Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

photo credit: the internet

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by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail

 

Good morning sports media watchers. It’s been a quiet couple of weeks as the Leafs season turns to ash, the Raptors play out the string of winning their division, and the Jays try to survive spring training. Here are some quick hits and hot takes to get us through until spring begins in earnest. As always, if there is something I’ve missed drop a link or note in the comments.

 

CRTC News

 

There are few governmental (or arm’s length) agencies more maligned in this country than the CRTC. It keeps our cell phone bills high, our access to American television content low, and arguably frustrates more than it facilitates our lives. But it is also partly responsible for protecting our cultural patrimony, and in an ideal world it would perform an important service looking out for Canadians as we try to avoid being devoured by Rogers and Bell.

 

The first notable CRTC ruling this week was on the issue of exclusive NHL content for Rogers customers who subscribe to GameCentre. As you may have heard, Rogers spent $5.2 billion dollars to partner up with the league over the next 12 years. In order to encourage viewers to switch over to Rogers from Bell, they made some things like camera angles “online exclusives”, to be accessed via an app called GamePlus. Bell complained that this breached the rules requiring large providers to offer and be able to offer access to competitors’ wares. Rogers execs called Bell “crybabies” and argued that without the ability to lure and retain subscribers via exclusive content, they would not be able to recoup their costs. The ruling came in Roger’s favour, and against Bell. James Bradshaw of the Globe has the story.

 

It’s hard to know how to feel about this. On the one hand, it’s great that media companies are looking for ways to add more content. That benefits the hardcore sports fan. The NFL Now app delivers fantastic free highlights packages and interviews. I use it at the gym throughout the football season to catch up on games I missed. The MLB At Bat app is the gold standard for up to the second game updates. It’s hard to remember watching baseball games without one’s iPad open to track pitch locations and other stats. On the other hand, as great as bonus content is, it’s useless if you can’t access it. It’s not hard to see where the puck is going following this ruling. Each side will have its own exclusive content and you’ll have to choose one over the other, when what you really want is access to both.

 

So in the end this ruling on exclusive material is probably bad for the hardcore consumer since there is no way to get access to all of it. Some people may find themselves in the position of needing to choose Rogers or Bell and will use exclusive content as a tie breaker. However most consumers will just stay with their existing provider and grumble that the other side has chosen to deprive them of something they want. If both companies were forced to make all bonus content available to all, the end result would likely be the same in terms of switchers. So all this ruling does is add one more thing for people to be annoyed about. That said, the hardcore sports consumer probably represents a tiny fraction of the overall subscriber base.

 

Question: are you likely to switch to Rogers for access to GamePlus?

 

More CRTC News

 

The second ruling from our regulatory overlords came in the form of a requirement that by late 2016 cable companies offer a “skinny” basic cable package and allow customers to pick small bundles or a la carte channel options on top of that. People have been beating the consumer choice drum for a generation and this is a pretty major development. James Bradshaw again has the story, but warns that this decision may have significant effects beyond customer freedom: “But greater choice could come with consequences: Some customers may pay more, a number of channels will likely die out and substantial revenue losses across the industry could mean job losses and less new content.”

 

I am not competent to speak to the current state of cable bundles nor the value one receives for the cost since I don’t pay for cable. Over to you: What do you pay for your cable? Has it gone up significantly over the last 5-10 years? How eager are you to pick your own channels?

 

The most interesting aspect of this ruling from a sports angle is what effect, if any, this will have on the value of sports rights. If you google “cable sports bubble” you’ll find plenty of recent articles by smart people talking about how broadcast rights are at peak-value because they are PVR-proof and can thus command astronomical rates from advertisers. These same articles warn that as people continue to cut the cord, there is a potential for that value to crater. If this ruling encourages more people to cut down their cable bills then there will be a huge effect on sports rights simply due to the fact that lots of people currently pay for sports channels they never watch. Think of your grandparents who only watch the weather channel and the CBC. Why do they need 10 sports channels? Christine Dobby at the Globe goes into some of the details of the ruling. (Great work by the Globe being all over this story.)

 

I’ll speak for my own case: I pay $8 a month for Netflix and $130 per year for the audio and video of every MLB game. This provides me with more content than I can possibly watch and none of it requires me to pay a monthly cable bill. Most of the NFL games I want to watch are available over the air. I watch some games in bars but overwhelmingly I catch up after the fact using league apps.

