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. Things are still quiet in media land, but there are a few stories worth discussing. Some of these have been stuck in the queue for a while so apologies for the old news. As always, feel free to discuss anything else that is on your sports mind. Also, thanks to the reporters who reached out privately to weigh in on the recent FHRITP incident and how the media reacted to it. Onwards …

 

When Networks Compete, We Win

 

In the last edition of See&Heard we had a very good discussion about the difference between objective home-town coverage and unabashed homerism. While there is general consensus that rooting for the team you are supposed to be covering undermines credibility, there was some interesting debate about the local media’s ability to remain fully objective and whether that is even something readers/viewers/listeners want.

 

Beyond this debate, there is an additional wrinkle when a media outlet has a financial relationship with the team it is covering. The most basic case is being a rights holder. When a network pays for the privilege of broadcasting the games, on radio or TV or streaming, they open up the perception that their coverage will be team friendly. This is merely a presumption though, and it can easily be overturned by the body of work. For example, WEEI in Boston carries the Red Sox games on radio and no one would accuse the station of going easy on the Red Sox. An even more extreme recent example of evading network bias occurred when ex-player turned NFL Network commentator Heath Evans blasted Goodell. An example on the other end of the spectrum is ESPN and its decision to back out of a documentary shining light on the league’s concussion issues. If you thought all of this sounds highly conspiratorial and that leagues don’t retaliate against networks, there is a recent story coming out of Bristol that the NFL has punished the network with a lousy slate of games for not keeping its employees on a shorter leash when criticizing the commissioner.

 

The issue of rights-holder objectivity is a difficult one for networks and journalists to manage, but the problem is even more acute when the team and the rights-holder are owned by the same company. That, of course, is the state of affairs with the Blue Jays and Sportsnet both being owned by Rogers. In the above examples, a journalist working for a network can plausibly assume that if the team tries to apply pressure, the boss at the network will have his or her back. That presumption is heavily weakened when your boss’ boss ultimately works for the team. Each person working at the magazine, the radio station, the website, and the television station has to find his or her way through this issue when talking JaysTalk. Many handle that challenge well, and some less so. To their credit, Rogers has invested heavily in baseball coverage across all its platforms and there is a lot of choice at the network.

 

The interesting development this week came with the news that TSN1050 is expanding its baseball coverage significantly. Program Director Jeff MacDonald sent out this pair of tweets:

 

 

This is a very interesting move on many levels. The most interesting angle is that TSN is investing in coverage of a competitor’s product. Talking up the Jays means generating interest and once interested, people will tune in to 590 or Sportsnet for the games. This outcome is not news to TSN, so they obviously think there is value in being a credible baseball destination even if that means losing people while the games are on. (In a way this mirrors their current approach to hockey, since Rogers controls the games for the next decade.) But this is the first real breaking of the ranks we have seen of broadcast rights dictating personnel decisions. For example, the fact that Sportsnet doesn’t show any CFL games is reflected in the the number of people and the amount of time they spent talking about the CFL.

 

The other interesting angle is the profile of the people they have brought in. Keri, Law, and Shulman all have significant presence and brand value in the U.S. Hayhurst is less of a national figure right now, but is still well known outside of Toronto for his best-selling books. This makes the contrast with Sportsnet very clear. While Sportsnet boasts a cadre of “insiders,” TSN has an impressive roster of “outsiders.” TSN’s experts follow baseball league wide, while most of Sportsnet’s experts only watch the Jays. This speaks to the objectivity issue, but also to credibility when comparing the Jays to other teams in the league. If Law says a Jays prospect is overrated, I’m going to take his opinion seriously.

 

There are a couple of other points of differentiation worth mentioning. First, Hayhurst is a Sportsnet castaway. The common theory — basically confirmed by Hayhurst — is that he was jettisoned for being overly critical of the team. That reinforces the perception that Sportsnet has a specific overarching approach behind its Jays coverage. Second, despite the team’s success Wilner is still not being sent on the road with the team. By contrast, TSN has sent Scott MacArthur to every away game for the past several years. Having a daily radio-focused beat reporter doesn’t matter to some people, but Scott has delivered some stellar interviews and in my opinion his work reflects the value of having a guy in the room every day.

 

Setting aside the generalists, here is how things stack up when you tally up the baseball insiders: (omissions are accidental not intentionallet me know if I forgot anyone)

 

Sportsnet

 

  • Buck/Tabby
  • Jerry/Joe
  • Wilner
  • Zaun
  • Jamie Campbell
  • Shi Davidi
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith
  • Arden Zwelling
  • Kevin Barker
  • Occasional radio hits from Ken Rosenthal
  • Seemingly daily hits from JP Morosi
  • Once in a blue moon … Bob Elliott?
  • Tao of Stieb?

 

TSN

 

  • Scott MacArthur
  • Dan Shulman
  • Keith Law
  • Jonah Keri
  • Dirk Hayhurst
  • Steve Phillips
  • Gregor Chisholm
  • Richard Griffin

 

From the standpoint of the consumer, this is a veritable cornucopia of baseball analysis. There ought to be something in there for every taste. Sportsnet obviously has the advantage in terms of numbers, but how many Barkers do you need to add up to equal a Shulman?

 

Oh, also, Sportsnet features baseball takes from this guy:

 

 

One last thought: it will be very interesting to watch how TSN approaches the start of the Leafs season. Hockey has been their bread and butter forever, and if the Jays are competitive that will cut in to Kadri’s weight talk.

 

Over to you: what do you think of TSN’s calculated investment in baseball? Will you tune in? Will this pay off in terms of ratings?

 

CBC Blows It

 

The Pan Am and Para Pan Am games were a success by many metrics. If you were an athlete, congratulations on your achievement. If you were a volounteer, congratulations on being awesome for the most part. If you’re a Torontonian or a commuter, let’s all rejoice that this particular traffic nightmare is over. If you’re a voter, let your local politician know that we have no interest in hosting the Olympics until we have proper transit infrastructure.

 

The one story I tried to monitor over the course of the games was how the newly impoverished CBC would handle the coverage. As you may recall, Gary Bettman decided to go all-in with Rogers and thus CBC lost one of its biggest money makers in HNIC. The main question with which we were left is how this would affect the CBC’s ability to put on a world class broadcast of an event as complicated as a Games. Things were going smoothly until both the men’s baseball and women’s basketball gold medal games were left off live television.

 

Larry Walker, the Canadian Moose (apparently), was not happy:

 

 

How does something like this happen? Well the obvious explanation is lack of resources. But is that the actual explanation?

 

Opinion seems to be split on that. Here’s Chuck Thompson, CBC’s head of public affairs: For sure, resources are a factor in what we’ve been able to provide. But our commitment to amateur sport is as strong as ever.” That quote is from Sean Fitz-Gerald’s excellent piece that garnered over 700 comments from National post readers.  

 

The head of CBC sports, Trevor Pilling,  tried to pour cold water on this but essentially confirmed that there wasn’t enough money available: “Resources aren’t specifically an issue. It’s not about that, it is about the planning, It is about making good, sound business decisions. We have parameters that we need to stay within, no matter what we’re doing.” That’s from Raju Mudhar’s even more excellent piece.

 

The idea of the taxpayer funded CBC competing for professional sports rights with Bell and Rogers seems ludicrous. That said, I do think sports are part of the culture of a country and so should be supported by and through public institutions. So if resources were a factor for the CBC then we need to think about how we want things to go next time around. If we agree with Larry Walker, what are we going to do about it? There are so many important issues on the agenda for the upcoming federal election, and the funding of the CBC is pretty far down that list. But I think it belongs on that list.

 

Quick Hits

 

Vice has a great story about the rise of “ultras” in the MLS. We have covered the connection between racism and soccer at length here. This is a good long read. Also, consider having a read of my interview with Gareth Wheeler where we go into some of these issues in depth.

 

Steve Simmons has a good story on how AA managed to get Josh Donaldson to Toronto.

 

NFL player James Harrison, who was arrested in 2008 for hitting his girlfriend (charges dropped after a plea), made parenting news for taking away his children’s trophies.

 

Apparently there are some turf wars going on in Leafs blog land. Jeff Veillette writes about why everyone should just get along. Can anyone fill me in on what on earth this is all about?

 

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • The discussion of the Kane rape allegation has been varied. I’ll have more to say on this when more facts are available. I heard a good debate between Bryan Hayes, Bruce Arthur, and Bomani Jones on the allegations and how they relate to the NHL’s risible claim that their players don’t need a code of conduct. (TSN DRIVE, August 10, Hour 3)

 

  • Eric Macramalla of TSN (and other outlets) is killing it with the Brady stuff. I also highly recommend SI.com’s Michael McCann. We’re in the home stretch of this story and here’s one thing to keep in mind. Procedural injustice is wrong regardless of how you feel about the accused. MLB tried to kick A-Rod out of the league without any respect for their own rules and precedents. They thought they could do it because no one likes A-Rod. That’s not how the law works. The NFL is guilty of doing the same to Brady. Even if he did everything they claim he did, the punishment is way out of proportion.

