Toronto Sports Radio Ratings

I don’t have them all, one of the drawback of being an unaffiliated blogger, I mean independent journalist is that you have to rely on others to get this type of official information but here is what I have so far. The ratings are for males only, aged 25-54 (which is the key demographic):

Morning Show (3 weeks of Greg Brady and Jim Lang) January to February 5.7 to a 6.8
Jeff Blair Show January to February 6.3 to a 7.0
Hockey Central at noon January to February 4.8 to a 6.1
Noon -3pm (various hosts from 1-3) January to February 4.6 to a 5.6
PTS (3-6) January to February 7.3 to 7.2
PTS + extra hour This could include blue and white tonight: January to February 9.7 to 7.9

I don’t have the numbers yet for 640, the guys at the Globe or Star may get them sooner than I.

When we last looked at ratings in December. The Bill Watters Show had just jumped to a to 3.3 from a 2.6 in the summer. I am told their ratings were flat.

When we looked at ratings last February we had the following:

Morning show, again men aged 25-54:

640 – 6.8
590 – 6.1

For comparison:

1010 – 4.3″

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

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

640 4.6
590 4.5

McCown vs. Watters:

First the same demographic, men aged 25-54

590 8.7
640 4.1

The last review where I had numbers of Hogan’s show was as follows in May of 2009:


Men 25-54

S2:2008: 5.0
S2:2009: 4.4
S2:2009: 5.6

So, what does it tell us?

For one, keep in mind ratings shouldn’t really be looked at in one month increments. You need to look at trends. Secondly, those who the ads don’t buy based on the BBM numbers, they buy based upon cumulative audience (total number of people listening). I don’t have those numbers.

Having said that, the morning show seems to be on the uptick. Brady and Lang seem to be resonating with the audience, let’s see if they can keep it up.

No real surprises with Hockey central or the mid- day show at least for now. I doubt there will be much of a change with Millard in and we’ll see what Krystal does in that slot.

The places that are surprising to me are Blair and PTS.

The Mccown numbers, in this time slot anyway are good. The decline I am sure is somewhat of a concern. Here is what is interesting to me:

“PTS (3-6) January to February 7.3 to 7.2
PTS + extra hour This could include blue and white tonight: January to February 9.7 to 7.9”

The 9.7 and 7.9 are being driven by the 6-7 hour. That is either a replay of PTS 3-4pm OR Leafs pre-game with Stellick. 7.2 isn’t a bad number. It’s just lower than it has been. Is that a function of the show, the time slot or something else?

The big winner in this is Jeff Blair. If 7.2 is a good number for PTS then a 7.0 is HUGE for the usually dead 9-12 slot. I said before that I liked Blair when he filled in before. I don’t think anyone would have predicted this huge a spike for Blair so soon. Can you imagine if he did less leafs/hockey? I mean the guy is going to be fantastic when Jays season kicks off.

Here’s the interesting thing in all of this. If Blair keeps this up and get’s the number up to a 7.2 and a 7.3 and the morning show can get a lift to a 7.0 or so, and PTS stays flat, wow, that will be interesting.

People can say what they want, but with all the doom and gloom out there, Don Kollins seems to have a good thing going. It’s not perfect but it never will be.

TSN Radio is coming, but with only a morning show and a hockey lunch hour show, where’s the real competition? The road ahead is certainly going to be a long one. They are going to have to hit it out of the park in the late summer early fall to make a dent should these numbers hold or improve.

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Mike S
Mike S
March 18, 2011 12:41 am

A lot of these numbers don’t make much sense to me at all.

I find it hard to believe that 590’s highest rated period each day is the 6:00 PM hour…………but if it’s true then maybe moving PTS to 3-6 is not hurting them as much as many of us thought it would

March 18, 2011 4:44 am

Well I am impressed to say the least…..

With all the changes Kollins did the past year this is truly remarkable… But as TSM said it is early and a longer time frame is required….Wonder how they compare to other AM stations?….

