Toronto Sports Radio Ratings- January

Greetings from Switzerland. It’s funny how when the Raptors are winning, the Leafs providing hope that their just isn’t ton to talk about in terms of sports media in Toronto. Everyone is saying the same thing on the Argos/CFL, the Blue Jays aren’t a story yet, despite raising the cheap ticket prices… It’s so true how negativity sells. Oh well, let the good times roll.

I haven’t seen this anywhere yet, so if it has appeared I apologize. Here are the ratings for January for sports radio in Toronto.

The first category is for men aged 25-54 in general:

Fan 590 – 4.9
Talk 640 – 4.7

As a comparison:

news talk 1010 – 3.9

As a standalone number/category that’s pretty impressive. I assume that the fan would look at this as the target demographic and to only be ahead by .2 is quite alarming. Consider that the Leafs weren’t much to speak of and 640 only does a few hours of sports per day. Comparatively, one could say that the rest of their programing (non-sports) is popular with guys in this bracket.

Morning show, again men aged 25-54:

640 – 6.8
590 – 6.1

For comparisson:

1010 – 4.3

Is anyone surprised by these numbers? The Fan morning show is a dog. Something has to give, Landry and Stellick are beyond stale. It’s sad that we in Toronto don’t have a quality sports drive to work radio show.

The lunch time shows, at least hour 1 noon-1pm again only for men 25-54:

The Fan’s Hockeycentral – 4.4


640’s Leafs Lunch 2.9

Ouch! I don’t want to keep repeating myself BUT:

Dreger is a great insider. Dreger isn’t a good host. The sooner 640 realizes that too much Watters isn’t a good thing the sooner the numbers will increase. Rotate REAL radio hosts through the lunch hour, talk to the hockey world at large and leave Watters to the Watters show (during hockey season only please). They have enough “insiders” to leave Wilbur to his errands with Cheech and the fellas at lunch time.

Kudos to the fan for winning this battle HANDILY.

By the way, when 640 goes back to non sports, and hour number 2 of hockeycentral kicks in the number grows to 5.3!

It shows you there is a huge appetite for hockey info in the city. It’s all in how you fill the time.

If you look at the pre-drive slots, where the Fan is alone in the sports world with hockey central and the Gameplan, the Fan holds it’s own in comparison to other stations in the same demographic. This isn’t the greatest time slot and it’s a tribute to the guys at the fan for keeping fresh, local content on all day long. I will be curious to see if this number grows should the Raptors continue to play well.

Here are the results from 1-4pm, again men aged 25-54

640 4.6
590 4.5

for comparison:

CFRB 1.9

Ok- the big boys. McCown vs. Watters:

First the same demographic, men aged 25-54

590 8.7
640 4.1

The Bobcat delivers. It’s really that simple. My comments on Wilbur are above, and they hold true. I have to assume that the lack of anything interesting to say about the Leafs in January couldn’t have helped Watters either but, the numbers speak for themselves.

Where it kind of gets interesting, and this is a trend is with the younger guys (18-34). In my opinion this is the Brady factor. The numbers in the same time slot but for the younger guys are:

590 4.7
640 4.4

Now, 640 isn’t winning the race, but it’s a hell of a lot closer then with the older demographic. This is the Brady factor because younger people will relate to his tone, sense of humour etc. as opposed to the show that McCown does. I also wonder if McCown not taking calls cuts into this demographic for McCown.

So, there you have it.

More later.



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Mike S
Mike S
February 11, 2010 12:08 pm

I do not understand the fluctuation in the ratings for Leafs Lunch on 640……….all of the ratings for the other shows on 640 and 590 seem to be more or less consistent from period to period but the ratings for Leafs Lunch seem to go up and down like a yo-yo.

McCown has a good show, but I am not surprised to see the poor 18-34 ratings………….his show sounds older every day and hiring Shannon as one of the co-hosts has not helped in that area

It will be interesting to see how long McCown and Watters continue to do their shows, given that McCown is getting close to 60 years old and Wilbur is getting close to 70

February 11, 2010 12:26 pm

the brady factor is for real. when he’s on, i’m listening regardless of what they’re talking about – he’s funny and always has something interesting to say. when it’s bill hayes, i immediately turn it off.

mccown is old….spends too much time talking about stuff that i think few care about in the younger demographic: horse racing, boxing, politics of sports…..

Mike S
Mike S
February 11, 2010 1:18 pm

Here are the recent ratings that were posted on this site for the noon hockey shows:

Jan 2010………..640 2.9………590 4.4
Fall 2009………..640 4.9………590 5.6
Sept 2009………640 6.3………590 4.3
S2 2009…………640 2.9………590 7.3
S1 2009…………640 3.3………590 6.1
S2 2008…………640 5.5………590 4.7

I guess the performance of the Leafs is part of the reason why the ratings for 640 at noon have dropped since the fall but there has to be another reason why that show is sometimes up near 6.0 and other times is down near 3.0

February 11, 2010 2:28 pm

This is pretty much what I’ve figured. The McCown v Watters shows seem to have settled into a place where McCown gets about double Watters each time out. That makes sense to me.

I’ve grown to like The Gameplan a lot, nice to see them holding their own.

As for 640, I like Greg Brady too, I just would prefer if his show would focus more on Toronto sports instead of the NHL in general. I’m sure it’s great if you only care about the Leafs, but if you are interested in the Jays or Raps at all you’re inevitably going to tune out.