 

It’s not hard to see a future where all leagues charge a significant number of viewers directly for access to the games, and customers watch online, on mobile devices, or on their smart TVs via a streaming app. It is hard to see what happens to all the advertising dollars that are currently being funneled to the cable companies who pay for the rights. Do those same dollars just go to the leagues or do some of those dollars get lost since there is less money to be made courting online viewers as opposed to people captive on their couches? If so, does that create an incentive for leagues to prop up the cable model? Think of the recent Rogers/Bell bidding war for NHL rights. You need hungry networks to keep that cash flowing.

 

These are fascinating questions. This will be a story to watch as we move forward. In particular, I wonder how people see the value in paying for Sportsnet and TSN beyond access to the games? Both stations have invested a ton in fancy studios and highly paid personalities to deliver highlight packages and panel shows. What happens to all of that infrastructure if people stop needing sports cable channels to watch sports?

 

Question for you: if you could get your sports content directly from MLB/NFL/NHL/NBA/etc, would you still be interested in paying for cable?

 

Jonas Siegel Stays Home

 

We have spent a lot of time discussing the work of Mr. Jonas Siegel this season. Most people would agree that he does a good job as a beat reporter. I certainly think so. However, he chose to become part of the story on more than one occasion this season. We have debated the merits of those choices at length and there are, I think, reasonable arguments on both sides of both the Kessel and the Rielly incidents.

 

The reason we are talking about Jonas again is that he was not sent on the road with the Leafs on their recent Western trip. This is the first time, as far as I can gather, that this has happened since TSN1050 hired him to cover the Leafs. (I tried to confirm this with people at TSN but my queries went unreturned.) The natural question to ask is: why? The most obvious explanation is that the Leafs season is over, and sending him on the road is a waste of money. But in light of the previous incidents it is also reasonable to wonder if this says something about how TSN1050 views Siegel’s work. (I tried to get a clarification on this question from TSN but queries went unreturned.)

 

The more general question is whether TSN1050 is rethinking the value of having a daily beat reporter who travels with the team. Whether this is an indictment of Jonas or not, the fact is they chose to cut costs rather than have a radio guy on the Western swing. This is one aspect where TSN1050 has a competitive advantage over the FAN. The FAN axed Howard Berger’s old position, which was being filled by David Alter, and has been peeling the audio off the TV side to cover the gap on radio. Chris Johnston has also been appearing on the FAN quite a bit as a Leafs reporter, even though his twitter bio lists his title as “Senior Hockey Writer/Insider”.

 

I wrote at the time of Alter’s firing that this was a curious move for a company that is going all-in on hockey coverage. Why give the competition a valuable point of differentiation? We can debate the merits of having a beat reporter with the team day and night. I can see that in today’s media age this may not look like good value. But compared to what? If I have to choose between listening to another insider or listening to a reporter I know which choice I am making. Especially on the hockey side, the market is saturated with guys who have to give opinions — often several times or for several hours a day. As a listener and a reader, I tune many if not most of these guys out simply because I see them as trying to justify their jobs rather than as delivering discussion-worthy opinions.

 

It’s possible this is a hockey specific issue. Many of the reporters who cover the Jays do some of the best work in the city. For example, Scott MacArthur of TSN1050 and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet are both credible and interesting. Furthermore, there are no real local baseball insiders in the mold of Bob McKenzie (note the correct spelling this week) so there is less pressure for talking heads to compete for “insider” status.

 

Questions for you: should we read anything into Siegel’s March break?Do you care if TSN1050 stops sending him on as many road trips? How many insiders is too many? If you could get rid of one insider from each network, who would it be?

 

Quick Hits

 

Sean Fitz-Gerald has a very informative piece on the impending Pan-Am and Para Pan-Am games. Representative quote: “Once again, it seemed like the Games could not get out of their own way.” I wish these games all the best and it is going to be great for Canadian athletes and their families to compete at home. That said, I could not be less interested in watching or attending any of the events.

 

Matthew Wuest, creator of the universally used hockey website Cap Geek, died this week at age 35 or 36. James Mirtle has a touching blog post on this very sad news.

 

Josh Cohen at Vice Sports picked up the CHL labour story and has a nice summary of the main issues. The question I keep hoping someone will answer is what percentage of players end up receiving full tuition waivers, and what happens to that money if the player does not go to college or university? For me this is the biggest issue if the leagues want to treat their players as student-athletes. If it turns out that few of them ever end up using the scholarship money then that undermines the justification for not paying them a working wage.