 

  • Word is that Nelson Millman will be winding up his tenure as interim PD at the FAN soon and someone new will be in place for the fall book. Job #1a has to be fixing the PTS co-host rotation. We all agree that Brunt needs to be full time, but that won’t happen. I think a rotation of Brunt, Madani, and Perkins could work. I’ll take Brunt, Madani, and Cox if necessary. Anything but another year of Reid and Shannon. If that is Job #1a, what should Job #1 be?

 

  • Brady and Walker both do good jobs running the show solo while the other is away. That said, as much as I enjoyed Brady’s segment on when it is OK to cry at work, the show is stronger when they are together.

 

  • Dean Blundell finds invasions of privacy very funny. Good to know.

 

https://twitter.com/ItsDeanBlundell/status/634790421948932096

 

—–

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

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MattK
MattK
August 22, 2015 11:13 am

With that baseball lineup at TSN I’m gonna have to listen to it more often. TSN I’d listen to Law, Shulman, Chisolm, Hayhurst, Keri, Macarthur vs SNET with Nicholson-Smith, Davidi, Zwelling and Blair.

I wonder if Sid is embarrassed by his hot take tweets if not he should be, pure garbage clown.

rob j
rob j
August 22, 2015 11:14 am

Definitely need to figure out the cohost chair on PTS but unfortunately also start honing in on the replacement for the host. Is there anyone at the FAN now who can take over?

Anthony
Anthony
August 22, 2015 11:16 am

‘Oh, also, Sportsnet features baseball takes from this guy’

Lets also remember this wise piece of wisdom
https://twitter.com/Sid_Seixeiro/status/625445832406532096

Followed up by 2 weeks of ‘Jays are awesome tweets’.

He’s just not very good on Twitter.

I just don’t understand the appeal. Three days ago he was trolling everyone about how great the Jays are, now this? Its along the ‘look at me’ mentality that he has on the radio, the loud noises and voices gets noticed. I miss guy from The Score, he’s turned into a parody of himself.

Alex
Alex
August 22, 2015 11:16 am

I think the three best baseball guests are keri, hayhurst and shulman, followed by morosi and rosenthal,

All from outside TO proper. Perhaps my opinion is skewed since i am also not in the city.

Blair is certainly the best host for baseball talk.

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)
August 22, 2015 11:20 am

TSN completely blows away Sportsnet’s Jays coverage with a few exceptions, being Shi and Jerry. There would be a mercy rule instituted after 5 innings if they ever faced off that way. TSN really had no choice, as the Jays are not going anywhere, with the odds of them at least being in the wild card playoffs now comfortably over 90%. Quality over quantity with TSN, and I am happy to make the switch back and forth between games and analysis.

WouldStaley93
WouldStaley93
August 22, 2015 11:23 am

I’ve actually noticed in terms of sports radio baseball coverage TSN 1050 has been light years ahead of Sportsnet 590 The Fan.

I like the rotation whenever Gregor Chisholm from MLB.com or Steve Phillips or Dan Shulman or Richard Griffin come on with Dave Naylor on TSN Drive or Mike Richards In The Morning it’s must listen to radio. Even if Jim Tatti and Mike Hogan are doing Game Night sometimes they get Scott Ferguson who was the guy Wilner replaced at 590 years ago.

It’s been a great run and I hope the team keeps it up. Getting Jonah Keri is a great get he knows his stuff like Dirk Hayhurst.

On 590 in my opinion Kevin Barker and Jeff Blair are horrible. Again my opinion.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
August 22, 2015 11:36 am

I guess I am not really qualified to judge the quality of the Jays talk. Largely because I am not much of a baseball fan and don’t follow the Jays. Which takes me to my point. I rarely turn on the Fan now. When I do its all Jays, all the time. For clarity, sure I understand the heightened coverage. The team is hot and for the first time in 20+ years they look to be in the playoffs. But does that mean saturation coverage? I didn’t listen to much of PT last night as much as I tried. I filipped back to it several times. To the best of my knowledge it was 3 hours of nothing but Jays, as every time I flipped over that was the subject. At one point I heard Bob almost fumble for another Jays topic. So, I am pretty much listening to TSN now when I tune in sports radio. That said, they also have gone a bit heavy imho. Guess it’s just not the right time to be a non fan. And thankfully TuneIn gives me lots of other options.

I certainly have to agree the CBC did a poor job on the Pan Am front. Not that I was pining for a daily dose, but they could have covered some if the more high profile events. Guess the budget is tighter than even I imagined.

MattK
MattK
August 22, 2015 11:42 am

@Steve Now you know what it’s like to not care about hockey 🙂

Mitch
Mitch
August 22, 2015 11:52 am

Isn’t it remarkable that Rogers spends $$$$ on content and yet TSN continues to be miles ahead of them on the actual coverage of the product part. If you can’t beat ’em, buy them’ is certainly Rogers mentality, but at the same time you would think they’d be able to get good talent as well. It makes NO sense that the current TSN baseball team is THAT much better than Sportsnet, but it is.
The trend will always continue…watch the game on Sportsnet, but flip to TSN for post coverage.

Darrell
Darrell
August 22, 2015 1:16 pm

Sportsnet 590 The FAN are apologists for the team. I am not saying that the team has not improved significantly since the July 31 deadline. However, it is just nauseating that you never really hear any FAN personality say anything negative about the team where it is warranted.

Jerry Howarth was blasted by some fans when he suggested that Jose Reyes play needed to improve.

TSN Radio has not been around as long as the FAN 590 but they are definitely a much better improved lineup than the butt kissing Rogers group.

Anthony
Anthony
August 22, 2015 1:27 pm

‘Jerry Howarth was blasted by some fans when he suggested that Jose Reyes play needed to improve.’

Howarth was blasted for using the term ‘streetball’, no one really questioned his right to do so, but the content of what he said, that Reyes played on the streets of the Dominican, was unfair, he grew up playing in a professional baseball academy, thats what they do down there. Most online questions where about the fairness of that term.

‘it is just nauseating that you never really hear any FAN personality say anything negative about the team where it is warranted.’

Its tough to come up with negatives on a team that’s 14-4 in August and made up 7 1/2 games in the loss column against the Yankees. I understand the questions, and if the team was 4-14 your comment is warranted, but when they’ve been the best team in baseball, people will be positive, they are on TSN too, often.

Darrell
Darrell
August 22, 2015 1:29 pm

Sorry Anthony I stand corrected. Yes granted they are playing well now but even when they were slop and embarrassments the Rogers idiots would constantly praise the team like they had won 25 World Series titles.

William D
William D
August 22, 2015 2:01 pm

I think there is alot to the fact that TSN has amped up its baseball coverage it speaks to the fact thet there is an inevitability that another baseball team will be put in Canada. The cities that obviously stand out right now is Vancouver and Montreal, Oakland and Tampa are the likeliest to be relocated as they have been in a forever attendance talespin. It may be in the distant future, but I think Bell is simply licking their chops. When the topic of a potential Montreal baseball team owners comes up, you’ll often hear Blair say, MLB does not want another publically traded company as an owner, I’ll trust Jona Kerri when he said a couple of days ago,that Bell is laying in wait, as they are the front runners. it may be far off but Bell isn’t going out of business any time soon. I doubt manfred is going to tell Mr Cope we don’t want you in our league.

In regards to the marriage between rights holders and leagues. I have to give ESPN Kudos, They absolutely tore a strip off Johnny Manziel and Roger Goodell regardless of their relationship. ESPN constantly ripped Manziel and called him an alcoholic and took the NFL and Goodell to task for the Adrian Peterson Drama.

The bottom line is that all this phony bias reporting and league/team ass kissing will come to a hault, as we will likely see a shift in rights to companies like Netfix, Google, Yahoo. At that point leagues will be slave to the internet.

I think the way Bell is setting up shop for this jays stretch run and beyond(Pre and Post game jays coverage) is brilliant especially when you have the great experts. It’s a matter of time befor the whole Wilner nonesense of 590 gets killed by real post game analysis from real personailities.

Anthony
Anthony
August 22, 2015 2:37 pm

@Darrell

No worries, debate is fun, as long as its respectful, which it is. In the past it got personal with another poster, which was unfortunate.

