Tuesday Toronto Sports Media

Lots going on, so let’s get to it:

Lots of talk about curling vs NCAA. Mike S pointed out an article on TSN.ca :

“Preliminary overnight data from BBM Canada confirms that overall audiences for the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier averaged 682,000 viewers on TSN – the most ever in tournament history and 13 percent higher than last year. In total, more than 7.8 million unique viewers tuned in at some point to TSN’s 62 hours of live Brier coverage from London, ON this year.

An average audience of 1.3 million viewers watched Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton defeat Ontario’s Glenn Howard to win his third career Brier championship, making this year’s championship final the second most-watched broadcast ever in tournament history. “

The story was much the same over at the Toronto Sun:

“National sports broadcaster TSN is airing 75 hours of coverage from the John Labatt Centre this week and the early ratings are promising: Saturday’s games peaked at an average audience of 865,000 and Sunday’s high wasn’t far off.

By comparison, last Friday night’s New York Rangers-Ottawa Senators game drew 440,000 viewers

For the Brier final, TSN expects to average 1.5 million. If it ends up being Kevin Martin vs. Glenn Howard, the audience could push two million.”

How does the NCAA tourney do here? Let’s go back in time and look at last year, courtesy Chris Zelkovich:

“The NCAA? No March Madness on Canadian television, that’s for sure.

The most-watched NCAA game on The Score and Sun TV (with the latter simulcasting CBS in the GTA) averaged 187,000 Saturday night when Kansas and Northern Iowa played. The Score reports that 62 per cent of all those watching the tournament did so on the Canadian channel, meaning that the most-watched game drew less than 250,000 viewers in Canada.

The positive here is the fact that The Score’s audiences are up 28 per cent over last year, though it should be noted that most ratings are up by about 20 per cent thanks to a new ratings system.

Madness? Hardly.”

Anyone happen to catch Damien Cox on with Mccown tonight? Nothing all that earth shattering except when the topic of Mccown and Krystal’s rant on women in sports the other night. Mccown claimed that he and Krystal were just, you know joking.

Now, I wasn’t one of those jumping up and down after the “bit”. I’ve heard it and read all the comments about it. Of all the things I would say about it, none would be that they were “joking”. I don’t either are hateful guys, I think they were speaking their minds and trying to reflect what the perceive to be the popular opinion. Not sure why now he’d claim they were joking.

Great reads of the day?

David Shoalts did a bang up job on les affaires Coytoes. He broke word on Twitter that Goldwater has committed to suing the Coyotes once a deal with Glendale and the league is consummated and followed it up with a good article on the story.

“Glendale city councillor Phil Lieberman, the most prominent opponent of the bond deal on council, thinks Goldwater’s announcement will sink the $116-million municipal bond deal that is supposed to finance the NHL’s $170-million sale of the Coyotes. Hulsizer is to get $100-million from the bond sale up front. Goldwater said it will file the lawsuit as soon as the bond deal closes.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said previously that Glendale will try to get the municipal bonds issued despite Goldwater’s opposition with the league’s assistance.

“I don’t know when the bond deal will close because no bond company will buy bonds if there is a lawsuit right after,” Lieberman said. “There is no way we can justify the $100-million to Hulsizer.”

Rebekah L. Sanders has been covering the Coyotes mess for the Arizona Republic:

“On the one hand, prospective bond-buyers now more clearly know what to expect. The city may find investors willing to take the risk of a lawsuit at a higher interest rate. Or the announcement could scare off investors and foil the deal.”

Damien Cox who is down in Florida playing tennis, I mean covering the NHL meetings has a real gem about the current state of Gary’s world:

“Suddenly, it seems Bettman’s grip over the league’s owners, a major reason why he has been able to stay in power for 18 years, doesn’t seem quite as tight. In the past decade, in particular, the hockey world has barely heard a dissenting voice from the league’s board of governors on any matter, let alone any pertaining specifically to the game.”