 

Serena Williams made an emotional return to Indian Wells. I don’t usually post a lot of human interest stories here, but I can’t get enough of this one.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • A gander at Dean Blundell’s twitter feed this week treated viewers to references to “wet shits” and “blow jobs with teeth”. (Some of those tweets have since been deleted). This trend has been on the rise as the show has settled into itself. I wonder what effect, if any, this will have on the kinds of guests they are able to get.

 

  • Fay Vincent was on PTS (March 16th, 4pm hour) this week. I could listen to Bob talk to Fay for hours. He’s one of my top 5 PTS guests of all time.

 

  • Butch Carter made his return to Toronto radio after being banned from the FAN for ripping Raptors play-by-play man, and long-time FAN employee, Eric Smith. NewsTalk1010 host Barb DiGiulio tweeted this out: “The one and only @TOButchCarter joins me at 8 tonight. We talk about mentoring young athletes, and more.” Did anyone listen?

 

  • If you were on the radio this week and did an Irish accent, you’re part of the problem.

 

  • In the novel Suttree Cormac McCarthy writes: “There are no absolutes in human misery, and things can always get worse.” This more or less sums up my feelings about about non-Brunt PTS co-hosts. Come back Damien! Oh hell, come back Rob Faulds!

 

—–

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 58
  • comment-avatar

    More and more people I know are just cancelling their cable outright. My guess is the CRTC is now just reacting to the cable companies rather than forcing them to do a la carte pricing. How many kids do yo know that just watch everything on their laptop? The next generation of cable subscribers won’t whine about their conflated cable packages and demand a la carte pricing, they’re just not going to subscribe at all. I have a year and a half left on my Rogers subscription which is $95 tax-in ( incl a free one year NHL package). I am finding all I watch is sports and news and not the fishing channel or one of the 600 home renovation shows or ice road hookers so I need to adjust my subscription or get rid of it.

    I will be getting U.S. netflix and I use Apple TV for quality TV shows and quaility/stupid movies. News is much better on the internet than the biased CNN & Fox, CBC etc so I’m strongly considering getting rid of cable save for the most basic package of local channels I guess.

    Maybe Siegel just took a vacation.

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    Bob actually said on-air after interviewing Brunt from Florida that he’s not cohosting as much as people would like…with Reid sitting righ there

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    dogpounder6 years ago

    I cut the cord in 2009 and missed live sports for about 3 weeks.

    I pay for netflix, NFL Gamepass (I think that’s what it’s called,) and MLB’s audio access to each game, so I can listen to the Jays when travelling on business.

    I’ll hit a bar or a buddy’s place for a big game.

    I don’t miss cable at all. And I REALLY don’t miss footing the bill so that the upper crust of society can have “Swamp People” available to them.

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    I’ve wanted and championed a la carte since the late 80s. Never expect to ever get it.

    We now have basic cable with no premium channels. I watch most of my tv via the internet these days.

    I have the MLB app and use a variety of sources for footy coverage (talksport, bbc, nbcsn app, podcasts).

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    Can not see why with all the TV talking heads at every leaf game just seems silly for a radio reporter to be there as well.

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    The Telco’s are most definitely going to raise the cost of internet. When the crtc forces the Telco’s to unbundle this will raise the price of individual stations, which will cause more cord cutting. When consumers cut cords they resort to getting their content online and this is where the Telco’s will lick their chops. Personally when I cut the cord I won’t be one crying about missing live sports. I think most sports are rigged anyways.

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    I got rid of all the cable premium channels and my home phone a long time ago and I don’t miss either. As a matter of fact, most of my friends have done likewise. The two cable giants (Bell and Rogers) are in business with each other and gouge the consumer whenever possible. It is nice to see their wings clipped!

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    Re Siegel: I’ll give TSN1050 the benefit of the doubt here and assume that it really came down to the Leafs coverage just not being all that worthy of the expense right now. If I recall, this sort of scenario would sometimes happen in the past with Rogers in baseball, when Wilner would be kept home from some Jays’ trips, especially those considered meaningless and simply a matter of the Toronto team playing out the string.