I travel alot so I listen to alot of online podcasts/on demand baseball coverage from ESPN, TSN and The Fan. This year the narrative on the Bluejays has always been that they are way better then their record due to the massive run differential. Guys like Buster Onley, Jonah Keri et all have all been suggesting that the team is better then their record. We are finally seeing it now, spurred on by the acquisitions at the deadline, but no one was suggesting that they where bad.

My issue has been that if anyone on the fan suggested what Onley/Keri suggested, they where called homers on here and on social media. I guess I’m not sure why it was ok for the ESPN guys to suggest it, but when someone appears on Rogers media and says something similar, its defaulted as ‘homerism’. I think alot of people have an issue with Rogers, which blinds them to any honest critique of their media. Sure there are ‘fans’ like Wilner et all, but most of the same comments that have been made by national broadcasters south of the boarder without a peep of ‘homerism’ accusations. If ESPN is saying the same thing, then are they ‘homers’ as well?

Mitch
Mitch
August 22, 2015 3:28 pm

To Anthony and Darrell’s point:

Sportsnet is actually tolerable now because their ass kissing, blind love for the team makes sense since the team is dominant. Listening to those homers praise their colleagues is understandable and can be backed up with stats.
Over the last few years however, their sycophantic ways have been unlistenable, because it made no sense given the club’s pedestrian performances.
And any time they dared say anything? Well, Garfoose didn’t last and Jerry’s bout with laryngitis sure came at a convenient time didn’t it.
Point is, Anthony and Darrell, you’re both right 🙂

mario
mario
August 22, 2015 3:51 pm

Thanks for another great read MIB. Very interesting on all the different takes when ever topics like this come up. I suppose it comes down to i think on how much a person likes or dislikes a certain broadcasting company . Both have quality people on Jays coverage some better and some worse, thumbs up to Bell for covering a team in which its Rogers owns and controls in all aspects. I would hope Bell buys into a major league / team soon and see how well they operate , manage coverage, payroll , fans expectations and then what Rogers will do. Until then this debate will continue.

Rob J
Rob J
August 22, 2015 4:16 pm

Im a huge critic of the homerism by the Rogers analysts but wow Arash Madani laid out a pretty brutal future for the Jays during the 6:00 hour of the PTS roundtable Friday. Worth a listen

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
August 22, 2015 5:06 pm

I rarely turn on the Fan now. When I do its all Jays, all the time.

That was me until a couple of weeks ago. Now I don’t even bother turning it on. I quite literally spent more time reading this post and the comments than listening to The Fan this month. I’m not a baseball hater either. I have it on the background when there’s nothing else on TV (ie most nights) and when things are happening (ie players in scoring positions or late in close games) I pay attention. But now it’s just total Jays saturation coverage on The Fan that’s even worse than Leafs coverage in winter. I suppose with no other major North American sports leagues active at the moment it makes things worse. Hopefully they’ll cover the NFL as much as they normally do when the season starts.

Daniel
Daniel
August 22, 2015 7:10 pm

Don’t really understand how you guys can say the ‘clearly nobody at Rogers is allowed to criticize the Jays’ line, when in the same post we’re all ripping Rogers employee Sid Sexeiro for being reactionary and hyper critical of the Jays.

I don’t like Rogers any more than anyone else, but they’re blatantly not telling their hosts not to be critical. Just scroll through Sid’s timeline. Brady too.

Daniel
Daniel
August 22, 2015 7:22 pm

Great post, Mike!

I think it’s great that TSN is upping their baseball coverage. It’s great to have an alternative, and be able to flip and hear good Jays coverage. I think The Fan’s hosts are probably better on baseball (Blair/Brunt especially), but TSN clearly has the better guests at this point.

Considering the ratings Sportsnet is getting for the Jays, they really don’t seem to invest that much in on air baseball talent. It won’t last forever, but the Jays are getting HNIC type numbers with a bare bones broadcast crew, meanwhile Sportsnet must have 50 hockey experts kicking around. Cliff Floyd was great when he filled in, maybe he can be brought in. Or bring Hayhurst back and put him on TV. They really ought to up their game with all these eyeballs suddenly on them.

I think TSN does deserve kudos for covering a Rogers property. However, if they WEREN’T talking Jays right now, I’m not really sure what they would be talking about. The Jays are super hot and nothing else is going on.

Mike, I see what you’re saying, butI’m not sure I agree with your Rogers/CFL analogy. At least locally. I think the case could be made that The Fan doesn’t talk Argos simply because interest in the Argos may be at an all time low. I mean, it’s not like they’re talking a lot about the Toronto Rock either. I’m sure the fact that it’s a TSN property doesn’t help, but also… they really doesn’t seem to be a demand for it. If there was buzz around the Argos and The Fan ignored it, then I think you’d have a point.

Daniel
Daniel
August 22, 2015 7:25 pm

RE why Hayhurst was let go..

I remember Hayhurst tweeted last year that he wasn’t brought back because Rogers spent all their available cash on the hockey broadcasts, and had to cut down on baseball. ( I don’t have the exact quote, but that’s essentially what he said). Maybe he’s said otherwise somewhere else, but he made it seem it was more of a money issue that an issue of him being critical.

MattK
MattK
August 22, 2015 7:35 pm

My problem with Sid isn’t that he criticizes the Jays it’s that he just make troll comments and he is just looking for the Retweet or the Clip that will go viral or they reply on tv.

yaz
yaz
August 22, 2015 7:45 pm

I like Jeremy Taggart but he has to at least attempt to have somewhat of a radio voice. The tinny, I-don’t-give-a-shit voice has gotta go. He doesn’t have a great voice but Howard Stern’s used to be a lot worse too. Someone on the engineering side has to give him a hand and Jeremy has to remember he is in an aural format and stop with the whiny nasal crap.

I’m about done with the stand-in summer sports radio season and the all Jays, all the time it has become. TSN Radio has been beating the Jays to death but TSN TV most certainly has not. The morning after 3.1 million watched Tulo’s 8 minute at bat vs the Yankees, TSN TV’s morning sports barely mentioned the Jays. Hearing Jays is one thing, seeing is another. There most definitely is editorial control of the Jays on the TV side by BCE to not pump a Rogers product.

William D
William D
August 22, 2015 8:00 pm

Guys,

I think where blowing it out of proportion about Arash Madani’s comments yesterday on the show. I think it’s unfair to catagorize his comments as negative as oppose to Rational thinking. He was simply trying to make the point that, everyone is trying to all of a sudden put Anthopolis in the presidents chair because of a good stretch of Baseball, forgetting that this team has not yet made the playoffs. Next year they could be faced with loosing Price, Dickey, Burhle, have nothing in the farm and have a very inexperienced pitching staff including a pitcher just coming off a series injury. I’m not sure how that equates to negativity as oppose to the cold hard truth. Alex himself would probably tell you that these moves can blow up just as the Marlins deal did. I think the word negative has to be put into the right context. Arash was simply saying nothing is as written in stone as the homers would like to think it is.

William D
William D
August 22, 2015 8:22 pm

@Anthony

I respect your viewpoint

however

I’m not sure the Homers that work for the blue jays broadcast are the innocent typical homers you’re making them out to be. The type of homerism you hear on our local broadcast is stuff like John Gibbons cheerleading or Buck getting ready to scream homerun even when the ball hasn’t cme close to clearing the fence. It’s over the top homerism.
I think everyone understands that there will be homerism when covering the local team, however what separates the tolerable homers from the intolerable homers, is the over the topness and quite frankly the over exaggeration and lies. Sportsnet homerism and overthetopness simply speaks to the synergy between Rogers Communications and the Toronto Blus Jays. It’s all about PR and Marketing, far from typical homerism.

billyjoejimbob
billyjoejimbob
August 23, 2015 3:28 am

Re: the CBC comments.

To me, this is one of the most misreported sports stories of the summer, and you are just as guilty.

I’m not the biggest CBC fan in the world, but, let’s be honest here: where were Bell and Rogers in all this? They could’t run away fast enough from a Canadian event, because it’s not a moneymaker like the Vancouver Olympics. The rights fee would be a pittance compared to the $150M or so they paid for Vancouver/London, but nooooooooooooooo.

The only reason CBC got this event is because no one else wanted it. And, from what I understand about the CBC, I’m not even sure some of their own people wanted it, either. (There’s a big-time hatred of sports there.) But, it fits their mandate, and there are some people there (Scott Russell among them) who are legitimately passionate about amateur athletics.

All of a sudden, people get caught up in the fever, Sportsnet is suddenly more than happy to take some overload and everyone rips CBC. If it wasn’t for them — none of this would be televised! CBC is a totally gutted, impotent organization cuckolded in the sports world. I would bet there was a lot of infighting, too, with sports asking for more time and the news/scheduling people telling them to get bent.