Blair really hit it out of the park to use a baseball term…TSM is right it think it will only get better when baseball season starts…all other time slots Brady and McCowan should only get better….And how do the TV numbers effect this are they also added in?… TSN do have there work cut out for them…they will dip a bit I am sure when TSN starts just to see what they have over there but we will have to wait and see….

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
March 18, 2011 7:30 am

am i reading the numbers correctly: PTS is down to 7.2 from 8.7 this time last year? if true, that’s curious.

TSM says … The road ahead is certainly going to be a long one. [TSN] are going to have to hit it out of the park in the late summer early fall to make a dent should these numbers hold or improve.

as a listener, i don’t believe TSN needs to win the ratings battle in order to justify its radio station. that’s a pissing match between rival companies, and it doesn’t make a lick of difference to me. i just want more options. as long as their numbers are respectable they’ll get advertisers and they’ll stay on the air, which is all i care about.

Rob in Aurora
Rob in Aurora
March 18, 2011 10:16 am

In respose to the radio/TV question – I believe the ratings are ‘listeners’ only (different ads on TV and radio). As I was told by an exec at CTV once (former customer): “Ads are the product, the shows are the filler”.

I don’t believe TSN needs to ‘hit one out of the park’, immediately anyway – It takes a while to build the brand and create an identity and bring your audience in. I believe slow and steady wins the game. (Kollins and his snap choices have been expensive and embarrassing mistakes – whatever the ratings are, Krystal has a 3 year deal at “drive time” money and he’s working afternoons when 18 soccer moms, 227 cab drivers and 400 delivery drivers are listening across S.Ontario).

Mike Richards has the tough test – he’ll get lots of listeners at first testing the water (like Howard Stern on Q107 did), then people will for the most part, make their choice – I don’t change the dial much. Same with the hockey hour (I’ve already made my choice. Kouleas and anyone else is preferable to millard and the SN crew)
I think the syndicated shows are being used as filler until they decide how to position themselves against FAN’s daytime lineup. Whatever they have in the afternoon will pile drive Krystal into the canvas, then rake his face across the turnbuckle…(Why do I even care? I never listen after 9am any more – I am chained to my desk most of the time during bus hours)…This will be interesting though – especially afternoon drive time.

Coffee’s over, back to work…

Rob in Aurora
Rob in Aurora
March 18, 2011 10:17 am

* “wins the race” I mean

Chris F.
Chris F.
March 18, 2011 12:02 pm

I always thought Blair would do well but not THIS well! He’s only going to get better ratings once we get to baseball season and he really gets into a topic that he knows a lot about. I only hope he does a weekly thing with Wilner the way he has with Berger.

As for the other numbers….Well I guess we should give Kollins some credit here. He’s had many screwy decisions/mishandling things behind the scenes but it seems the numbers are starting to bear some fruit. We will have to see how it goes in the long term. I’d like to see how these numbers look this time next year.

Sam In Scarbrough
Sam In Scarbrough
March 18, 2011 12:14 pm

@Rob In Aurora…Very well said.

March 18, 2011 12:39 pm

I need to see more of the numbers. Not sure what was going on in Jan-Feb. This is too small a snapshot. I haven’t listened to Blair since he started. I never liked him as a fill in on PTS.

TSN Radio has large dollars behind it unlike CHUM when it stated the TEAM. 1050 here in To now is just a filler to hold the frequency. We’ll see how Richards does this time around. He didn’t last the last time he was on 590.

Steve from Waterloo
Steve from Waterloo
March 18, 2011 1:59 pm

Glad Blair did well – I’ve forgotten that Waters show is even on. I got tired of listening to him rail against TML ownership and he got too “cute” for me.

Must say, the AM on my radio in the vehicle has been busted for upwards of a month, and I miss it. Give me some sports talk, anything BUT Krystal.