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    I thought Wilner always stayed in Toronto in the past, but I could be wrong

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    WestDale Rocks6 years ago

    I work in TV, but not at a sports network. There’s a lot of concern out there, as there should be…especially among the smaller digital stations. No matter what my feelings are on pick and pay, it’s going to be hard watching fellow TV folks losing their jobs. Layoffs and downsizing have been the norm in the industry for awhile now….especially at CTV and CBC. These rulings will accelerate that.

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    What is interesting to me is that cable and network tv has never had great measurement systems. Streaming allows very clear definition of the viewing demo. My suggestion is that this will allow ultra premium prices for content people want to watch and the other not so much.

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    Rob in Aurora6 years ago

    I would never switch providers for a “helmet cam”. Anyone who would…well as they say “a fool and his money are soon parted”….that says it all

    Stop picking on Jonas Seigel. He does fine work. Mark Masters went along with the team. If I am cutting cheques, that would be enough for covering a tanking team playing out the string. (I would ignore your calls too. The implication is insulting to my employee)

    The sooner I can pay for what I watch, the better. I would love to cut the cable.

    Anything on the Fan or Sportsnet is unlistenable/unwatchable to me – I avoid it completely now. Maybe there is some good stuff, I just can’t bring myself to wade through the rest of the septic mash they put on air…Even their TV promos are cringeworthy. Not all of what TSN does is excellent. But compared to what Rogers puts forth – for the most part it is. So if I could get rid of something, it would be Sportsnet
    —TSN Radio needs to replace Naylor – The show isn’t bad at all, he’s simply awful. He’s my choice

    Barb Digiulio is on CFRB? ….who knew?

  • comment-avatar

    Toronto doesn’t need an MLB insider like Bob Mckenzie when you can rely on JP Morosi or Ken Rosenthal. Not sure the market needs it.

  • comment-avatar
    WestDale Rocks6 years ago

    @Sam. I agree. For any station not on the “skinny” package, they’re either either going to have to pony up to buy a ratings hit, or invest in original programming that people will actually watch. Either solution requires big $$$$, and I doubt every outlet will be able to afford that. What is needed is leadership at the station level that provides both creativity and innovation….and an innate sense of what is GOOD and SELLABLE programming. Ten years from now, you’ll probably see VERY expensive premium stations and another tier of lower priced nets. I don’t think there will be a bottom tier….ie, a “dollar store” of TV stations). Surviving in the landscaper will cost a certain amount of money and subscribers.

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    So moving Leafs to Sportsnet from CBC – does that mean you would have had a sports package and not just a basic package to watch the Leafs last night? Leafs were technically still on HNIC but for the first time I can remember, not on CBC.

    Rogers defense of earlier bad ratings was that people didn’t know where to find the games. By putting Leafs on an alternate channel they knew that we would absolutely find the game. Tactical? Drive ratings to the cable sports channel? Plenty of Habs fans in Toronto probably liked the Habs Sharks game on CBC last night. Not me.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb6 years ago

    @ Rob in Aurora
    re; Anything on the Fan or Sportsnet is unlistenable/unwatchable to me

    So I am not alone..i find myself on a Sat/Sun afternoon channel guide just gliding by the sportnet channels and saying to myself that i can find something better elsewhere and always do.To be honest i will go back for Jays baseball with the sound on mute.Baseball,any info you need is pasted on the screen so announcers are just septic filler.

  • comment-avatar
    hockeyfan996 years ago

    The fact that I’ll still have to buy a basic cable package will keep me away. F— them and their basic package. I want 0 packages and no base price, just let me pick my channels! This new ruling does nothing for me. Thanks for nothing CRTC.

  • comment-avatar

    The sum total of my interest in the Pan Am games is how much they’re going to fuck up my drive to the shithole Molson Amphitheatre on Tuesday, July 21 to see Dave Matthews Band. And then how much they’re going to fuck up my drive home so I can drive to Montreal the next day to see them there.

  • comment-avatar
    dogpounder6 years ago

    Lol @ Andrew

  • comment-avatar
    Markhamite6 years ago

    as for myself, I cut the home phone and cable 3 years ago and haven’t looked back.

    Plenty of online content, and it’s not hard to find. We have a dedicated computer hooked to the 55″ in the family room and its all we use.

    I have a Netflix subscription, although I do miss live sports. there is some available online but not as much as I would like. The MLB package sounds interesting (and economical) as I do favour baseball over hockey.