If only some reporter could ask these questions, or maybe look at it a little differently. Instead: zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

And the people giving credit to TSN Radio for talking about the Blue Jays are beyond stupid. What are they going to do, ignore them? Did The FAN ignore the Leafs when they were on 640?

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
August 23, 2015 3:38 am

@ Daniel…Ashby,Morris & Hayhurst were all not kept on because of $$$ plain and simple.

Yet someone like Cox still draws a salary..mind numbing.

Mike
Mike
August 23, 2015 8:53 am

To be fair. TSN is helped A LOT by their connection to ESPN. Funny thing is, like Rovell, every ESPN guy would jump to the FAN590 if they could. You know, so that people will actually hear what they say.

You honestly think Dan Shulman would appear on TSN over the FAN if he wasn’t contractually obligated? Rovell couldn’t wait to get back on PTS. TSN has great guest, sometimes, but more people would hear these guests if they yelled from a roof top than hear them on 1050.

In the end they can have anyone they want. Rogers has the most important thing..
. LISTENERS.

Not that Chris
Not that Chris
August 23, 2015 9:59 am

“The other interesting angle is the profile of the people they have brought in. Keri, Law, and Shulman all have significant presence and brand value in the U.S”

I understand the theme here is “Sportsnet/Rogers bad” “TSN/Bell” good. But, you do understand all three names you list here are ALL employees of ESPN, right? ESPN owns a piece of TSN. When TSN asks ESPN for exclusivity of one of their reporters, they get it. To suggest TSN have somehow just scooped up these amazing baseball reporters during this stretch run is very misleading. They don’t have a choice. If you believe Dan Shulman, who spend the majority of his Canadian broadcasting career at the Fan, would rather be appearing on TSN, where nobody hears him, rather than the FAN where he started his career and has lifelong friends – then I have land in Florida to sell you.

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
August 23, 2015 10:27 am

Funny thing is, like Rovell, every ESPN guy would jump to the FAN590 if they could. You know, so that people will actually hear what they say.

… Rovell couldn’t wait to get back on PTS

Really? For a guy like Rovell used to doing documentaries for cable TV networks I would think his five minute appearances on Canadian radio amounted to little more than a side gig.

GreyCountyMike
GreyCountyMike
August 23, 2015 10:40 am

Arash Madani was absolutely brilliant on Friday’s PTS Roundtable. He even seemed to rattle Bob McCown … and, best of all, he did it with logic and smarts. McCown is usually pretty decent with comebacks, but all he seemed to have for Madani was pure Rogers’ pom-pom shaking. For my two cents, Madani is this week’s Toronto Sports Media Personality of the Week!

Anthony
Anthony
August 23, 2015 11:37 am

@William D

I think we’ve been through this once? I you suggested that the Blue Jays announcers are lying to pump things up and they are the only ones who do this. I offered a excellent example of a Cleveland Indians announced doing the same thing (I haven’t done any research on this, just remembered the comment ). Your criticism can fit into most games I watch on MLB TV. There was another similar comment on the Indians/Yankees broadcast yesterday from the Yankees guys.

Anthony
Anthony
August 23, 2015 11:44 am

‘Don’t really understand how you guys can say the ‘clearly nobody at Rogers is allowed to criticize the Jays’ line, when in the same post we’re all ripping Rogers employee Sid Sexeiro for being reactionary and hyper critical of the Jays.

I don’t like Rogers any more than anyone else, but they’re blatantly not telling their hosts not to be critical. Just scroll through Sid’s timeline. Brady too.’

Thats the thing, there’s so much proof that there is no ‘instructions’ to pump up the Jays, yet people just seem to want there to be one. I get the blind rage/hate towards all things Rogers, but why are so many Rogers guys allowed to rip on the team, Brady/Sixerio are prime examples. If it was a company wide order, they’d be covered under it and any slip up there would be discipline. (I wish Rogers would discipline Sixiero for his twitter feed, but I digress).

People forget that Bob banned then Blue Jays GM JP Ricciardi because he found he was arrogant and was driving the team into the ground. He attacked Rogers for only spending $70/80 million a year on the team. Every year they seemed directionless and every radio show on the station would rip them. Now that Rogers has invested money in them and the team is winning, and jusifiably everyone (ESPN talks glowingly about the Jays every day, TSN Radio loves the Jays) is putting praise on a team thats 15-4 ‘when the games matter’, and its homerism…..

I get the blind Rogers hate guys, but put your logic hats on and think about this one…why where they allowed to rip them for years if there’s interference from above?

Daver
Daver
August 23, 2015 12:05 pm

sam, Ashby left because he was offered TV PxP in his offseason hometown of Houston. Morris left because he wanted to go back home to Minnesota. Can’t speak to Hayhurst though

Carl A
Carl A
August 23, 2015 12:29 pm

On the other end of homerism can be found on Trash 24 broadcasting. I think some of these young news readers need to have the sports they are reporting on explained to them. They should just throw it to their partner TSN to cover the sports headlines rather then have them butcher the athletes names. Just because they have the same owners doesn’t mean all people are capable of talking sports.

William D
William D
August 23, 2015 12:58 pm

@Anthony

Again I respect your opinion but I fully disagree.

It appears now more than ever there is editorial control on PTS. Have you ever remotely heard Bob agree with the fans who have complained about 1. Payroll 2. Gibbons 3. Rogers. 4. AA.

At the beginning of the season Bob picked the Jays to make a run, despite the huge uncertainty in pitching, the most important aspect of the team.

Bob has on several occasions defended Rogers Communications, In fact he has gone after fans(Borderline Wilnering) for suggesting that Rogers needs to raise the payroll above 130millon. Bob may from time to time criticize certain players, as he did with Colby Rasmus, however with Bob and his tight allegiance with Beeston it appears that he has refrained from criticism of the suits as far as the jays finances. He has never criticized the five year policy, he praised the payroll being where it was and on the other hand chastised fans who previously demanded increases in payroll, he also actually thinks that there is a chance that David Price with resign with the jays and loves Gibbons to pieces. With Blue jays being one of the least profitable Rogers product Bob sounds very pro jays/Rogers to me. Take a listen to his rant on friday with Arash where he is pushing for AA and Beeston. Bob mini rants on the company are easily tongue and cheek. Fridays rant about how Beeston was treated by Rogers, was more Bob sticking up for a close friend that did so much to help a business that in the end was trying to push him out the door without a proper thank you.

Anthony
Anthony
August 23, 2015 3:01 pm

@William

But again, your not really touching on anything I actually write. You continue to push your version, and respond to me, yet don’t actually respond….

‘Bob and his tight allegiance with Beeston it appears that he has refrained from criticism of the suits as far as the jays finances. ‘

See my comments on the Riccardi/early Anthopolous years, he ripped Rogers all the time for a lack of spending. Im sure I could find links if you wish. He wanted a payroll north of 120. Now that we’re here, he seems consistent with his messaging. A payroll north of $120 and a GM who manages assets smartly and drafts well, hence his aggression with Riccardi under Rogers watch.

Bob’s a fan, he’s admitted as much, he wants the team to do well and has a glass half full view of them, that was the same pre-rogers. He doesn’t ever have a negative for the sake of negative (see Arash) opinion of things, at least for the Blue Jays, but thats not a new thing, that dates back to the start of Prime Time Sports.

If you could also comment on my Brady/Sixerio point regarding Rogers interference it would be appreciated, just want all the facts looked at, not just a small window.

Blue Jay Fan
Blue Jay Fan
August 23, 2015 3:21 pm

Rogers is all about cross promoting and synergy, for it’s profitable products Internet/wireless. This was Ted’s vision when he purchased sportsnet, then the jays and then the dome. Believe or not it’s well documented that Ted had absoulutely no interest in the jays, it was all about AD revenue and advertising for his core assets like wireless and cable, Jays were always a massive draw so now when combining jays into the internet and tv pipes and on sportsnet it’s a synergy that makes a lot of sense a lot of ad money and yes will bring out the homers from it’s sports properties to push the product. Once in a while use see some fake objectivity like Sid Sixero to show some kind of balance. By the way to those who think Bob’s rant on the company is real, by Bob’s own admission a lot of his rants are an act, he’s not going to bite the hand that has fed him all these years. Listen to the way he dogs his competitors over at TSN at times.

Hugh310
Hugh310
August 23, 2015 4:06 pm

I rarely listen to the Fan anymore but I do try to catch the PTS roundtable on Fridays. This past Friday’s show was embarrassing. First they drag out the old news about Hutch’s demotion and ramble on about it for ten long minutes, even though everyone agreed with each other and kept repeating each other. Then they discussed when and how to use Stroman if/when he was ready. It was this point that Madani went over-the-top Devil’s advocate “I’m not buying it”, which the other three quickly agreed that Stroman would not be allowed to pitch unless the doctors gave their okay. This was not enough for Madani who continued to pout about it, at which point I had had enough of Madani and the others refusal to tell him to shut up, and switched the station. Madani is loud and obnoxious and petulant and I find that I rarely agree with any of his ‘viewpoints’.