I almost wonder why they bother breaking up Stafford’s show for Leafs Lunch. The ratings dip quite a bit for that compared to the news/talk part of the day. Kind of a poor showing (I mean think of it this way, as hockey crazy as we are here, the BBall focused Gameplan nearly doubles it). TSM, you’re 100% right about Bill Watters. They should give him the summers off.

Anyway, considering 640s good showing on the news/talk side I don’t see the station switching to all sports any time soon.

February 11, 2010 2:33 pm

The biggest no-brainer in town is 590 offering Brady the morning show over there, with someone else compelling.

You instantly have a far better chance of getting good ratings and getting the show talked about, and you cripple the Watters Show.

What would they do? Bill Hayes all the time? Brian Duff, I wouldn’t think could do it if he’s on TV.

Question 1. Would Brady leave?

Question 2. Who would work well with him in mornings?

February 11, 2010 2:46 pm

I should add, Brady’d have to get a more focused and less silly sometimes to make it work long-term, but he’d be a massive upgrade on the mail-in artists they have over there right now. But I guess the new PD will have to decide. If they hire in-house, maybe they keep the staleness.

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
February 11, 2010 2:47 pm

TSM – Do you get ratings on Satelite Sprts radio in Toronto?

February 12, 2010 3:41 pm

That probably would be a good move on The Fan’s part, Julian.

Maybe Brady and Stellick? Brady and Doug MacLean?

I’ve read a couple blurbs about Mike Richards doing really well at The Fan in Calgary. Maybe Rogers would try to bring him back over for mornings?

Or, I could see GB on his own. Maybe a big midday show, 10 – 2 or something.

I’m just speculating. But yeah – if I ran the Fan I’d probably try to bring him over at this point, too.

Mike S
Mike S
February 12, 2010 4:05 pm

Julian makes a good point. Actually, several good points.

Hey Daniel………… you remember the good old days when we used to always disagree with Julian ??

February 12, 2010 7:58 pm

I love ratings talk. Thank you for the info.

Morning show, can’t believe Stellick and Landry are still on, they are the worst, I listen to out of town shows with bad static over them. Even though I don’t agree with Oakley alot he is a quality host & has the best show locally. I want to cheer for Moore, but way too many ads during his time spot, he has Toth on at times doing sports and to my surprise I like their chemstry. Toth for a few minutes at a time can be decent.

I like Watters on Leafs Lunch over HockeyCentral. He is probably the most entertaining Leaf talker in my opinion. MacLean annoys me so I don’t listen to the second hour of HC. But recently Leafs Lunch is trying to match annoying with Steve kouleas now hosting Leafs Lunch the past few days.

I have no respect for Eric Smith, he is a total hypocrite. He will over-rate everything NBA/Raps at the expense of other sports. Armstrong I think could be a good second guy, I would like to see they give a chance to the regular weekend guy like Seixeiro who has shown a vast knowledge and respect for all sports. Poor Jim Richards, talented guy who can’t seem to find an audience.

I am in the Greg Brady demo and enjoy listening to him. His personality is great, but I tune out at times when they get too hockey focus. But I like the new guy/ veteran guy chemistry he has with Watters, it’s a funny mix. Agree with Leo, McCown is so stubborn at times about the topics he will do and not do. It takes away the relevance of his show. It’s sad because he still has the talent it to “bring it” if he’s motivated to.

Interesting thought of Brady going to the mornings, a few names I think would be interesting would be maybe bringing Jim Richards back, I really liked him during his Fan days. Or maybe pairing him up with a female, perhaps a sportsnet woman, they did guest spots for very few times & were decent, especially Gaillard. Or maybe Barb to co-host, I do find it always odd that such a diverse market there’s only white men as radio hosts

I wonder how the Bullpen is doing. Just heard Bill Carrol is leaving CFRB for an American gig, they really don’t have any standards down there do they lol. Not very likable at all. I wonder how his ratings were doing too. I heard he got removed from the morning show because of poor ratings and went to a less important late morning timeslot. I know this is a sports page, but ratings are always so intesreting

February 12, 2010 9:32 pm

hah! True, Mike, true.

I like ratings/sports radio talk too. Weird interest I guess.

FMT – I think Jim Richards would be great. I used to love his Saturday morning show on The Fan. As for you other point there – I like Eric Smith. I think he overdoes the Bball as kind of a reaction to the fact that a lot of the sports media here kind of ignores it. So I sort of understand.

I may be alone in this, because I’m more of a casual hockey fan, but I find the noon time shows to be just too ‘in depth’, if you know what I mean. I prefer more big picture, general sports talk.

To be honest, as hockey crazy as TO is, I think you could argue that neither noon show is all that successful, particularly considering all the resources that must go into each show. I mean HC at noon has a 4.5 and seems as though a TON of money is poured into it, while the more general GamePlan has a 4.6 and seems to require far fewer resources. Dreger and Watters must be expensive in their own right and they’re only pulling in a 2.9.

This may be a dumb idea, but I think Hockey Central would work better if it was cut up into a few segments throughout the day. Maybe a few 5 minute (or so) segments. Sort of like how they cut to it on Sportsnet Connected. I would be interested in hardcore hockey talk in nuggets, but 2 hours is just too much for me. Maybe just me.

February 12, 2010 9:34 pm

Not that I’m saying there shouldn’t be tons of hockey talk on Toronto sports radio, because clearly there should. I just think it’s a bit too intense/overdone, even for here.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x