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    If its your thing, the mlb app audio version is only around $20-30 for the year

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    Call me a dinosaur, but I still like my cable. I have the Super Sports Pack that costs $29.95 a month I think, and it gets me every NBA, NHL, OHL, MLB and some NCAA Hoops/Football. A little pricey, but with my OHL broadcasting, and the sports I watch, its well worth the investment.

    As for other topics, I think a team needs a beat reporter for all medians. There’s all sorts of stories that can break during the day, and you can take the pulse of the team. I would like to see more long form interviews like the one that Scott Macarthur got with Colby Rasmus, as well as more podcasting with the beat reporters. I think Siegel’s March Break , well, break was more cost centered than anything. No need to send a beat reporter for a five day road trip with pay, per diem and accommodations for a team like the Leafs going nowhere.

    Butch Carter has been busy promoting his concept of a Canadian Basketball League, and has said that his banning was not related to his criticism. He also not backed down from his words about Eric Smith’s play by play and actually had more to say on it.

    The CHL Labour issue piece, was a decent summary though it contained some errors and vague assumptions. No way that attendance in the CHL is between 5000-11000 like the article states, and he cherry picks the facts about compensation and does not nail down the exact compensation structure in all leagues

  • comment-avatar

    terrific moment on Jays Talk yesterday when Wilner had prospect Devon Travis in studio.

    Caller: “Hi Devon, I’m a huge fan …. not as big a fan as Mike there … but still … big fan”

  • comment-avatar

    Steve – the point about the discrepancy between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in the CHL is raised a lot, and I think it is a good one. Some teams might draw 11,000 but that is probably not the norm. People on the outside point to the handful of rich teams and use that to criticize the league for not properly compensating the players.

    I think the league needs to get out in front of that and start advertising things like median ticket price, median attendance, etc. If they really want to argue that they are a small league, with small teams that are part of the community, then they should show that this is actually the case.

    There is a PR aspect to this labour issue, and in my opinion the CHL has not done a very good job getting out in front and arguing their side of things to the public.

  • comment-avatar
    Markhamite6 years ago

    @ Alex, there are various phone apps that allow you to tune in to any radio station sports broadcast …for free

    It’s the video and the “live” aspect that’s not so easy to get for your chosen sport(s)

  • comment-avatar

    Siegel is a disaster on air. He shouldn’t even be in broadcasting. Obviously someone at TSN is doing Jonas’ dad a favour.

  • comment-avatar

    @markhamite

    Its been my experience having TuneIn app is that live games are generally blocked on it and on most stations website.

    Of course, there are gray places to get around that. 🙂

  • comment-avatar

    Mike:

    I would tend to agree. They have been banging the drum for the whole Amateur Student/Athlete interpretation that for has been mixed in terms of how it is received. That said, the idea of promoting more of the median ticket/attendance data is one that can interpreted either way. For sure it shows the committment to small markets and the role teams play in those markets. On the other side it also shows lends credence to the belief that the CHL is more of a business than they would like to admit.

    The original lawsuit filed in the WHL noted (the McCrimmon Case) the admiral commitment and role models the team was in the community, but also acknowledged that it was indeed a business.

  • comment-avatar

    Can TSN please put something other than highlights and hockey talk on 1 of its 5 channels in the morning. Re run some Aussie Rules or some other random sport or curling just something why have 4 channels with sports centre.

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    I’ve done without cable for two years now and don’t miss it that much. A bit, yes, but I never watched it enought times to justify a $100+/month package. On-line streaming has replaced it, along with post-game highlights on the league web sites (as well as TSN/Sportsnet/ESPN).

    And for the live experience, I still enjoy hearing games on the radio, as I did when I was a kid. AM/FM radio, if you can bear the commercials, is still free. American sports radio is even better. For some reason, their commercials seem to be pretty straightforward, without lame attempts at humour. If the CRTC would start regulating lame commercials, we’d really be getting somewhere. Sirius XM also gets an honourable mention.

  • comment-avatar
    John in Bolton6 years ago

    Well, I might dig a hole here but am I the only one who finds Friedman’s delivery annoying?

    He seems like a knowledgeable guy — or at least he’s opinionated — but he sounds like Snagglepuss.

    “Heavens to Murgatroid! Exit, stage left…”

    I turn the dial whenever he’s on the air…

  • comment-avatar
    Markhamite6 years ago

    while on the subject of cutting cable, an article that does a nice job of summing it up… http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/03/24/cutting-the-tv-cord-call-the-anti-cable-guy_n_6929508.html

  • comment-avatar

    I won’t be leaving cable anytime soon. As a fan of dozens of different leagues and sports, there is no possible way for me to find quality streaming options to watch live games, on demand or get highlights.