John
John
August 23, 2015 5:19 pm

I don’t get the Madani hate.

Madani simply said Alex has not done anything in terms playoff or championship to warrant a promotion to president, and people are calling this guy “negative” I fully agree with Madani, In my opinion the minute something good that is not called playoff or championship happens for a period of time, there is urgent need to treat the individual like a legend. Only in Toronto. I fully agree with Arash. Are journalist not suppose to be objective, or is it simply about being Toronto centric 24\7 regardless. I’m not sure what gives people the perception that Arash is just out there trying to stir up an argument. I don’t get it, don’t people want journalist that are unbiased.

Mike S
Mike S
August 23, 2015 6:43 pm

Regarding the new program director at 590, I would say his/her #1 job would have to be to fix the morning show………it won’t be done in time for the Fall book but if the ratings for that show end up being low something will need to be done……….Kollins brought in Blundell and then left 590 a couple of months later……….I think Jeff O’Neill would describe that as a “drag bunt”

The other job, as mike in boston stated, is to address the PTS co-host situation…………I would be happy if they had Brunt on every other week and then a rotation of Madani/Friedman/Perkins/Grange/Zeisberger during the non-Brunt weeks

Mont from London Ont
Mont from London Ont
August 23, 2015 6:44 pm

@William D
‘Borderline Wilnering’ – Great term –

Daniel
Daniel
August 23, 2015 10:41 pm

@ William D

“It appears now more than ever there is editorial control on PTS. Have you ever remotely heard Bob agree with the fans who have complained about 1. Payroll 2. Gibbons 3. Rogers. 4. AA.”

I’ve heard Bob complain about payroll. Not as much since payroll went up with Marlins/Mets deals, but I remember he had Nadir Mohammed on after Rogers bought 1/3 of MLSE and he said ‘please now take some money and spend it on the Jays’. As for complaining about Rogers, Bob was complaining about how Rogers treated Beeston just this past Friday on the roundtable.

“At the beginning of the season Bob picked the Jays to make a run, despite the huge uncertainty in pitching, the most important aspect of the team.”

You’re criticizing Bob for predicting the Jays might make a run? Um … he was right. They have made a run. They’re in first place. How is that evidence of anything but acknowledging the team looked good (plenty of US reporters with no Rogers ties predicted the Jays to make the playoffs as well)?

Like I said – I don’t like Rogers. I HATE that there’s a Ted Rogers statue outside of the dome. But I don’t think it serves the fans to claim there’s some muzzle on Jays criticism on Sportsnet when there’s blatantly not. There’s plenty of Sportsnet voices who go negative on the Jays regularly. I don’t want Sportsnet to be Jays’ cheerleaders, but I also don’t want them to be irrationally negative, just so they don’t seem as though they’re biased.

Mitch
Mitch
August 23, 2015 10:41 pm

I find when Sportsnet actually have critical things to say about the Blue Jays, it has to be countered/balanced with a positive point of view by either co-host or as an added fact. And even then, its never really critical. Its always tip-toeing. Bob doesn’t count because he knows he’s untouchable. But when the likes of Howarth get “sick” after harsh comments, then you know nobody else will dare speak their true opinions.
Of course, all this is moot these days because this is the best team in baseball 🙂

Darrell
Darrell
August 23, 2015 10:44 pm

Just like with social circles, everyone has some good and some bad in them. Sports teams win and create dynasties and even have issues that need addressing. However, Sportsnet paints the team in a way that there are no issues.

Something seriously wrong with that!

Daniel
Daniel
August 23, 2015 10:45 pm

@ John – I like Arash, but it did feel like he was reaching to play devil’s advocate on the roundtable. It’s true that AA hasn’t made the playoffs yet, but I think you can see the logic behind his moves/strategy, even when they didn’t work out.

Considering where the Jays are right now, his doom/gloom criticism felt like a bit much. BUT, maybe he just felt he had to go negative a bit to create debate.

Steph
Steph
August 23, 2015 11:08 pm

I have no problem with, and actually enjoy, wilner’s work. He calls people out on their nonsense an won’t just let folks rant about things they know little about. The stroman discussion on PTS is a perfect example of something he wouldn’t go along with, (which is probably why he isn’t ever on PTS)…. It was literally a waste of time conversation that went nowhere, I switched to TSN after 5 minutes of it. Even Friedman was making fun of it! Thinks their flagship show and they’re doing this type of discussion!?!
They have to do something about PTS, it’s complete rubbish and the conversations are generally incredibly lame. The host knows little about the topics, his answers are predictable, as are most if his positions. It’s just really stale and needs a blast of freshness. Maybe brunt and Friedman could have a go.

William D
William D
August 24, 2015 3:02 am

@ Daniel

with all due respect

The team that Bob picked to finish first in the East had absolutely no bullpen, no shortstop, No left fielder and no front of the rotation starter and a bunch of Rookies trying to fill those voides some of which were overrated(are you surprised a Rogers guy would overate a jays player). prior to the deadline, Most of the analyst(south of the border) would tell you the previous version of the Jays were going nowhere fast. Bob must have seen something no one else saw, because maybe he was just flat out cheerleading

If the jays did not improve team 100 fold how correct would Bob be?

“But I don’t think it serves the fans to claim there’s some muzzle on Jays criticism on Sportsnet when there’s blatantly not”.

Are you kidding me

At the start of the season, when it was obvious what jays needed. How much criticism did Alex Get from Bob for not filling any of the voides I mentioned above? How much criticism does Gibbons ever get from Bob? i.e when continuously throwing Loup out there vs Right handers when Loop gets killed by right handed pitching? and other things.

“but I also don’t want them to be irrationally negative, just so they don’t seem as though they’re biased.”

Picking the jays to go to the playoffs in the state they were in coming into the season, was that not irrationally positive? especially given the fact that their in a division with two teams that spend like drunken sailors and a Baltimore team that won 93 games last year on the strength of their bullpen something jays did not have and also a Rays team that will always beat you with pitching and defense. I think if the Jays were still the team that Bob picked we’d all be tuning them out at this point.

“There’s plenty of Sportsnet voices who go negative on the Jays regularly”

You have to clearify negative for me. In my view, negative in this context would be criticizing area’s of the organization that could do without criticism. I have never heard the big guns on the fan nit pick or irrationally call out the jays, How often did you hear any of the Rogers press criticize Alex when the jays came into the season depending on a bunch of unproven pitchers to carry the team in a “Go for it year” All I sept hearing was how great it is that there is a bunch of Canadians on the team and how exciting the team is with a bunch of rookies. Did the early jays not warrant criticism? I think it’s safe to say it did. How often did you hear it, In all Alex or John Gibbons interviews prior to the deadline deals these guys felt no pressure from Rogers owned media.

Mike V
Mike V
August 24, 2015 5:54 am

No, it was not irrationally positive to pick a team that even prior to the Tulo trade had the best run differential in baseball as a playoff team. Also, to suggest that everyone south of the border were pooh poohing the Blua Jays chances at the start of the season is flat out wrong. Just two examples, 20% of ESPN analysts picked them to win the division and Fangraphs were high on them as a wild-card team.

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 8:08 am

@William

Wish you would have touched on the subjects that I brought up on my last post (some fact checking on your statements) but sadly you seemed to take a pass, ces la vie.

But…

‘Picking the jays to go to the playoffs in the state they were in coming into the season, was that not irrationally positive’

I do believe Jonah Keri and a few others picked the Jays to finish first in the East.
As Mike mentioned, alot of ESPN guys picked them too, are they part of Rogers now?

This is exhausting, people really want there to be some massive conspiracy when there’s so much evidence to suggest that its simply not the case. Another poster on here went so far to suggest that Rogers places strategic negativity out there to keep the positive outlooks (again, the same ones that TSN Radio/ESPN share) at a balance….really? Guys, this is silly, the conspiracy theory keeps getting bigger and more complex

Sportsnet/Fan 590 shares the same attitude that guys on TSN/ESPN do about thier team and their abilities, but Rogers is the ones that are bias? Why isn’t TSN/ESPN? Now there’s an internal conspiracy to send out small samples of negativity to ‘get people off the chase’

Do you guys not just think that your hatred for Rogers leaves you bias against their properties, you complain about mostly ever aspect of what they do, that seems alot more logical then an in depth multi layered conspiracy that no one talks about.

