Toronto Sports Radio Results For September 2009

So the numbers are in for the first month of the fall ratings on the radio. This is the new People Meter System which should deliver a more accurate account on who is listening to what.

Here are the highlights as I know them:

Men aged 25-54..Total Share Of Audience

John Oakley — 7.7
590 Morning Show – 6.3
CFRB – 5.7

Cumulative Audience

Fan 590: 158,000
640 Toronto: 111,000

So fair is fair and fair is unfair- there is only one sports show in town and the closest comparison is Oakley…

Mike Stafford — 7.4
The Bullpen — 2.9

Same story here as the Bullpen is the only sports show in town. I suspect this isn’t that surprising to the folks at the fan. It’s not the best time of day, the show appeals to a very small but dedicated group of people. No one else talks ARGO football/ CFL and then, well there is Toth….

Leafs Lunch — 6.3 – older demo (35-49) 4.0
Hockey Central/baseball show (only 12-1pm) — 4.3 older demo (35-49) 5.4

leafs lunch — 18-34 4.6
HC/BC ——-18-34 2.6

weekly cumulative: 25-54 fan 590 152,000 640 101,000
daily cumulative 18-34 fan 54,000 640 30,000

640 has fewer people listening longer which leads to larger share of the audience

I seem to recall this being reversed. To be fair, again, HC didn’t have a full month. The baseball show in a baseball dead town took on half the month. This is a good sign for Dreger though. I am most interested to see this number in the coming books.

Prime Time Sports 9.0
The Bill Watters Show 4.6

PTS cumulative 207,000-weekly 75,000 daily
BWS Cumulative 138,000 weekly 39,000 daily

Mccown has a big lead. BWS makes in roads in this space there is no question. However, Mccown is Mccown.

Interestingly enough, the Watters show surpassed Mccown with the younger demographic, 18-34 men: BWS 4.8, Mccown 3.9

In the older demographic men aged 35-54: Mccown 10.2, BWS 4.4

I don’t think that is totally surprising either.

TSM spoke with Nelson Millman, the boss over at the fan about the latest “book”

“It is fine, not hugely different than what we have seen. Our cumulative are up, honestly it will take 6 months for this all to shake out and we can identify some trends. No programming decisions will be based on personal people meters. No one should rip their rotator cuff off padding themselves on the back from one month under the new system.”

Over at 640, Program Director Gord Harris offered this “Leafs Lunch has been a market-leading program for some time, and we are thrilled that TSN’s Darren Dreger, as the program host, has extended our lead over other news/talk and sports/talk competitors in both the Male 25-54 and Male 18-34 demographics. In fact, AM640 is the number one AM radio station in the Toronto market in those demos during Leafs Lunch. We are confident that, as the exclusive radio partner with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the only radio reporter who travels with the team to every game, and our unprecedented line up of hockey “insiders” (including TSN’s Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie, Ray Ferraro, Pierre McGuire, and CBC’s Scott Morrison),

We are also very happy with the strong growth we have seen for The Bill Watters Show, going from approximately 10% of our competitor’s share of listening in Male 25-54 demographic before we launched the show, to over 50%. That in just two years since the launch. Even more gratifying is the tremendous growth we have enjoyed in the younger male demographic (18-34) where we lead both our news/talk and sports/talk competitors. As the host of The Bill Watters Show, Greg Brady brings not only a wealth of sports knowledge and experience to listeners, but a youthful enthusiasm and humour – because sports is, after all – fun!”

Interesting times at both stations for sure. Let’s see how this looks next month.



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October 9, 2009 2:38 am

Interesting. McCown vs Watters seems pretty much the same as it was in the old system for the past while. McCown at about double Watters audience.

Although I have to say I’m surprised at how popular Oakley and Stafford are versus The Fan. It seems that 640’s news/talk part of the day does a fair bit better than the sports part. I wonder if the station will ever go fully one way or the other?

It’s hard to make out the numbers for the noon shows. Is it that The Fan won overall, but 640 won with the younger audience?

Also, does the fact that Prime Time is also on TV get taken in to account? If not, that must add a fair number of viewers.


[…] Toronto Sports Media has the ratings for Toronto sports radio… […]

October 9, 2009 9:44 am

The numbers must be reassuring for Leafs Lunch who got whacked in a couple ratings books by HockeyCentral since Darren Dreger has hosted the show, if I recall.

I agree with Millman’s quote, which is different than saying I agree with his programming philosophy of putting two mediocre-to-poor shows on auto-pilot between 6am-noon. They don’t have to split audience with anybody, but yet, compared to noon and 4pm, large segments of sports radio listeners just vanish into thin air. Want to know why? They don’t like the shows.

But where I do agree with him is it’s ridiculous to being pass-and-fail grades based on one month of ratings. Bottom line is, McCown’s show should be pleased, and Watters and company should be equally pleased, if not more so.

640 has already done what a lot of people said was impossible and that’s even to push PTS. The fact they’re outdrawing him 18-34 is a great sign for the future, and as time goes on, if you have a younger demographic in your favour, you’ll draw closer in the 25-54 demographic.

I will be real curious to see Leafs play-by-play numbers in October, and of course, both PTS and the Watters Show may actually both improve given they posted impressive numbers before the hockey regular season or baseball playoffs, or even the midway part of the NFL season got going. October and November, you would think, would be stronger months.

I’ll say it again, I wish we had two options in the morning. I have simply stopped listening. I know people SAY THAT when they really don’t. But I have. There is simply nothing I will learn or be entertained by with Landry and Stellick.

October 9, 2009 1:53 pm

Yeah, I think you’re probably right, Julian. Ratings seem to give more of a general idea than exact figures.

Here’s a link to the summer ratings that just came out (on Oct 3) :

In those McCown was beating Watters 7.8 to 2.2 and The Bullpen had a 4.2. I know those were with a different system, but still, it does show the swing.

October 9, 2009 3:54 pm

Still with those summer numbers, even with the new, more accurate system, I bet the numbers for both shows would be down. As TSM has documented, the month of August was painful with McCown on vacation a ton, and I am not sure Brady and Watters were even together more than a handful of shows in either July or August.

I mean, when Faulds and Bill Hays are driving the ships, or Jim Kelley, heaven forbid, I can find something more compelling with a flick of the dial.

I’ve said it before, the best four shows in town are the two lunchtime hockey shows, and the two 4pm shows. That’s where the talent is, and that’s where there can’t be complancency unlike every other hour of the day on the Fan, because your competition will whip you senseless.

Mike S
Mike S
October 10, 2009 1:08 am

The success of Wilbur’s show is proof that there is more than enough room for another late afternoon sports show in this city as long as it has entertaining hosts, has good guests, and focuses mostly on hockey and the Leafs (which McCown’s show doesn’t do)……………it can’t be easy going up against an established powerhouse like PTS (ie: good radio ratings on 590, syndicated on several other radio stations, simulcast on Sportsnet, one of the most popular podcasts in Canada, etc) but 640 has done an admirable job in only two years

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