  • comment-avatar

    Did anyone here about Bell Media President Kevin Crull, ordering CTV not ever to interview CRTC big wig Mr Blaise, Krull went as far as threatening jobs. The article below discusses how Mr Blais was booked for an interview and just minutes befor air time CTV cancelled Mr Blaise. This Kind of censorship by Bell Media is just silly and simply adds to some of the conspiracy theories that are out there that pertain to media. They never feed you what you need to know, they SELL you what they want you to know.

    http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/bell-head-meddled-in-news-coverage/ar-AA9Yarg?ocid=iehp

  • comment-avatar

    Neil – James Bradshaw at the Globe (15% owned by BCE) has some awesome reporting on this story. Can’t wait to write about it this weekend.

  • comment-avatar

    @Mike(in Boston)
    Appearentely it might be his last story if he doesn’t tow the BCE/Kevin Crull line in the story.

  • comment-avatar

    Thanks MIB look forward to the post.

  • comment-avatar

    HUGE in length article in the sun about jeff oneill of leafs lunch.
    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2015/03/24/22306646.html

  • comment-avatar

    I thought this week’s column would focus more on the Chris Borland story and less on Jonas Siegel…………mike in boston definitely likes to keep us guessing, which is definitely not a bad thing

    Mary Ormsby was on the PTS roundtable last Friday for the first time in a long time………..I believe our friend Ami Angelwings is a big fan of hers so hopefully that will inspire Ami to start posting comments on this site again on a semi-regular basis

  • comment-avatar
    (Another) Andrew6 years ago

    Caught the tail end of PTS tonight. It sounded like McCown and Reid were arguing that it was stupid to be against throwing burgers on to the ice. One of them even said now that Sens fans were excited about the team denying them this fun would somehow curtail built-up fan excitement…momentum…or something. I thought watching your hockey team win was the fun thing. Destroying food – especially from a former living thing – like that has to be ground zero for the drooling loogan demographic. Yet McCown and Reid are not only fully on board with this they are sneering at those against it. At least we’ve finally found something sports-related that McCown actually cares about.

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    Drumanchor6 years ago

    @Another Andrew. Well said, sir.

    I also caught that segment and, at the risk of piling on, couldn’t help but shake my head at the asinine comments made by Ken Reid. At one point, he sanctimoniously went on about how the Senators new policy (of discouraging people from throwing burgers on the ice and recommending that they donate to a local food bank) was a major “buzz killer”.

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

    (Also, kudos to you for actually bringing up a very valid point. Isn’t it nice to live in such an opulent society where mentally challenged humans can revel in the act of actually throwing food on a professional playing surface? Like you, I can’t help but wonder how cows feel about it.)

  • comment-avatar

    Funny how Lanny McDonald felt he was thrown “under the bus” by Bob on a valid question. We’re not the NFL or the MLB is a poor excuse to explain the veil put on the HOF voting process

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    Bob Mcowan needs to retire, he has the ability to throw a great interview but that’s about it. Bob has no current indepth sports knowledge. He clearly lacks knowledge of today’s teams,rosters and games and offers generalized opininions i’e “He’s just a guy”. When your show is simulcast on TV it makes it a lot easier for viewers to pick up on flaws, however on the radio side it’s not that hard either. You here long pauses to questions, and anyone that knows TV or radio knows those pauses are when the host is being prompted by the producer. This seems to be the case with Bob a lot. He’s getting annoying It Bugs me that people are fooled by this loud and ignorant act of his which is clearly his way to sell the show as oppose to using the in depth knowledge of sports he doesn’t have. IF anyone is on the blog who works for the fan or Rogers Please Please Please get rid of the five o clock segment where Bob is just talking about nothing. It’s horrible. I hate hearing about Bob’s personal life or these nonsense discussions he has with his co-host.

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    Claire A Fye6 years ago

    “and anyone that knows TV or radio knows those pauses are when the host is being prompted by the producer”

    Where do you get that Neil? There isn’t a producer at Sportsnet who would dare prompt McCown like that. He’s always done that pausing thing, and I would guess he believes it makes him appear more thoughtful. I think it’s far more likely he’s trying to come up with a question, and over the years that has become more difficult because he never does any homework.