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 8:21 am

Sorry William,

I should have added, you asked

‘. I have never heard the big guns on the fan nit pick or irrationally call out the jays, How often did you hear any of the Rogers press criticize Alex when the jays came into the season depending on a bunch of unproven pitchers to carry the team in a “Go for it year” ‘

I mentioned on the post that you didn’t touch on that Greg Brady and Sid Seixeiro have made a field day on teeing off on Alex and the Jays lack of success, I think they would be described as ‘big dogs’. Less forget the highly uncomfortable grilling that Bob gave Alex on the Yunel Escobar situation form year ago. Plus as others have mentioned Bob ripped Nadir Mohammed one on one for the lack of spending, suggesting the team can’t be competitive with a payroll under $120 million. (again, I commented on that before, but you ignored it).

All your anger seems focused on this year, but if you look at the history of comments, Bob’s been very consistent, ripped Rogers daily for a $70/80 million dollar payroll, ripped Riccardi daily for being clueless and arrogant, and now that the team is successful and Anthopolous has built a team that wins, hes positive, like EVERY other baseball media out there…

Darrell
Darrell
August 24, 2015 8:25 am

Once again I am reminded by Dean Blundell on the FAN is moronic. I made the mistake this morning and flicked on the FAN and they had idiot Wilner on and then that segment ends and then Blundell is imitating Jose Reyes and mocking the way he speaks.

yaz
yaz
August 24, 2015 9:32 am

@ Anthony

Massive conspiracy likely not. But to believe that Rogers has zero bias favouring the Jays is naive.

William D
William D
August 24, 2015 10:21 am

@Anthony

Bob not liking JP was not a byproduct of Bob ripping Rogers, that had more to do with JP and his “people in Toronto know nothing about baseball” personality that JP often took to the airwaves. In the overall that was personal and does not prove that Bob is not a company guy.

Sixero is given lots of rope because I think Rogers understands what these guys bring to talk radio and that is pure 100% entertainment with plenty of exaggetation, I’m not sure people listen to Tim and Sid for breaking news and cutting edge journalism.

I can’t comment on Greg Brady as I have not heard him say anything critical of Rogers.

I’m not sure why you think it’s outrageous that media censors or controls content. Check the story about former Bell Media president Kevin Crull and why he was ousted.
Media companies are all about Ad revenue and the days synergy(cross promoting). Many if not all have ulterior motives,(political, financial, Promotional etc)and it’s right into their content. It’s simple media 101. The fact that you think there is a 100% honesty to the content, which Bob and even Stephen Brunt in an interview on this very site admitted there is not baffles me. It’s left for the listener to distinguish between what’s real/overblown/manufactured for entertainment. Bob being the biggest part of the brand on the media side in the overall he has plenty of times shown and maintained an allegiance to Rogers and it’s properties. i.e slagging TSN, Renewed friendship with Gary Bettman, slagging the CFL. competitor product.

William D
William D
August 24, 2015 10:40 am

@ Mike V

Teams win divisions and championships on the strength of pitching, not run differential. hence the reason jays went out and got David Price and bullpen help. If you irrationally thought that jays would be a division winner with Dickey and Burhle two unpredictable guys at this point in their late 30’s compounded by an unproven Hutchison and Sanchez with no front of the rotation starter. Did your mind change when they were a .500 team prior to the trades. Just my view.

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 10:43 am

@yaz

No, but to suggest that, as some others have, that there is a very detailed strategic plan as to who is allowed to and not allowed to say what, when and why about a baseball team is silly, especially when every OTHER media in Toronto and ESPN is saying positive things.

As I type this the fan is having Ben Ennis entertain complaints about the Blue Jays…doesn’t really sound like that would be accepted if ‘positive only’ critiques are part of the process.

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 10:46 am

@Yaz,

Apologies, should have included this in the post, but why is it that when ESPN/TSN offer the same if not similar content, no one suggests any issues, but when the fan offers similar observations, its deemed bias? Im not sure how that makes sense.

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 10:49 am

@William,

Perhaps, but if Bob was under instruction, as you and others suggest, to pump up the Jays, then he would have been forced to ‘play nice’ (weve seen this in the past), but no, he had him banned from the show.

Its too bad you chose to not touch on the money aspect of my debate, you brought it up in the past suggesting that Bob downplays any cost injections under orders from Rogers when myself and other posters have provided evidence to the contrary from past years and shown a pretty consistent attitude regarding payroll.

Also to bad you chose not to touch on the ‘anyone who thought the Jays could win this year had to be bias’ statement you made, when myself and others provided evidence that many ESPN experts predicted them to finish 1st. Is that due to Rogers control, or simply that as Bob suggested, the team was pretty good.

William D
William D
August 24, 2015 12:00 pm

@Anthony

Your first point was that Bob ripped JP Richardi for not knowing how to manage the payroll at 70-80million which I believe was the highest payroll JP received under Rogers, In saying this I guess you were trying to make a point that Bob critics Rogers. On the other hand you say Bob ripped Rogers for a 70-80 million dollar payroll. If Bob ripped JP for not being able to manage an 80million dollar payroll and then goes to Rogers and complains that 80million is not nearly enough. It’s either Bob is contradicting or you are.

In terms of your Yunel Escobar example, this is more proof that editorial control was at play, Bob’s outrage seemed somewhat exaggerated and probably one I have never seen him demonstrate other that the Cito incident. He went way overboard in his rage to demonstrate political correctness and that Rogers in no way condones this behavior. I would have love to see the ratings for the show that day. Rogers in my view somewhat tried to disassociate itself from the blue jays. The funny thing is I have never heard Bob take such a stance on discrimination following that issue, Maybe because a lot of the big ones that have followed the Yunel Escobar situation did not involve Rogers?

“Plus as others have mentioned Bob ripped Nadir Mohammed one on one for the lack of spending”

Bob ripping Nadir is nothing unique as the Rogers Family did the same. Nadir was being pushed out of Rogers and this is well documented in a story written by the Canadian press about how Nadir was treated by the Rogers Family. Nadir was viewed by Rogers as too passive in terms of spending.

@Anthony

I would advise that you examine some objective material on media and the entire dynamics on it Rather than just taking everything at face value. Media thrives off Profit and listener/viewership.

William D
William D
August 24, 2015 12:12 pm

Anthony

I think it’s obvious that if you have a large vested interest in something and you play it up, this is going to be considered a bias especially when the you stand to gain the most out of everyone else is playing it up as well. Rogers obviously stands to gain more than any other media outlet when their properties do well especially when they own the rights. I don’t think it’s fair to say that other media outlets play up the jays like Rogers Media. That would just be ridiculous.

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 1:26 pm

@William,

But again, I offer evidence that refutes your comments and thus far, the only real response is ‘because I think there’s bias, there is’. Another example today, ESPN (Kieth Law and Jerry Crasnick) where talking about how the Jays are basically unstoppable. If that was mentioned on the FAN, I’m guessing you’d be livid.

Is there market synergy and brand development? Sure, that’s why guys like Chris Colabello get softball interviews and The Fan at times is used to promote an event, but that’s not uncommon, this weekend YES had Jorge Posoda on for a boring softball interview promoting his events and the Yankees, it happens in all sports. But when it comes to actual hard analysis, I think myself and others have shown enough proof that there is an independence to the reporting. Respectfully, you answers to our rebuttals (again, offering facts) has been equivalent to a shoulder shrug and ‘I think its there, so it must be’. If you cant rebut our facts (Bob and going after Rogers Re: spending, Brady/Sixeiro ripping the Jays for years, ESPN guys picking the Jays after you said only the FAN did, etc), then how can your claims be held as factual? Honest question, I’m confused how you can’t really (or dont chose to) refute them but consistently move forward with your opinion without really acknowledging our points. Your allowed to have an opinion, but its odd that your continue to ignore all that we offer to the contrary, again, like a preverbal shoulder shrug.

Jake
Jake
August 24, 2015 1:32 pm

Nuff Jays talk already … just agree to disagree or get a room or a barn or whatever.

On the CBC: glad that some people like it, but there is no reason for the rest of us to support it, especially if it’s going to screw up. If it can’t break even on sports then get out of the market.

Blue Jay Fan
Blue Jay Fan
August 24, 2015 1:32 pm

Both Nadir and Ricchardi were not very well liked by Rogers. Ricchardi always tried to play GM and CEO and overstep his boundries by always complaining about the payroll, The issue the Rogers family had with Nadir was that he was chosen as the successor to Ted instead of any of the kids who controls the trust that own the company. The two were eventually forced out on bad terms. JP’s last straw was that he was suspected for leaking the news of the clubhouse disaster that included Cito and a bunch of players. JP was pissed because he was forced to fire his buddy Gibbons.

Dros
Dros
August 24, 2015 1:36 pm

I come on this board from time to time and everyone’s responses are always the exact same regarding how bad Sportsnet is and how godly TSN is. Same thing appears to be the case today, except for ONE comment.