Maybe your not a huge NBA fan, even still, the must read article of the day comes from the good folks over at Yahoo! Sports:

“No commissioner has ever been so emboldened to speak this way. Yet now, so much of Stern’s staying power is built on a far more flimsy baseline. Respect has eroded for him, replaced with fear and loathing.”

So, TSN has picked up another hour of local programming for the radio station adding a noon hockey show. Anyone surprised? Me neither.

Keep your ears open for news out of more hires or potential ones in the next couple of weeks.



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Scotty G.
Scotty G.
March 16, 2011 1:18 am

With the “Plan the TSN Radio lineup post” from a few weeks back, many commentators suggested that another Noon hockey show would not be the main focus of TSN radio.

To those people who felt that way… you were wrong, very wrong. TSN Radio will be 85% hockey talk, all Canadians really care about.

March 16, 2011 1:43 am

“TSN Radio will be 85% hockey talk, all Canadians really care about.”

They’re carrying the Dan Patrick Show and Jim Rome show every day. Plus ESPN radio, presumably in evenings/weekends.

I’m not sure you’ll get 85% hockey talk out of that. Maybe the Watters Show won’t get cancelled, and you can get your hockey only fix there.

March 16, 2011 1:48 am

I think people are overestimating the impact TSN Radio is going to have – at least with this lineup.

You guys do realize it’s Mike Richards (sounds good), Steve Kouleas (blech), probably Michael Landsberg (blech), American syndicated programming and Argo simulcasts?

It’s going to take a while to build a following. That lineup is not going to seriously challenge The Fan out of the gate.

Once they get their footing, it could be different, but for now it’s pretty inauspicious.

March 16, 2011 3:13 am

I think Krystal and McCown were just stating the truth, why watch an inferior product? I know I won’t unless there’s some eye candy.

I think it’s a shame in this world where you’re not politically correct, you’re bound to be slammed by everyone else.

March 16, 2011 3:47 am

Once the sale of MSLE is complete and if Rogers or Bell get control then and only then will we get a true pitcure of who will be crowned the winner in all this…

Names and faces will change on both fronts should prove to be very intertaining….AS for me if I had to pick one of those two I hope it will be Rogers…. But they must get rid of Kollins first…We all know Pelly is now calling the shots..Plus TSN just gets on my nerves…

Raptors Devotee
March 16, 2011 8:32 am

Joking? Yeah, right. I happened to catch the McCown/Krystal segment on International Women’s Day of all days, and was able to watch the facial reactions, and believe me, I would bet my life that they were dead serious and not joking. That is a bunch of BS for them to say that after the fact given the heat they have taken and I am royally pissed off now.

I am really questioning listening anymore. I am serious, and this is no joke.

I have two daughters and after school I have PTS on in the background, and I was absolutely disgusted with that segment, and later on McCown repeating it with Arthur, who unfortunately took the high road and did not challenge McCown on that. I can tell you one thing, if it was me in that studio and not Arthur it would have gotten ugly, and real fast for McCown.

I have no problems with somebody being politically incorrect within reason, but there is a line that got crossed and in a big way. McCown came across as a dirty old man and I was personally repulsed by it. He baited Krystal into agreeing with him, which believe me, was not hard to do either.

I can guarantee you this. Pelley/Moore I imagine were not impressed by the reaction to it, and almost certainly have had a discussion with McCown on never going in that direction again.

March 16, 2011 9:02 am

How can you confirm your guarantee? Seriously. Bobcat has free reign over at 590 as Pelley and Moore don’t want to lose him. Heck, he charted back into those waters during last weeks round table…

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
March 16, 2011 9:25 am

I think Bobcat is in his glory right now. Certainly TSN has reached out to him to find out what it would take to lure him away, given his contract status. Sportsnet is not going to piss him off prior to a new contract signed. He is sitting there thinking I am going to have fun with this power. This isn’t for me to say I agree, I am just giving my perspective.

I personally cannot wait for TSN Radio, I look forward to Richards in the morning. Blairs show is nothing more than a leaf call in show. Yes now with the BlueJays starting up it will become more baseball oriented. But it is nothing more than his thoughts and call ins.

