David Shoalts Tweets Radio Ratings & What’s Happening In The D?

By TSM @yyzsportsmedia

Happy Hump Day!!


Yes, David Shoalts published via twitter today the Fall Toronto sports radio ratings.

Usual caveats:

The ratings system sucks
Those who control the ratings refuse to make them public (likely at the request of the stations themselves)

One major surprise in the results tweeted by Shoalts, that is that Jeff Blair’s numbers were the lowest on the Fan 590.
The rest?

Here are some highlights:

The “excuses”, according to Shoalts? The Blue Jays run and the fact that both Mike Richards and Bob Mackowyz were on health leaves.

I’ll say that the Jays were the death blow, the health issues certainly didn’t help but……

Mike Richards over the summer until the end of November ranged from a 1.0 to a 1.22 – ouch

Over at the Fan?

So Dean had a 6.4 in April, dropped to a 5.73 June through August and then rose with the Jays to a 7.86. The Blue Jays bump 7.86 is Dean’s best # ever, however it’s lower than Brady and Walker pulled in 2014 (nice work Don).

One has to wonder where The Blue Jays audience went. The Fan had an astronomical 11.3 share for Jays games and that eroded down to a 7.8 the next am, which, according to Shoalts wasn’t as pronounced when Brady and Walker were around. WOW

As I mentioned above, I don’t get this:

However Blair’s numbers jumped with Baseball Central to a 5.5

Leafs Lunch, according to Shoalts ended up at a 1.9 in September.

Brady and Walker (with some Jays games) pulled in decent numbers (5.75 summer & 7.2 Fall) vs Bryan Hayes (.97 & 1.48 for same periods)

PTS and McCown? 6.69 Summer and 11.9 in the fall vs. 7 share in 2014! Wholly Jays bump Batman!

And Naylor :1.3 and 1.65

Lastly, the night time numbers for the Jays on the Fan were stellar: 7.7 and 11.3

Have to love Shoalts taking some shots at some “Talent”

So there you have it….


From 1994-1997 I lived in the suburbs of Detroit. Sports radio was very in vogue at the time, Dan Patrick, The Fabulous Sports Babe and Detroit had a new Sports Radio station, WDFN the Fan 1130. Add to that a regional sports network PASS, three daily newspapers and a bevy of sports news folks on TeeVee.

As I’ve told you on many of occasions before, part of the inspiration for this site came from The Detroit Sports Rag. At the time I think it was more of a message board but the commentary was hilarious and accurate. It was also pretty filthy (in a good way). I loved that the writers (and audience) had no issues calling out any of the local MSM (before there was an MSM) for saying or writing something stupid.

When I moved to Toronto early in 2005, I was surprised that there was nothing like it here and several months later this site was born.

Well, the DSR is still going in various formats and on December 31st they wrote an expose on one of the Detroit MSM who has allegedly been caught plagiarizing!:

A DSR investigation has revealed that Drew Sharp, longtime writer for the Freep, has been caught plagiarizing a November 20 article written by David Harns of iSportsWeb. The article in question detailed Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook’s relationship with Miranda McCoy, an Ohio woman who developed a fondness for the MSU football team after suffering major injuries in an automobile accident. McCoy, now a quadriplegic, shared her story with Harns in a detailed account.

A few weeks later, on December 4th, Sharp also told the story of Miranda McCoy and Connor Cook in his Freep column. The similarities between Sharp’s article and the Harns piece are striking, and with good reason. Drew Sharp stole the Harns story and presented it as his own.

Jeff and the guys at the DSR do an excellent job detailing the allegations of theft in their column. It’s well worth the read and there are a few updates too. It’s a story worth following. It immediately brought back memories to me of the time Mitch Albom wrote a story about a game he wasn’t at.

Lastly, did you catch Doug MacLean on the fan morning show this am? He was on for a solid 15-20 minutes and he brought his A game. He gave the Toronto Maple Leaf brass plenty of kudos, calling the fact that they have been unable to trade only Phil Kessel from last years team at this point the lone negative.

Equally as good was Mike and Mike yesterday am with Ryan Clark of the Washington RedSkins. Both are worth listening to.


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Rob J
Rob J
January 6, 2016 11:02 pm

The only plagiarizing in the Tor sports media is that of the MLSE and Rogers talking points by the 99% of ‘reporters’ that ‘cover’ teams that are literally owned by the companies they work for! This is such a dis-service to the media consumers who get next to no independent voices. No other city’s sports media is so tightly controlled by 2 mega-companies that own the product and the media.