The guy (I believe it was Anthony) that talked about how TSN didn’t suddenly breed all this can’t-be-beat baseball talent–they simply outsourced out to the company that partially owns them.

Say what you will about Sportsnet (i’m a former Score fanboy myself), but the thing I always appreciate about both of those brands is that they made theirs from scratch. They made their talent, developed their editorial programs and news shows (the look, feel, innovation, etc.), whereas TSN simply piggybacks off of ESPN for their flagship news program. They didn’t have to do anything. People just like it because they’re drawn like a moth to a flame in terms of thinking American anything gives you credibility over something Canadian. PTI, Sports Nation, Baseball Tonight and so on and so forth are them just bringing in other people’s programming. Hard to praise them as better when all they’re doing is pilfering other people’s work.

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 1:47 pm

@William,

Appologies, I didnt see your first post

Bob was ripping JP Riccardi for his inability to manage a roster, while also his lack of abilities, this flies right in the face of the ‘all must always be good’ mentaily/bias that you suggest is promoted. If Rogers does in fact interfere, then he wouldn’t have been allowed to say that the Management face of Rogers was an idiot. He also wouldnt have been allowed to call out Rogers for roughly 3 years for not hitting $120 million in payroll. Its two independent thoughts, there’s an idiot running the team and the team is cheap. Regardless of the comments, if Rogers was interfering, he wouldn’t have been allowed to say that.

With regards to Escobar, Bob also went after Rogers for not suspending him as an employee, so im not sure that ‘Rogers used Bob as a tool to distance themselves from the Blue Jays’ holds water. He woudln’t have also gone after Rogers in this instance.

Ripping on Nadir was less about him and moreso Rogers inability to properly invest in the team. Nadir was the face, but the message was the same one that Bob was pushing for years (pre-Nadir) that payroll wasn’t good enough. It was a Rogers attack, not a Nadir one, he was just the guy who was left holding the bag.

‘I would advise that you examine some objective material on media and the entire dynamics on it Rather than just taking everything at face value. Media thrives off Profit and listener/viewership.’

Trust me, im aware of brand dynamics and marrying content and television. But if thats the case, why arn’t the Leafs and Rogers held to the same standard. The team is awful, all of Rogers media members say its awful, and no one accuses bias there. If the ‘brand dynamics’ are such that our products need to be placed in a positive light, then why isn’t that practice used for ALL brands, not just the Jays, there’s an inconsistency in your argument here.

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 1:49 pm

Sorry, that should read ‘Management face of the Blue Jays, a Rogers property’

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 2:03 pm

At this point its probably fair to say that the debate should be shelved, I highly doubt TSM and Mike prefer one subject dominating their site for weeks on end, Ill bow out at this point, i think my point as been articulated, thanks for the lively debate, last time I engaged someone who felt Rogers/FAN coverage was one big love it I was called a ‘Rogers Propaganda Agent’, which is hilarious given my hatred of their products 🙂

Anthony
Anthony
August 24, 2015 2:03 pm

At this point its probably fair to say that the debate should be shelved, I highly doubt TSM and Mike prefer one subject dominating their site for weeks on end, Ill bow out at this point, i think my point as been articulated, thanks for the lively debate, last time I engaged someone who felt Rogers/FAN coverage was one big love it I was called a ‘Rogers Propaganda Agent’, which is hilarious given my hatred of their Cable/Phone products 🙂

Mike V
Mike V
August 24, 2015 2:04 pm

“Teams win divisions and championships on the strength of pitching, not run differential.”

Teams win for a variety of reasons, strong pitching being just one of them. They can also win with strong offense which the jays have had all season. Run differential is just one stat that showed the Blue Jays were better than their .500 record on July 26 would indicate.

“Did your mind change when they were a .500 team prior to the trades.”

Are you asking if I (or Bob) expected this team to win the division right before the Tulo trade? No, I don’t think you can have any team’s base case be making up 8 games on the leader with just over a third of the season left. However, I did think they’d be a wild card team. But are we talking about preseason predictions or July predictions?

William D
William D
August 24, 2015 2:10 pm

@Anthony

I think you should speak for yourself, instead of always including us or we in your comments to sway opinion. I have answered your response to Bob’s personal vendetta with Richarddi. You make what I perceive is a false claim that this was Bob attacking Rogers. I have said more than once it was clear that Bob had an personal issue with Ricchardi as did others on the station, So again this is not a Bob slagging Rogers thing.

You keep bringing up ESPN and other media outlets, which I think is rather odd. Are you trying to say that ESPN would go as far as people like Buck Martinez or Jamie Campbell in their broadcasting or journalism pertaining to the team? The point is the coverage and cheerleading is over the top, It’s almost as though your trying to say ESPN is just as over the top with their commentary and jays praise yet people will not have an issue their. ESPN’s attention on the Jays is not close. It’s apples to oranges. It baffles me that your trying to convince me or others that coverage and bias south of the border is just as over the top as it is here in Toronto.

And by the way

You ignored my response to Ricchardi, Your ignoring
the fact that Bob never critics John Gibbons. Have you responded to Bob’s new buddy buddy thing with Gary Bettman? I’ve also responded to his reaction regarding the Yunel Escobar situation.
I’ll also say again in response to the Nadir attack. It’s widely known that Rogers did not like Nadir, opening the door for Bob’s hard line approach.

William D
William D
August 24, 2015 2:50 pm

Me as well Anthony. No disrespect at all. Thank You for a respectful debate.

Daniel
Daniel
August 24, 2015 2:53 pm

@ Wiiliam D

“The team that Bob picked to finish first in the East had absolutely no bullpen, no shortstop, No left fielder and no front of the rotation starter and a bunch of Rookies trying to fill those voides some of which were overrated(are you surprised a Rogers guy would overate a jays player). prior to the deadline, Most of the analyst(south of the border) would tell you the previous version of the Jays were going nowhere fast. Bob must have seen something no one else saw, because maybe he was just flat out cheerleading”

“Picking the jays to go to the playoffs in the state they were in coming into the season, was that not irrationally positive? especially given the fact that their in a division with two teams that spend like drunken sailors and a Baltimore team that won 93 games last year on the strength of their bullpen something jays did not have and also a Rays team that will always beat you with pitching and defense. I think if the Jays were still the team that Bob picked we’d all be tuning them out at this point.”

Here is a link to ESPN’s MLB predictions from April:
http://espn.go.com/mlb/preview15/story/_/id/12588378/expert-team-predictions-2015-mlb-season

4/15 ESPN analysts picked the Jays to win the AL East. And another picked them as a Wild Card team. So 1/3 of the experts picked the team to make the playoffs.

So..

No, it was not irrationally positive, or indicative of bias, to predict the 2015 Blue Jays were going to be a good team.

William D
William D
August 24, 2015 3:51 pm

@Daniel

it was absolutely irrationally positive, considering the Jays fielded a bunch of unproven rookies in had no front of the rotation starter, a vacancy in left field a pretty bad defender at a important position like shortstop and most importantly a questionable bullpen which reared it’s ugly head right out of the gate. Who was the last division winner with such deficiencies. This is what Rogers/Jays oversold people on which this formula only equated to a .500 record. ESPN did not sell me on all the Canadians and all the exciting Rookies and all the homerun hitters, Rogers/sportsnet pumped that, from April to July pre trade deadline the hype amounted to a .500 and the Jays being 8 games out of the division race.

That is the last comment I will make on this topic. Thanks for the debate it was fun.

Daniel
Daniel
August 24, 2015 4:04 pm

@ William D – Evidently 1/3 of ESPN’s baseball experts were irrationally positive and biased toward the Jays then. Probably being fed cash by Rogers.

Mike S
Mike S
August 24, 2015 7:21 pm

The people at 590 have aired a bunch of Buffalo Bisons games this summer………..my guess would be between 10 and 20 games………and they started doing it well before the recent surge in Blue Jays popularity

It’s a curious programming decision………..by doing that it is taking away valuable on-air opportunities for young or less established broadcasters……….I would love to know what their ratings are for those Bisons games

alex
alex
August 24, 2015 9:10 pm

I thought they only aired them when the jays had an off day.

I would prob take a live game over generic sports talk, unless it was a host i liked.

William D
William D
August 24, 2015 10:12 pm

Bell Media president of sports programming Gonzo.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/ctvs-phil-king-to-leave-bell-media/article26079594/

Now we have a chance of seeing some much needed changes on TSN radio side.

