Shoalts Dissects Rogers Hockey Ratings


the big problem is that one-quarter of the way through the NHL’s regular season, Rogers is running around 9 per cent behind the 20-per-cent increase in television viewers it promised advertisers, who were also told there was a commensurate increase in advertising rates. This has the company lagging behind its projections for the revenue needed to make this venture break even at the very least after landing the NHL’s national Canadian broadcast rights for $5.2-billion over 12 years.

Not sure how I missed this article last week, but David Shoalts went to town on the current (8 weeks) state of Rogers NHL package. It’s a really good read for those interested in the world or ratings and advertising.

It’s also a really unique insight into what’s going on inside Rogers:

At least four senior executives at the top of the sales department left in 2014 as a result of the restructuring, and Tomik himself departed at the end of November, giving way to Al Dark, another CBC veteran. Turnover is common in the media sales field, but those familiar with the company say Tomik’s departure was curious since he left so early in the first season of the NHL contract and a year ahead of what was thought to be a three-year mandate. Many of the changes Tomik implemented caused friction between him and the executives affected by them.

Shoalts has a follow up story in the Thursday Globe and Mail:

Understanding the regional blackouts appears to be the No. 1 problem for Canadian television viewers in the first year of the NHL’s national broadcast rights coming under the control of Rogers Communications Inc.

Personally, I don’t think that’s the problem at all. I think the issue is that the number of die hard hockey fans who simply want to watch any game is actually much smaller than people think. The vast majority of fans watch their team, usually their home team and that’s about it. It’s one thing to watch a game of the week plus your team, it’s another to watch games all the time.

I find it interesting that the morning sportsnet numbers are up over TSN, according to Shoalts. I wonder if that’s the carryover from whatever channel was on when you shut it off the night before. In other words, if the tv was on sportsnet when you turned the tv off (following a hockey game) you aren’t changing the channel in the morning when you turn it on and find sports on.

It’s going to be a long time before the Rogers deal can be properly evaluated. Articles like these are fun to read though.

In my opinion by the way, I think Mike Johnson is quietly becoming a good presence in the play by play booth. He’s not overly chatty and provides good insight from my perspective. I prefer listening to him in the booth than in the studio. Thoughts?

I’m a big Bob Elliott fan as you know, but I am puzzled by his most recent story.

The story doesn’t have the natural flow as the typical Elliott story does it and it’s hard to grasp what exactly he is saying.

For example:

Williams said Monday that he had been contacted by someone from Rogers Communications.

The name of the Rogers employee who got the presidential ball rolling down hill and into the public relations gutter remains unknown.

However, Edward Rogers, son of the late Ted Rogers, did call White Sox president Jerry Reinsdorf to ask about hiring Williams during the World Series. He called Williams too.

Then comes this several lines later:

Under new Rogers boss Guy Laurence, both Edward Rogers and his sister Melinda have been removed from the day-to-day operations of Rogers Communications even though they are major share holders in the company.

There’s no real connection or correlation to the points.

Then kind of out of nowhere he throws this into the mix:

Rogers Communications has 28,000 employees working at TV and radio stations, more than 50 magazines, Canada’s largest cable TV service provider, digital cable service, broadband Internet, telecom, wireless, home monitoring and other branches.

Ummmmm… okay so…

“We know that neither free agents Colby Rasmus nor Melky Cabrera were the first Rogers employees to get the ball rolling … both being ex-employees.”

I don’t get it… the story is just plain odd.

It’s obvious that Elliott is a Beeston fan (rightfully so) and that he’s not liking the way Beeston’s being treated by Corporate Canada. I think there are easier ways to accomplish that then the article in the Sun which is really quite odd.


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