Toronto Sports Media Sports Radio Ratings

By TSM

Been awhile but here is the full on ratings review.

Based on the numbers the Fan is enjoying huge success in almost every time slot and both demo’s.  The PPM system sucks.  However it sucks equally for all parties.  It’s also the only system we have.  The truest form of where the stations sit is in ads sold and at what rate.

 

I think TSN has a huge window of opportunity coming this fall when the Leafs move over to TSN half the season and the Fan the other half.  I don’t see the Leafs having a huge impact on the Fan but all of the sudden people may start tuning into TSN when they haven’t before.  The intrigue is what changes, if any does TSN make before Leafs season.  This of course assumes that there will be an NHL season.

Enjoy

 

FebruaryMarchApril
Brady & Lang
25-544.15.56.1
18-341.92.74.1
Mike Richards
25-542.922.1
18-346.73.84.8
Jeff Blair
25-543.74.95.6
18-343.92.43.9
Scott MacArthur
25-543.61.61.2
18-345.91.20.9
Hockey Central
25-5445.45.9
18-343.32.32.2
Blue Lunch
25-5421.10.7
18-343.11.21.2
T&S
25-545.18.28.4
18-342.82.93.3
Bryan Hayes
25-541.10.70.8
18-341.30.71.2
McCown
25-541010.110.1
18-341.91.62.5
Cybulski
25-542.31.91.6
18-343.42.52.3

Photo from here

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Another Steve
Another Steve
May 7, 2012 1:04 pm

Do we have any information on the size of each demographic group? I imagine that the older one is much larger, just from the anecdotal evidence of my kids and students, very few of whom still listen to the radio.

Mike V
Mike V
May 7, 2012 1:14 pm

I thought Tim & Sid’s strength was the younger audience that The Score has targeted for years. Instead they are getting beaten in 18-34 by Jeff Blair?

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
May 7, 2012 1:29 pm

The PPM system sucks. However it sucks equally for all parties.
.

not really … the incumbent has a huge advantage since their station so much more more likely to be the default. the only way to correct for this is with a truly random sample of a significant enough size. there is no reason to believe that a group of 10 people are able to accurately reflect the listening habits of any demographic in a listening area of more than 6 million.
.

that said, i agree that Leafs sharing will be huge for TSN. Once people get in the habit of flipping to 1050 then they might stick around. the best thing TSN could do between now and the fall is get an FM signal.

Daniel
Daniel
May 7, 2012 2:02 pm

“not really … the incumbent has a huge advantage since their station so much more more likely to be the default. the only way to correct for this is with a truly random sample of a significant enough size. there is no reason to believe that a group of 10 people are able to accurately reflect the listening habits of any demographic in a listening area of more than 6 million.”

I agree with you that the ratings system is obviously seriously flawed. But if a show gets similar numbers month after month, I think it’s reasonable to say the PPMs are probably at least approximately correct. But for example, I remember once Blair had like a 10 rating for 18 to 35s followed by a 1 the next time. Clearly there was some goofy small sample size stuff going on there that seems safe to write off. But if McCown keeps getting 10 shares month after month with different groups of people using PPMs, it becomes hard to argue that his numbers aren’t probably at least roughly in that range.

Also – i don’t really see how the PPMs would be harder on TSN than The Fan. PPMs are personal people meters that actually register what a person listens to in a day (correct me if I’m wrong). So if the users were listening to 1050, there would be a record of that whether the station was established or not. It’s not someone writing in a diary and going ‘hm what did i listen to today? Some sports stuff … I’ll just put ‘The Fan’ in.’

Daniel
Daniel
May 7, 2012 2:07 pm

@AnotherSteve – I’m not sure of the sizes, but to the best of my knowledge, most advertisers are much more concerned with the 25-54 demo than the 18-34 one.

alex
alex
May 7, 2012 2:37 pm

H
Have they said how the leafs game will be split?

I can see some confusion if its evrry other game or such.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
May 8, 2012 8:35 am

hi Daniel – I was hoping others would comment on this, but things seem pretty dead around here lately.
.

Here’s my reasoning. I agree that the PPM system can probably attest to McCown’s consistent dominance over time, but I disagree that it can speak to PTS’ relative superiority to other shows. There’s just not enough people being polled to establish how many more people are listening to PTS than Cballs, or by extrapolation, to the FAN rather than TSNR. Similarly, I don’t think that a group of 10 people can tell you anything about the listening habits of a demographic. NOTHING. It’s just not statistically significant.
.

Lastly, the reason I think the FAN has a huge advantage is that PPM catches sound that the wearer is exposed to, as opposed to what the wearer actually tunes in. So, if you’re in a cab or rental car or elevator or walking by a garage etc. it is just much more likely that the PPM receiver will register you as listening to the FAN than TSNR, since the FAN has been in the market for 20 years and is already tuned in on many radios. This has a distorting effect that could only be counterbalanced by a large sample size, and as we all know that’s the fatal flaw of PPM.
.