  • comment-avatar

    @JP – Shannon was terrible in that segment. Lanny McDonald was *crazy* defensive responding to pretty fair/non confrontational questions from McCown. Essentially being like ‘how dare you suggest we be transparent in our voting’. You could hear McCown getting riled up (which would have been interesting), but instead Shannon did his buddy/buddy, ‘everything about the NHL is great, don’t question it’ schtick and asked McDonald some hokey question about playing in some ‘barn’ in his junior days in Alberta. Blech.

    Seriously, I know everyone is probably sick of reading this sentiment…but good God. John Shannon should not be a sports radio co host. Nevermind good sidekicks like Brunt or Friedman, I’d take Reid or Cox over Shannon easy.

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    Weird hearing Tim & Sid do their final week on The Fan. As you listen, it’s hard not to think the whole thing seems like it might be a mistake.

    I think it’s possible Blundell might work out for the Fan (but jury’s out), and Brady & Walker will probably be good…. but Tim & Sid really have a unique thing going on that seems to attract a pretty different crowd than a lot of the other shows. I figured eventually they’d take over mornings or even for McCown at some point.

    Maybe this will raise Sportsnet’s TV profile … but it’s hard not to feel like The Fan is definitely making an overall downgrade here. Even if they had asked them to do radio AND tv… maybe shorten the radio show to an hour or something. I dunno! Just seems like they’re messing with a good thing.

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    By no means am I a fan of Shannon but there is not a chance I would take Reid over Shannon as PTS co-host………..having said that I would take just about everyone (Brunt, Friedman, Grange, Perkins, Cox, Madani, Zeisberger, Blair, Sam and/or Ted, etc) ahead of Shannon

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    OMG, the long good-bye. I remember Johnny Carson’s last few shows (dating myself) and even he didn’t have the amount of bullshit self gratification that Tim and Sid are shoveling.

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    Daniel – Reid vs Shannon in a showdown for the Show Wrecker championship belt would certainly be one for the ages. I thought no one could touch “vroom-vroom” Shanny but Reid has made such a big impression in such a short time. Who knows how bad he’ll be in a few years?

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    Not a huge fan of either Reid or Shannon on PTS. But for me, the Show Wrecker belt holder (by a wide margin) is Butch Carter.

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    Rogers is under the crazy idea that Bob and only Bob can be the permanent host of PTS. They need to fire his ass and hire Mark Hebscher. Hebscher has a strong rep/brand, knows his profession and also has a passion for it – unlike Bob who goes through the motions, collects a huge paycheck and couldn’t-give-two-shits about sports.

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    unfortunately Hebscher has also burned every damn bridge in the industry.

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    I think a Reid/Shannan/Butch Battle Royale for the belt is appropriate….we eventually got mayweather/pacquiao so maybe there is hope that this epic match-up could occur?

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    @MIB – So true. Although for me Shannon is on a special level.

    I don’t want to come across as mean – It’s just so strange to me that there seems to be a 100% consensus among listeners (on this board at least) that Shannon ruins the show when he cohosts. Yet he’s been there for years. Why? Why do they think this works? Mind boggling. (I think he’s totally fine as a guest or analyst… I’m just talking as a cohost here).

    On the Dan Le Batard Show, they have an occasional cohost (Greg Cote) who is an older guy, and a bit like Shannon. But they make his appearances work by having Dan point out when Cote is derailing the show. They even have a stinger that says ‘SHOW KILLER’ they play when Cote ruins a conversation. All good natured, and actually hilarious.

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    Cote (from when i used to lebatards show back a few years ago) always seems like he was in on the joke and his fuddy duddy persona was a gimmick, making them sort of like TK and Wilbon.

    ——

    What a train wreck to end the roundtable, with cox, tim, sid and others crashing the studio. They seemed to imply that some of them were tipsy, coming from the tim and sid “goodbye party.”

    Cox and Madani were sniping at each other pretty good.

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    Sam in Scarb6 years ago

    All nice and fine but,Shannon has lapped the field as the all time “Show Wrecker”
    Reid,Carter both horrible no doubt and also don’t forget Cox a true “whole” to be sure.
    In a poll of the 4,Shannon laps the field and does not even break a sweat.

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    I don’t really care for Shannon on PTS but I enjoyed him on Tim and Sid they knew how to get the best out of him.

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