I would rather sit in silence…

Sam In Scarbrough
Sam In Scarbrough
March 18, 2011 3:06 pm

OMG.. after last Friday’s Great round table I flipped on PTS (aka mid-afternoon sports) to hear guests today are kirke,perkins.WHAT a let down!!!BUT just icing on the cake 5 seconds later Bob brings on krystal,and before I can reach my unit to switch off I hear Bob telling krystal Charlie Sheen IS A BAFFOON…Hey Bob…telling THE biggest BAFFOON at the fan(krystal) about someone else just to get a reaction is just a joke.
Well, thefan was good for a few days!!
WHAT are these clowns doing???? CLICK

March 18, 2011 3:59 pm

I really enjoy Brady/Lang and Blair, so I’m not too surprised to see them doing well. As a baseball fan, it’s great to have a host who really knows the game in Blair. If they pair him with the right cohost (as TSM suggested they might) his show could be really great.

I don’t enjoy Millard OR Kouleas, so I won’t be listening to either show.

The ratings for the 6 o’clock hour are puzzling. How is it higher than PTS? Less competition? More guys in the car? Maybe it’s just a quirky blip.

Yeah, regarding Kollins, there’s no doubt he’d made a mess of some things (mornings until recently, Krystal, changing the sched around), but I have to admit that I’m listening a lot more now than I was a year ago. I’m in my late 20s, which I guess is what they’re going for these days.

Totally agree with TSM about TSN Radio. I’m looking forward to it to, but the idea that it’s going to come in and destroy The Fan off the bat is silly. It takes a long time to build up a style, brand and to find the right hosts. It may take a year or two for TSN to work out the kinks.

March 18, 2011 4:04 pm

Krystal said today that he’s off for another two weeks starting Monday. He was just off for two or three weeks. Think there’s any chance he doesn’t return?

If radio stations were sports teams, The Fan could trade Krystal for Bryan Hayes. Better for everyone, probably.

Sam In Scarbrough
Sam In Scarbrough
March 18, 2011 4:22 pm

@Daniel..good to hear krystal off again did not hear.I have An (upper body injury) and switched fan off earlier today and won’t be back till after rehab.
It would be just dumb If fan Iced him now..They have to pay him anyways and he probably has a 3-6 month clause in her contract to “not compete in Toronto market” Better to gas pipe him in August so he out till Dec or March 2012
Then again kollins hired him so there might NOT be the standard “not complete clause”
kollins has proven he can’t organize An empty room!

March 18, 2011 7:33 pm

I think the Blair ratings went up as many people leave the radio on to keep their pets company.

March 18, 2011 9:05 pm

This morning show is the first time in a long time that I thought it sounded like a major market sports morning show. it has the mix of personality and smarts that can fit in any market, I know for the longest time I thought “Really a market this size, this is the best we have?”

I think Blair still has potential, but he’s a rookie in radio and he falls under lazy radio way too often with too much “Here is Berger, lets talk Leafs”. But I hope as time goes and he feels more confident to think on his feet and not go the easiest road all the time, he will do much better. Lajoie today had Berger on for almost the entire program! He interviewed a baseball writer during the middle and in the middle of the interview he was still hyping “Taking calls for Berger for more Leafs talk” Is it me or is that really rude especially when I don’t think the baseball writer was a Fan employee, I could just wonder what this baseball writer thought during that interview

Krystal not even my second on third choice anymore on that time spot. There is just nothing of interest there. I put it on during commercial times on other programs (ie Jim rome) and Krystal was talking about turkeys and Leaf Goalie. The off topic/comedy segments are stale and boring and so are his sports topics. I give him a try and when I give a listen I never got something that I thouight “Wow that’s interesting or original”

I like Watters as a Leaf talker, yeah he comes off as bitter at times, but he was on the inside, and I do like his opinions on it. As for PTS it might sound crazy but I thought the co-hosts now make or break the show. If the co-host is good the show will be good, if not than not. For me it seems now like McCown just goes for the ride and can’t really save the show from a poor guest or co-host. Now he just needs to try not to drag quality like Arthur down like he did last week.

March 20, 2011 7:18 pm

I have nothing to back this up except mindless speculation but I’ll just throw it out there that it’s possible Blair benefited, ironically, from Krystal being *just so bad* in the morning.