It is crazy how little info one can glean on PPM, other than the fact that they have been sued in several states for their methodology.

Chris
Chris
May 8, 2012 10:55 am

Completely disagree with Leaf broadcasts helping TSNR in any measurable way. If anything, people may become annoyed that Leaf games are there. Once the sun is setting early (leaf season) TSNR is nothing but static outside of Metro.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
May 8, 2012 12:24 pm

but the Leafs are moving from 640 to both TSN and the FAN, so if people are annoyed then they’ll be annoyed at both stations not one or the other.

i’m really curious how they’ll split the games … week by week? month by month? who gets the playoff games? (… yeah, yeah … i know)

Mike V
Mike V
May 8, 2012 12:43 pm

Who said it’s a group of 10 people? They have given out the PPMs to hundreds of households in the GTA alone. Even when you slice up the sample to a smaller demo, you still get data from more than 10 people.

Chris
Chris
May 8, 2012 1:19 pm

“but the Leafs are moving from 640 to both TSN and the FAN, so if people are annoyed then they’ll be annoyed at both stations not one or the other.”

Mike, the Fan has a substantially better signal than TSNR. For instance, if I’m listening to the Leafs pregame on the Fan, driving north highway 410, I won’t lose the signal once it turns into hwy 10. In the same scenario on TSNR, I’ll either A) lose the signal – or b) there will be so much static I have no choice but to turn it off.

TSNR signal strength is, and will be a major issue for the station.

Too Much
Too Much
May 8, 2012 7:27 pm

It is NOT a sample of 10 people.

It IS a random sample selection for the panel.

You have to keep in mind that this is a niche format. There are “x” number of males in Toronto – how many do you think regularly listen to sports radio? Just because you do doesn’t mean others do.

Marsh
Marsh
May 8, 2012 9:49 pm

It’s all relative, excuses or not. TSN Radio does not appear to be making any inroads versus the FAN.

I wonder what effect if any the BELL takeover of all the Astral stations will have; the will have to divest some in the Toronto and other areas.

Mike S
Mike S
May 9, 2012 12:45 am

The February numbers look strange……………they look lower than expected for 590 in almost every timeslot and higher than expected for 1050…………the March and April numbers look more believable

Here are a few observations:

– the move from Dan Patrick to a local show doesn’t seem to be paying off for 1050 (so far anyway)

– the numbers for Richards appear to be quite a bit higher than in previous months………….if they are accurate I’m thinking 1050 would be pleased with them

– looks like April was another good month for Sam & Ted……………if they keep getting ratings like that it will be very impressive

– I enjoy listening to Hayes’ show but based on the numbers it appears there are not enough other people who agree with me

Julian
Julian
May 9, 2012 7:29 am

Yeah, the numbers for 18-34 seem real strange. My guess is, and other posters have hinted at it is that there’s a real small number of PPM customers in that demo listening to sports. The money gets paid to talent and paid by advertisers based on 25-54 and to a lesser extent 35-54.

If my life’s any indication, most people buying cars, houses, engagement rings, and paying for vacations aren’t between 18-26 or so. So the older demo matters tons more, and TSN is flailing away here.

I agree with the previous comments about Sid and Tim and the younger demo numbers. They don’t make sense, and that’s justification for 590 to even find the morning 18-34 numbers bizarre. It’s good for TSN that they claim they’re winning with a “younger audience”. I want both stations to thrive and succeed because then we get better talent and better things to listen to.

A great debate for this board might be whether even 1050 is a better station with better shows (McCown aside at the other place) than 590 was at the time it was blown up. Stellick and Landrey, Mike Hogan, and Jack Armstrong all are names I won’t miss doing regular generic talk shows and I’d guess the majority of folks agree. Maybe, maybe not.

And I do like Hayes as well, Mike S., those are abysmal numbers so I’m hoping they don’t make a change there. Does he need a co-host? Not sure what will help?

Neal
Neal
May 9, 2012 8:25 am

If that is how they are going to divide the games between the first half and the second half of the season, the Fan wins out.

To be sure, half a season of Leaf games is huge for TSN and a big stepping stone for them but for the Fan it is a bonus to them as they’ll have the Leaf games in the second half (with possible playoff games) and then the Jays season kicks off as well. So be able to have the live audiences and being able to hold them, the Fan wins out hands down.

Daniel
Daniel
May 9, 2012 3:06 pm

The numbers are pretty interesting.

I think you have to say The Fan looks to be doing quite well. I think it makes sense. It’s just a much more compelling station to listen to (during the day) than it used to be (in my opinion). Brady, Blair and Tim/Sid are pretty big upgrades on what used to be there (in my opinion).