The afternoon show on the Fan is a joke. And when PTS has guests like Arthur, Grange and Brunt I will definitely tune in.

I personally am not a fan of Cox, as i have heard him waffle enough on issues over the years. And all he wants to do is kiss Bobcats ass.

What makes Arthur, Brunt and Grange to a lesser degree, so good on PTS is they will challenge Bobcat. And this brings out the best in Bob as he respects them for it.

When Bob has Krystal, Blair, Cox, Shannon et al… on his show they all just kiss his ass and the conversation becomes immediate drivel.

Competition is great.

Raptors Devotee
March 16, 2011 9:29 am

Dsscpu, if you actually watched that segment, McCown was practically relieving himself when he went on the Sabitini bit, and that was when I really lost it on him.

I have never had a problem with McCown over many years of listening and have been one of his biggest proponents, but he crossed a line with me anyways in a big way.

The fact that McCown dismissed it by the joking comment is complete hogwash. He meant every word of it.

You are right, I can’t confirm or not confirm Pelley/Moore’s reaction, and maybe that is wishful thinking on my part that the leadership of the station has an ounce of integrity, and maybe that is me being naiive, but I would still like to think so. The fact that there was no apology by McCown on it likely means that you are probably right on this.

I missed the roundtable, and if he brough it up again, days later, then that does actually confirm that his behaviour is being condoned by the station. Sad, that is all I can say.

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
March 16, 2011 9:35 am

Raptors Devotee: I was listening to that segment and before he even got to some of his more graphic comments, i wondered aloud to a co-worker if he was going to go there. And sure enough he did. I was shocked he did so. I mean it was almost like he just assumed okay every single listener is a male and we are doing lockerroom talk. Or he is sitting there wondering what all he can get away with right now. As I said in my above posting, he is in the catbirds seat right now.

It was very surprising to hear him go that far into a topic like that.

Rob in Aurora
Rob in Aurora
March 16, 2011 10:24 am

I posted this below – It is relevent here too..I listened to McCown “pants” himself about women’s sports on Friday’s podcast. He’s been hanging with Krystal too long. It was cringeworthy and the co-hosts tried to bail himout, he’s too egotistical to believe anyone would take exception…
Jennifer Botterill retired yesterday. To that I say “no one cares” – I do not care about women’s hockey and soccer – it is inferior to the men’s, but some people watch it and it encourages young women to play – McCown claims to have a social conscience with hockey violence, etc – Yet his misogynistic tendencies go unchallenged. I think he made himself look really, really bad on Friday…He’s just a dirty, cranky old man and I am sick of his act…

TSN Radio is coming and I am happy – The noon hockey show whill blow the Fan’s away and I can’t wait. TSN was waiting for Millard to come back – that is the hanging fastball.
It is about time. Listeners remember: Competition is good for the consumer.

Al from Burlington
Al from Burlington
March 16, 2011 10:47 am

McCown is an old cranky egomaniac who is only comfortable with guests or co hosts who kiss his ass. That’s why I have stopped listening to him. His guests are as boring as he is. I hope they bring in a younger more fresh guy on TSN Radio to compete with him.
His comments on Crosby’s family pressuring him to retire were as ridiculous as his confirmed story Sundin was going to New York.

March 16, 2011 10:53 am

Hockey- Hockey – Hockey….Dose anyone think it is going to be any different when TSN radio starts up? And it wont be any different over there with the same complaints… Like it or not that what drives the program and people want to hear… me I get sick of listing to it as well BUT the call lines keep lighting up or else they would not be doing it..come on baseball…

As for Blair I do like him alot and he is a lot more fun to listen to when he talks baseball..I was surprised when Millard was let go doing hockey at noon also…I really did not mind him…the rating were tops back then…but Brady was very good also is a better fit for the morning drive..