That is, Blair just became a safe haven from Krystal’s bizarre, almost sacrilegious attempt to re-define sports radio (it’s not like we have alternatives…yet).

And I wonder if that helped Blair attract more of an initial audience than he otherwise might have earned.

I’m not taking anything away from Blair — he deserves tons of credit for transforming himself from a smarmy Speak-n-Spell to an actual RADIO broadcaster (though he does the “I’ve covered the Expos since time began” thing a little too much, OKAY, WE GET IT, YOU AREN’T NEW AT THIS). But I just wonder if that first few weeks and months with Krystal put Blair’s *sports knowledge* in sharper relief.

Or maybe not.

March 20, 2011 8:03 pm

Oh, and as knobbish as this sounds. I started to get really irritated with how Doug MacLean was piling on Brady over and over. Kypreos could get away with it because that’s his shtick and he did it with Millard last year (and will do it again). But MacLean wouldn’t STOP and after a while it was like the geek (MacLean) hanging out with the bully (Kypreos) and getting a few swings in.

It was just really bad radio, and gave me another few reasons to seriously dislike MacLean as a person, let alone (a bitter and enraged) on-air “personality.”

Full marks to Brady for going along with it and not doing what I probably would have done, which is make MacLean eat his microphone.

Rob in Aurora
Rob in Aurora
March 21, 2011 8:25 am

I can’t stand McLean or Kypreos. MacLean is a failure and strung out his GM gig much longer than he desreved. He used to slag the CBJ organization all the time, but now most of his players (except nash) and his coaches are all gone, the team is shaping up into a real NHL team – He says nothing about them now.
Millard will get bullied into submission. He’ll wish he never came back to that show. I posted similar on Dowbiggin’s comment section.

March 21, 2011 3:04 pm

Ugh. HC at Noon’s interview with Burke — sorry, BURKIE — today was awful. Burke was his usual “I’ll answer the question you should have asked” self, but Millard and especially Kypreos were awful. Millard pulled a Ron McClean and started to speak for “his network” again, and Kypreos was like a 12 year old girl interviewing Justin Bieber. His voice actually started cracking after the third “Burkie” in one of his last questions. I’m not saying he has to go for the jugular, but it’s not an interview if you’re doing the guy’s PR for him.

Jeez. Sports radio in Toronto is really sucking lately.

Gerry (Burlington)
Gerry (Burlington)
March 21, 2011 8:49 pm

Denial: Yup heard some of that interview, I just found it way too much of Kypreos trying to sound like he and Burke are buddies, just way over the top by Kypreos. He tends to this constantly, too me it is him constantly trying to make everyone believe he is this genius hockey mind. Meanwhile all he does is repeat the need for talentless 3rd/4th line tough guys so as to justify his career.

Millard is just a weak host. He tried that question with Burke about Crisis on Ice and as soon as Burke shot him down, the interviewed ended on my radio.

March 21, 2011 9:20 pm

Gerry: agreed. Kypreos does better when he focuses on doing what actually paid the freight in his career, which was not playing hockey, but being an entertainer and understanding his role in the Circle of Life. And it’s the same in his off-ice career. When he understands that his role is really to entertain, he’s fine. When he forgets that and actually starts to believe that he’s an analyst, he comes across like….well, a complete idiot who is 1.5 counter-arguments away from screaming “WELL YOU NEVER PLAYED THE GAME SO YOU HAVE NO OPINION.”

And yeah, you can never go home again and I don’t see why Millard would even want this gig. I guess the money is OK and it’s like being an actor — you take what you can get while you can, because when the gigs aren’t there you’re doing the PA at the seniors lawn bowling tournament and wondering why you were such a dink with your career moves.

Rus Melanson
Rus Melanson
February 18, 2013 1:34 pm

You’ve missed the boat here, in my opinion. “Hockey Live at Noon” should be rated against all the other sleeping pills on the market. How did this boring bullshit ever make it past the CRTC?!?!?

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