Ami Angelwings
August 25, 2015 5:40 am

Brunt, Madani, and Perkins I think is a great idea. It’s probably the best you could get given who is left at Sportsnet that could be a regular. I just hope that this year isn’t more nonstop Reid, Shannon, and Friedman. :\

RobInAurora
RobInAurora
August 25, 2015 3:24 pm

Dan Shulman was an employee of TSN when he got into doing TV play by play for the Jays, so I think he has allegiances to TSN as well as the Fan…the Fan was started by Telemedia as an all-sports station when Dan got into the business, so he has no real ties to Rogers. It was Rogers who took a nice little property (the Fan) at “Rogers-ed it up” (ruined it)…Everything Sportsnet does is pretty awful, so I doubt Dan is disappointed that he has to avoid appearing on the FAN.

ESPN made Dan rich and famous and they own 20% of TSN – and Dan has excellent rapport with Naylor and Brian Hayes – I am trying to think of who is even left from on the FAN from the old days when he worked there, Bob I guess and no one else really….(’nuff said). Bob really hasn’t kept current for many years now. His show is pretty weak.

Tastes and preferences are difficult to account for, but for anyone who actually “likes” the Tim and Sid show, I really can’t have a discussion with you (we just aren’t in the same universe). But I honestly can’t stand anything Rogers produces over the airwaves. We’ll see what happens after the recently fired Ken King takes a job with Rogers and Rick Brace his “mentor” from CTV has some time to replicate what they did at TSN – Perhaps some of Rogers SN’s on air offerings will actually be tolerable…But right now, everything TSN does is far superior to anything I see on Rogers. Now baseball is even better and TSN doesn’t have the Jays (they do have ESPN’s content though, so that counts for something)

DJ
DJ
August 25, 2015 5:57 pm

@robinAurora

You are certainly entitled to your opinions. And in a lot of cases I share them. But you have to recognize that the FAN dominates TSN in the ratings. On the TV side it is close and depending on who you want to believe both can be seen as winning, but in radio there is no question.

If, as you say, everything TSN does is superior, why do they not have a much higher market share?

And this isn’t meant as an attack in any way, but a real question for consideration.

Curt
Curt
August 25, 2015 9:08 pm

“If, as you say, everything TSN does is superior, why do they not have a much higher market share?”

My guess is because Rogers owns hockey and a hot baseball team. On the radio side, the FAN has been around forever and there has always been a definite brand loyalty thing going on, despite a consistent dip in quality over the years. A much stronger signal strength over TSN Radio also helps.

For the most part, I think Rob nailed it and I agree with him. From a production value perspective, SN still doesn’t come close to TSN. Only my opinion though.

Mike V
Mike V
August 25, 2015 9:55 pm

Easiest answer is that most of the market doesn’t share Rob’s extremely black and white view. 1050 is not that new anymore and should be closer in ratings than they are.

Rob In Aurora
Rob In Aurora
August 26, 2015 8:15 am

Like I said many times in earlier posts, there is no accounting for taste and preference…. In the late 1970s, “Three’s Company” used to be number one in the Neilsen ratings week after week, beating out shows like 60 Minutes. Many much better comedies failed miserably due to lack of ratings..people watch what they understand or ar familiar with..and, if you are familiar with “Three’s Company”, also indicates that the overall intelligence of the audience has no bearing on audience share….

Roger
Roger
August 26, 2015 1:55 pm

Why is the expression “goddamn” over-used so much today? People really lack creativity.

Alex
Alex
August 26, 2015 5:32 pm

I’d say Sunday Night Football being number 1 show four years in a row says a lot about American culture in 2015, maybe even more than Three’s Company or Happy Days being in the #1 show in the 70s or Cosby in the 80s.

BTW, are people up there talking about the “suit” story i saw Hayhurst tweeting about today?

Sam
Sam
August 26, 2015 6:46 pm

“Suit-gate” (sorry) is really interesting. Agree that Bautista is a champ, Travis should have the suit paid for… so many questions…
Why is this story coming out now?
It seems that Travis already paid for the suit… is this true? Is Rogers just not reimbursing him?
Also watching to see what play this gets on both 590 and 1050.

Kamlesh
Kamlesh
August 26, 2015 7:16 pm

Gotsytle issued a statement on “Suit-gate”.

Statement from Gotstyle owner Melissa Austria:

“It’s unfortunate that this story came out this way. We always take care of our athletes when it comes to initiatives that we do ourselves but in this case we were approached by Sportsnet to see if they could film in the store a story about Devon Travis and have him come to the store and buy his first suit.

We asked if we should gift the suit and they said no but feel free to give him a discount. I think this was for journalistic integrity so they aren’t “buying their stories” by giving free product to athletes. We ended up giving Devon 50% off everything and rushing alterations that day so he could wear the suit the next day to take his mom out for dinner. He later tweeted us thanking us for the suit.

I’d love to turn this around and give free suits to the guys who really need it, men who are transitioning from the military into civilian life and don’t have a proper suit to wear to job interviews. We’ve done great work with True Patriot Love in the past raising $25,000 with Joffrey Lupul. Maybe a challenge for Bautista, for every game they win, we’ll donate a suit to a solider if he’ll matches.

Either way, the Jays are doing amazing why are we even talking about this?”

http://www.blogto.com/fashion_style/2015/08/gotstyle_ensnared_in_jose_bautista_sportsnet_controversy/

On PTS at about 5:40 on the Jon Morosi interview:

Arash: “Morosi what do you put in your coffee every morning?”

Morosi: “I don’t know….that’s a great question.”

Alex
Alex
August 26, 2015 7:36 pm

Of course, it used to be a time honored tradition players appearing on post game shows got a watch or some sonsored item for doing the show.

Chris
Chris
August 26, 2015 8:04 pm

Jose Bautista just did an interview with Barry Davis on sportsnet before tonight’s game. So much for that quality reporting.

yaz
yaz
August 26, 2015 10:39 pm

‘journalistic integrity’. lmao. Devon Travis was getting his first suit as part of a quasi-promotional piece, he wasn’t Deep Throat. Give him the fucking suit one or both of you assholes, Sportsnet and GotStyle.

Bigger story is why, if Bautista had been boycotting Sportsnet since mid-May, did this just come out now? I wonder how long the Star reporter sat on it. Seemed to come to a pretty quick conclusion after he published the story. And it is a story, despite everyone except Tim & Sid on the Fan ignoring it. Dirk came out pretty strongly on this – wonder what he would have said under the employ of Sportsnet last year.

Completely guessing, but I bet Bautista gave Travis the cash for the suit and said ‘pay me back once you get the money.’.

Roger
Roger
August 27, 2015 8:47 am

@MIB
The Schilling “controversy” is another example of the liberal hyper-sensitivity towards anything honest. They also didn’t read the meme he shared correctly. He didn’t compare muslims to Nazis – he compared muslims to Germans and extremists to Nazis (big difference). Re-read it and you’ll understand better.

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
August 27, 2015 11:26 am

Arash: “Morosi what do you put in your coffee every morning?”

Morosi: “I don’t know….that’s a great question.”

lol

Even on more serious radio/TV news programs and podcasts “that’s a great question” is often the first response from the person being interviewed. But it’s just worse on sports radio.

FMW
FMW
August 27, 2015 4:39 pm

Serious question, when is the last time anybody on Sportsnet broke a Blue Jays story. A trade, a signing, backstage drama, really anything?

Most scoops seem to be coming from the local newspaper and American media.

William D
William D
August 27, 2015 5:10 pm

@FMW

I’m thinking sportsnet will be rebranded to Fox sportsnet Canada with all the reporting coming from Morosi and Rosenthal.

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
August 27, 2015 6:41 pm

Got stuck watching the Blue Jays today with the sound up.
As much as i tried to tune the two guys out one little gem caught my ear.
While feeding the Kool-Aid about how TUFF the next home-stand is going to be,and about the great teams they are playing.
They play Det,Balt & Clev..whom together are 14 games UNDER 500 and ALL 9 games are at Skydome.
The rogers infomercial is getting to become a little much!!

Reggie
Reggie
August 27, 2015 7:01 pm

Took the week off pts because blair was hosting. Naylors show defended their canadian hockey boy M.Richards today,makes me sick. Smuggling hillbilly heroin across the border and feschuk is oh no big deal. If this was a black nfl or nba player doing the same thing, they would be crucified by canadian media. Pathetic. Seems like canada sports media always wants American approval, maybe have some dignity in your reporting and you’ll get it.

Alex
Alex
August 27, 2015 7:49 pm

Blair announced Cliff Floyd as exclusive regular today. He was also the second mlb network guest of the show and i think the third or fourth of the week.

Did SN make some kind of partnership deal?

Mont from London Ont
Mont from London Ont
August 27, 2015 9:35 pm

@Reggie
I agree with you – I can’t take a week of Blair – I listen in now and then on the net(590 just doesn’t reach London) but broomed the whole show at around 5:15 when they said Wilner would be on at 6:00 – No thank you

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