March 16, 2011 11:51 am

I think any Toronto sports station will do a lot of hockey, but as long as they at least give MLB, NBA etc a fair shake then I think that’s OK. 640 took the hockey focus too far for my tastes (and others as well I suppose, since their ratings were never too great). If 1050 can give a balance similar to what The Fan does, then I’ll be happy and looking forward to checking it out.

I thought McCowns segment on women’s sports was sleazy, but it didn’t upset me by any means. I felt like he was being knowingly gross to try to get a laugh out of listeners. It is radio, and hosts to try to be provocative sometimes (even if this was a misstep). I mean, have you guys listened to Dean Blundell? Or Howard Stern when he was on terrestrial radio? This was pretty tame.

March 16, 2011 1:11 pm

What I think got a lot of people attention wwas he did it on international women day? On all days, why do it on that day. Especially considering you are on a show that women aren’t equal or even well reprsented. He has Ormsby maybe a couple of times a year, other than that, not much more.

It just hit me right now, this reminds me a lot of the Mike Toth incident when he said there not a single woman on sports media, especially on TV that is as good or as qualified as men on TV and looks is what they are hired for. Which I thought was the final straw (and deservingly so) and he was off the Fan a short time later. Wasn’t Toth a “McCown guy” who was going to take over PTS, of course when the audience totally rejected it, he was demoted to late morning and wasn’t up for that either.

Now we have Krystal, is anybody still disputing he’s not a “McCown guy” (hey Brady is now offical morning show host… lets hold our breath until they make cameos on each others show like McCown did with Krystal) yes Krystal comes off as a jerk and nobody is surprised. Starting to see a bit of a pattern with “Mccown guys” and it not just underachieving when given the ball.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
March 16, 2011 1:12 pm

it’s worth pointing out that some things are politically incorrect because 1) they are false, and 2) they are only ever asserted by those who hold a bigoted view of others. example: racist comments. there’s a good reason to criticize racism and it has nothing to do with political correctness.

if you think Bob’s remarks are being attacked because they are politically incorrect then you’re missing the point. they’re being attacked because he thinks that competition at a high level between female athletes is not worth watching on its own merits. this bigoted remark has the added stupidity of being easily disprovable through counter-examples.

so what we’re left with is a guy saying that because he won’t watch unless there’s some T&A, there is nothing of value there. the fact that it’s on the main sports talk show in the country makes it even worse.

maybe Bob and Mike Toth can have their own show someday …

/TSM – can we have a preview option? I keep screwing up my tags.

March 16, 2011 1:33 pm

It’s interesting to me that McCown can basically get away with at best not confirming a story or at worst making a story up. A month ago Tony Kornheiser was criticized for quoting a fellow reporter who covered Nascar without seeking a comment, but there was no question about what she said.

The segment about womens sports was every bit as distasteful as has been discussed here. From the first word, it had “Don’t go there” written all over it.

Jonathan Giggs
March 16, 2011 1:39 pm

Bob McCown and Andrew Krystal attempt to be provocative and funny, but lack the skill and are not amusing but just offensive.

What is the point of the daily bikini picture?

Rob in Aurora
Rob in Aurora
March 16, 2011 2:32 pm

Re: Jonathan Giggs’ comment – Well said. I agree about Krystal and McCown wholeheartedly

(But leave the bikini picture alone – there is nothing wrong with it)

James High Park
James High Park
March 16, 2011 2:56 pm

for all you male feminists in here moaning about misogynist mccowan

you cant suck and blow boys
the bikini ads on this site are sexist
(i don’t think they are sexist but i’m not a holier than thou male feminist)

you like them racy pictures but get your panties in a bunch over mcclown?
you keyboard warriors are funny

March 16, 2011 3:33 pm

Dowbiggin on the comment…
“McCown’s delights in (semi-seriously) blasting away on International Women’s day about women athletes not being sexy enough. (Prompting a CBC Radio panel on sexism in sports media).”http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/mccown-puts-his-own-twist-on-journalism-101/article1944065/singlepage/#articlecontent

March 16, 2011 4:29 pm

Rob in Aurora – why do you say the TSN hockey show will kill the FAN”s Hockeycentral? Leafs Lunch was basically a TSN show with Dreger hosting with Ferraro, MacKenzie etc on everyday was a bore and they got smoked in the ratings forcing Leafs Lunch to be cancelled!
Also agree with James High Park, get over the McCown thing. Do you cover up the picture of the hot bikini girl as you scroll down this webpage?

