Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition


by mike (in boston) [hatemailaccount at g/m/a/i/l/ dot com]


The Rogers/NHL deal


This prompted a great discussion here and elsewhere earlier this week. Lots of good insights and interesting predictions in the comments section. Here are some questions with which I am left:


1. What is the relationship between national rights and respectability?

I get that visibility is a thing, but once you’re established, is that still an issue? I guess I’m just wondering how much of an impact this will have on TSN’s national credibility in hockey. Is Bob McKenzie less credible if TSN only has regional rights? Will fewer people watch their draft shows? Will fewer people tune in to their lunchtime hockey show?  I honestly don’t know.

Several people on blogs I read commented even when SN has Leafs games, they tune away  during intermission breaks. So, people will still have preferences regardless of which network is carrying the game. Does this spill over to people’s wider viewing and listening decisions? I guess we will see how this changes the ratings in the years to come.


2. How much money would have been too much to pay?

Stewart Johnston (TSN CEO) was asked on TSN Drive (11/26) if the price was too high and declined to answer, although he said “we wish Rogers well” after saying TSN came in with a bid that was “aggressive & responsible”. Not sure what that means. Presumably there was a number that was too rich for Rogers’ blood. I wonder how close to that number they came. Tom Hicks of the Texas Rangers paid A-Rod $25 million per year when the reported next highest bid was $16 million.

A related question is: will this financial commitment have an impact in other areas, like the magainze, or the radio station? We will have to wait and see, but the firings earlier this month seem related.


3. How is it in the NHL’s interests to have all its eggs in one basket?

There is a reason the NFL is on 4 networks + the NFL network. This ensures that there will be interested parties willing to bid the price up each time the contract is up for renewal. It seems  obvious that the NHL could have made more money by splitting up the package and giving some games to both Bell and Rogers, overcharging each so that the other side doesn’t get the whole pie. It also seems obvious that it is in the NHL’s interest to keep some games on a national over the air network. Lots of people still don;t have cable, and recent data suggest that more and more people are cutting the cord. This looks like short term thinking by Bettman.


4. How much will Rogers cable packages rise? 

I have no idea about this, but I’m sure people will be grumbling about it on here when it happens.


Cobb County commissioners approve Braves stadium


How can a county justify spending $300 million tax payer dollars without any public referendum? This deal was approved by the county the tuesday before Thanksgiving. Seems rotten to me. Baseball is flush with cash right now.


WGR doesn’t like the Bills in Toronto series


So much bitterness in this post. It’s understandable, but someone over there should remind them that they are claiming to be journalists not a fan-site. The fact that the Bills are still in Buffalo in 2013 with such awful on-field performance and management is a testament to their fans’ dedication. This must suck. But if they have a beef it’s with their owner, their politicians, and the other fans who weren’t coming out in sufficient numbers.


Low Hanging Fruit – Radio + Print Edition


Dear TSN – quit the pity party. It was like a funeral over there this week. Go all in on the NFL and MLB and Euro soccer. If you didn’t have a plan for this scenario then you have only yourselves to blame.


Dear Fan590 – please never have intelligent guests on with Shannon. Cyd Zeigler was on PTS on 11/20 and Shannon ruined it the way he does everything. He constantly cuts off the guest, mutters and mumbles, asks ill-formed questions. I just noticed his tendency to say “Really? Really?” after a guest starts answering. He insists he’s right about whatever dumb thing comes out of his mouth. Here’s an easy policy to follow: don’t book intelligent guests unless Brunt is on.


Dear Toronto Star – please don’t  tempt me to click on a Rosie link. If you want to make the argument that Cherry’s bigoted views don’t belong on the airwaves, I agree. I just won’t listen to the person you assign to report on the royal pregnancy make that argument. I know convergence is the present and future of media, but when you converge garbage you are still left with garbage. Hire a media reporter, or at least let Zelkovich do a one-off piece.


until next time …

mike (in boston)

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