TSN looks to be doing a pretty lackluster job. But, I guess these things always take time to grow. I think they’ve made some odd choices. They have two really low profile hosts on from 9 – 4 everyday. And while both seem like solid broadcasters, neither really seem like scintillating, must listen to radio. To be honest, they seem like maybe the kind of hosts you expect to be on weekends/evenings still. I don’t think they’re bad, they just seem a little low key/low profile for those time slots.

Also – I don’t want to insult Argo fans here, but their Argos coverage is such a major misread of this market. I’m not sure what coverage has been like lately, but last year, they probably talked Argos more than the Jays or Raptors. I get that they have the PBP, but the Argos may be the 5th most popular team in Toronto right now. I’ve got to think all the fluff interview pieces with random Argo players they do all the time must be an instant tune out for most. I’m glad the team has coverage, but I really don’t think there’s enough interest right now to sustain those levels.

I was pretty bored of Hogan on The Fan, but maybe they’d have more luck moving Tatti/Hogan into middays? Richards 6-10, Tatti/Hogan 10-2, Cybulski 2-6, Hayes and MacArthur 6 – 10? I dunno.. Tatti/Hogan isn’t exactly the ‘evolution of sports radio’ I guess..

As for Julian’s question – honestly, I think this TSN lineup would give the old Fan a run for it’s money (for me at least). As it is now, there isn’t a TSN show I prefer to The Fan (other than evenings, but I rarely listen then). But I probably would have preferred Richards to Stellick/Landry. MacArthur vs Hogan would probably be a toss up… maybe edge to MacArthur. I’d take Hayes over 2 hours of Hockeycentral or Doug Farraway. The Fan has really upped it’s game since those days. What a boring lineup that was.

Daniel
Daniel
May 9, 2012 3:13 pm

MIB – Maybe I’m not as dismissive of the numbers as you are, but I think I get your overall point, for sure.

“Lastly, the reason I think the FAN has a huge advantage is that PPM catches sound that the wearer is exposed to, as opposed to what the wearer actually tunes in. So, if you’re in a cab or rental car or elevator or walking by a garage etc. it is just much more likely that the PPM receiver will register you as listening to the FAN than TSNR, since the FAN has been in the market for 20 years and is already tuned in on many radios.”

I think this is a pretty big stretch though, to be honest. In the last ten years I’m not sure I’ve ever heard The Fan played in a mall or a store or an elevator – or really anywhere in public! Maybe I’ve heard a Jays game on in a cab a few times? I mean, how often does anyone find themselves in a public place and hear ‘the Fan’ on? I can’t imagine it would be anywhere near enough to affect these ratings.

Daniel
Daniel
May 9, 2012 3:18 pm

“i’m really curious how they’ll split the games … week by week? month by month? who gets the playoff games? (… yeah, yeah … i know)”

I believe I read in the Globe that for TV, the games would be divided almost like a draft lottery. TSN picks April 4th. Sportsnet picks Feb 22 TSN picks October 5th etc’

I assumed radio would be the same?

Plus – once you throw in Raptors games being split, TFC games being split, plus attempts to avoid conflicts with Argo games on TSN and Jays games on The Fan – I bet the schedule will be totally random. Like – ‘Mondays game is on TSN, Wed + Sat are on The Fan, Tues and Thurs are on TSN etc’ kind of thing.

cam
cam
May 9, 2012 8:04 pm

Late to this but what the hell.

For most of April and into the first week of May circumstances prevented me from listening to any sports radio. This week I have had the opportunity to tune in, with the exception of Tim and Sid and Tati and Hogan it has been dreadful. I understand that with McCown’s absence the fan has completely reorganized its lineup but the mediocrity has not been limited to the FAN.

The medium is just laced with uninspired lazy programming using call-ins or rotating in-house analysts or the same stale stable of guests. Essentially the Fan format that was so boring before the tear down. Hayes and MacArthur are bland and uninspired on their own; they are both desperately in need of co-hosts. Blair’s stream of consciousness let me work through a thought process to get to a fucking question is only exacerbated by the stereotypical angry old man presence. God my 90 year old father is less crotchety than that fool.

As for mornings, Brady’ smartest man in the room nasal whining is like nails on a chalkboard – unlistenable while Richards is as listenable as Stellick and Landry were … not very. If memory serves and it often doesn’t, the Dan Patrick move coincides with the drop in TSNR ratings in that slot.

In my limited reasoning the success of Tim&Sid, Brunt/McCown and Tati/Hogan is the chemistry between the hosts as well as the listeners in that time slot. Cox filling in for McCown is infinitely more listenable because he just does not have any chemistry with McCown.

Is the Fan better now; in my opinion, no it is only different. The choice in broadcasters has had some impact but largely on the weekends where the TSN lineup is very strong. These are only my opinions, however I find I listen to less than a quarter of sports radio that I once did.

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