March 16, 2011 5:04 pm

Hah…thats a good point, James.

There is an irony to commenters on a website with a bikini of the day criticizing McCown for talking about ogling female athletes. 🙂

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
March 16, 2011 5:33 pm

There is an irony to commenters on a website with a bikini of the day criticizing McCown for talking about ogling female athletes.

… if only there was a relevant difference between female athletes playing a competitive sport and women (well, mostly women) posing to be photographed in bikinis …

thinking is hard, but sometimes it’s worth it.

March 16, 2011 6:06 pm

Agree with MikeinBos, it very apples and oranges. Even though it’s certainly not a difference maker at all going onto this site for me (take it or leave it) but I don’t view it as the same as saying that no woman is worth the time unless they are hot and then go into distinct detail of what he finds hot.

By the way if we want to compare apples to apples the fan site does have same type of bikini stuff on their site and I don’t hear too many people complaining about that. If you find it the same, that’s your opinion and I am okay with that. But I do think there are levels of opinion on this issue.

This also now reminds me of that Jets pre season incident where that female reporter went in there and was made uncomfortable and McCown went with the ol’ “Did you see what she was wearing” line, which I remember Damo saying “Well let’s just stop going down that line, it shouldn’t matter”

March 16, 2011 8:42 pm

Terry – I guess we’ll see won’t we? . . . Hockey central had a sports show as a lead in on the FAN (all sports). Leafs lunch relied on people making a point of tuning them in from…
…(forget it I can’t be bothered)…Just wait and see, what do I know, right? Daren Millard vs anyone else on TSN is enough to make me stay away.

March 16, 2011 8:52 pm

Why does SI have a Swimsuit edition when they cover women’s sports?…(why do I need to try to explain this?)

I love the bikinis, please keep them – I choose not to watch most women’s sports that are on TV, yet I still think McCown was a complete fool and made offensive and insensitive remarks. He didn’t offend me – but they’re still offensive and mysoginistic…these are completely different and unrelated issues – (What does any of this have to do with ‘feminism’?)

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
March 16, 2011 10:15 pm

“hey’re being attacked because he thinks that competition at a high level between female athletes is not worth watching on its own merits. this bigoted remark has the added stupidity of being easily disprovable through counter-examples.”

Women’s sport at the highest level is so far below what we are use to in this professional age that I would have to agree with McCown. Women’s sport can be enjoyable in its own right just like high school sports but we’re talking about a niche interest.

The most popular women’s sport is tennis. We know that the best female players would lose to just about every male in the top 1000. Given that tennis overall is not that popular here why would women’s tennis be so much bigger than NCAA tennis or matches between the #900 and #822 seeds in the men’s game? Whether you like it or not sexuality has something to do with it.

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
March 16, 2011 10:30 pm

“It’s worth pointing out that some things are politically incorrect because 1) they are false, and 2) they are only ever asserted by those who hold a bigoted view of others.”

To those so offended by McCown’s remarks I’d be curious to know if you are equally offended by negative statements in general media about men. I’ve heard Greg Brady being derogatory towards white basketball players and joking about “little white guys” who play for the New England Patriots.

Accusations of political correctness are bound to come up when those getting offended only raise their voices when the targets of criticism or obnoxiousness are female or an ethnic or religious minority.

March 16, 2011 11:07 pm

My point Rob is radio is different than TV, and this is why Hockeycentral beat Leafs Lunch. The Hockeycentral guys are brash, loud, funny, and opinionated,yes sometimes too much yelling) while the TSN guys are great reporters, but on radio (to me) come across as boring, serious, and stale. We will see, youre right.

