they make him talk sports 95% of the time. I heard him mention on air that he’d love it to be more of an entertainment show, but his bosses insist it’s mostly sports. Nobody wants to hear Dean Blundell’s take on the Leafs, Raptors or Blue Jays. The people who like him, want to hear him do what he did on The Edge – goof around on pop culture, current events etc.

    I get bringing in Blundell and asking him to do an entertainment type show with some sports sprinkled in. Would probably broaden the Fan’s listener base. But it made no sense to bring him in and then ask him to only talk sports. Dumb moves. Brady/Walker, Blair, Tim/Sid and McCown was as good as The Fan has ever been in my opinion.

  65. Mike S says:

    For all of the Nelson Millman fans out there you might be interested in this:

    Millman was on PTS today for about 10 to 15 minutes at the start of the 4 PM hour

  66. Rob In Aurora says:

    I watched the last 2 games on NBC to avoid the gong show on CBC and the aggravation I suffer through from witnessing the incompetence….I am sure I am not alone. (NBC was quite good too)…I wonder if Rogers will make changes to their weak effort and also hopefully sell off some content to TSN in order to reduce their substantial losses.

  67. mickey b says:

    I personally can’t believe Scott Moore has the job that he has. Never paid any attention or knew much about him but his frat boy behaviour and delusional quotes don’t give him any credibility in my view. I don’t care what ratings are, nobody could ever argue that the overwhelming consensus is that his Rogers hockey broadcasts have not gone over well with the general public to put it mildly. I’m sure when the season starts next year and the ratings are good as people tune in to watch the Leafs because of renewed interest and curiosity, he’ll say something like… see how great my telecasts are… I saw him bragging about a CHL hockey game getting a great number a while ago. It was a night there was no NHL or really any other sport on at all before that Mayweather/Pacquiao. Thousands of people were out at sports bar and what else do you think the bars could put on the tv? They got the great rating by default and really if anything, it was a disappointing number as the stars had aligned perfectly. I guess it’s his job to spin, but who does he think he’s fooling? He’s obviously pretty stubborn too as he fails to let go of his mistakes. For anybody out there who thinks Strombo is doing a great job, you’ll find 99 more who think he’s terrible, yet he continues to not make the adjustments. Thanks for the opportunity to rant! Just this Moore guy really blows my mind.

  68. Antonio says:

    @mickey b
    Well stated. Couldn’t agree more.

  69. Neil says:

    In my opinion the days of the sportsnets portfolio and other things on the media side are numbered. Based on the share price none of the media assets they have spent zillions of dollars on has brought in tangible returns for shareholders, The share price has not moved, shareholders are getting impatient. Moore will be sacrificed among other things.

  70. dogpounder says:

    Anyone else unable to access the roundtable on podcast tonight?

    Friday night routine interrupted!

  71. Phoebe says:

    Goodbye fat mass

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