March 17, 2011 2:05 am

“… if only there was a relevant difference between female athletes playing a competitive sport and women (well, mostly women) posing to be photographed in bikinis”

Yeah. I recognize the difference. It’s still strikes me as funny that we’re discussing whether McCown was being a sexist pig on a site that shows scantily clad women on a daily basis. I’m not judging or trying to make a seroius ponit. It’s just funny.

“thinking is hard, but sometimes it’s worth it.”


Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
March 17, 2011 8:12 am

Just to clarify, what I felt was the issue. I was not offended or disgusted by the comment (I can understand why some were, specifically if viewing the show and kids present). I was simply surprised/shocked that Bob took such a dramatic stance on a topic which obviously will have repurcussions of some sort.

I would expect to hear this conversation from Krystal, as shock jock is his mantra.

The reason Bobcats took me by surprise, is given he is on the panel voting for Lou Marsh award which is not gender driven, and given he was part of the consortium at the Olympics interviewing athletes of all gender, and given how often he does have female athletes on his show, I was surprised that he took a stance of paraphrasing here, If there isn’t hot women playing I ain’t watching.

I personally have little to interest in watching most female sports because I am not entertained by it. I do however, find myself watching female athletes at the Olympics and am very supportive and entertained by many of them.

The tone I got from the interview was partial horsing around, but yet there was the feeling that he really felt this way.

Having hear Bobcat do some backpedaling since then, I guess he was just joking. I really don’t care either way, again, I just am surprised he took that topic to that extreme on a nationally televised radio show.

Again, I think he is in a position of absolute strenght at Sportsnet currently given the TSN/Rogers war that has begun.

I doubt this will weaken his negotiating position as he delivers ratings and that is all the stations care about.

Great to hear so many differing opinions. Hopefully nobody is getting to worked up of the various positions taken.

Cheers and Happy St. Paddy’s Day to all!

Mike S
Mike S
March 17, 2011 2:58 pm

Anyone who has listened extensively to McCown over the last 20 years would probably know that he has made those type of sexist comments many many times…………..so I am a bit surprised that he is getting so much negative feedback about these latest comments……………I don’t know if it’s the way he truly feels or if it part of his act…………my guess would be that most of it is contrived

I am not saying I agree with his comments (I don’t) or that he shouldn’t receive criticism……………I wasn’t all that offended mainly because I don’t take him seriously when he says things like that

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
March 17, 2011 3:19 pm

Daniel, that last comment was directed at the poster you quoted who suggested that anyone criticizing McCown was a hypocrite, not you. i should have been clearer. my apologies.

Andrew, you raise some interesting points that go well beyond what McCown asserted. A few thoughts:

– one could argue that women’s tennis is a different game than men’s tennis, since the power serve is less of a threat. i’m totally out of my depths talking about it though, since i watch neither. all that to say that women’s versions of sports sometimes have different aspects than the male version.
– we can agree that most men have no interest in women’s sports, but it doesn’t follow that women don’t watch women’s sports. women don’t watch a lot of sports, and so the raw numbers aren’t terribly instructive. but you can’t infer from male viewing habits to female viewing habits.
– there are some non major sports where the women’s version is more popular (e.g. figure skating)

the issues are complex, and McCown’s stance was uninformed, narrow and simplistic. i think that is what he is being criticized for, and not for being politically incorrect.

good discussion here on these topics. why is the Globe’s comments section such a train wreck?

March 17, 2011 5:18 pm

Oops. No worries!

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
March 18, 2011 8:40 am

Mike in Boston: Good question on the Globe’s Comments. I am amazed daily how many people, well actually the same people, make the most innane comments. Specifically, the Chara/Pacioretty issue. People writing things from he faked it, to he should be put in a wheel chair next time etc….
I excpect these comments from the Toronto Sun. I didn’t think the readership on the Globe was such. There is rarely any dialogue between readers there, as it is immediately ambushed with Grade 3 arguments.

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