Robert Gee
Robert Gee
January 6, 2016 11:27 pm

I usually only get a chance to listen to sports radio regularly in the early afternoon, although I’m familiar with most of the heavyweights. I’d say the ratings there (2-4 p.m.) are inverse to the quality of programming. Was surprised at the size of the gap. Hayes, for my money, is one of the best out there and seems comfortable in many roles, whether it’s herding kittens or running the show on his own. A breath of sanity in a wind tunnel.

Mike S
Mike S
January 7, 2016 12:00 am

I am not much of a fan of Blair or his show (unless Brunt is on) but I’m having a hard time understanding his low ratings…….the last time baseball was a hot topic in Toronto was when the Marlins trade was made in late 2012………that’s when Blair’s ratings were at an all time high:


But now it seems Blair’s ratings are half what they were then even though he is supposed to be a baseball guy and interest in the Blue Jays exploded from July until now………and he had Brunt as his co-host for many weeks from mid September to mid November, which should have helped………it’s all very strange………maybe Blair is suffering because Blundell’s show is not a good lead-in to his show?

January 7, 2016 5:13 am

The number over all is not that surprising other than Blair’s numbers seem really low at the peak of the Blue Jay playoff run. Not sure or how much longer can continue to operate with such poor numbers without major changes. Looking forward to a more detailed numbers by Shoalts or TSM

January 7, 2016 5:51 am

When Brunt first joined Blair i tuned in. But even his presence hasn’t kept me tuning in.There were a few off the cuff comments made about PTS which left a sour taste in my mouth…So i moved on.I was really surprised Brunt would go there while on the air.
I am also surprised Blair gets the big chair when Bob McCown is on holidays? With so much talent hanging around Sportsnet I think its time to mix it up.

January 7, 2016 6:00 am

That should read how 1050 can continue to operate will such poor numbers without major changes.

Mike V
Mike V
January 7, 2016 8:22 am

“The ratings system sucks”

This is a usual refrain from the site but never explained why? It is the exact same system used for TV ratings but no one ever gripes about that the same way.

I’ve considered the same thing Mike S. If Blundell’s main audience now are people who followed him over from 102.1 and just want juvenile humour with no depth, it’s a bad fit with Blair and could be leading to more than the average turnover at 9. Works the same going the other way. People turned off by the morning show won’t necessarily be in a rush to flip back. The old PD might’ve killed the mid morning slot by bringing in a “big gun” to do no better that what B&W did before. Obviously need more information to confirm if this is what’s going on but it’s an interesting theory.

I will never understand the love affair some have for M&M. Their shtick grew tired after less than a week.

January 7, 2016 8:24 am

I think this has more to do with 1050 being absolutely awful than it does with 590 having great programming. Almost five years into their existence and 1050 has yet to go under any personality overhauls (except for Cybulski/Naylor) and the shows are still the same.

Rogers rode the Blue Jays wave and paid $5.2 billion for hockey rights to become the leader in the city. I guess kudos to them, but may come at a steep price since the former may not continue at the start of next season based on the off-season thus far and the latter may end up seeing the company take a huge bath on that deal.

January 7, 2016 4:50 pm

‘That should read how 1050 can continue to operate will such poor numbers without major changes.’

Based on the posts on here over the last 4 months, one would think that the Fan would be getting .001s in ever time slot lol

Not that Chris
Not that Chris
January 7, 2016 10:02 pm

@ Pete

From 8-10 tonight, TSN aired pre packaged 100 best plays and 100 worst bloopers while SN aired live NHL games. All of the people watching those games stick around for Connected, they don’t go to TSN. It’s habit watching.

Rogers will get their money back and more from that NHL deal, and they’ll have killed their competitors at the same time. 12 years is a LONG time to take away the only property your competition has the ability to cover.

mickey b
mickey b
January 8, 2016 8:22 am

@Not that Chris…not disagreeing with anything you’ve said, just thought I’d throw this out there… I hate being the guy saying I know someone who told me blah, blah, blah but just for discussion purposes here…. I know that numbers can be spun any which way and Rogers does this as well as anyone. I do know for a fact that there are high up Rogers people that looked at the NHL deal last year and the numbers and are of the belief that the sports/media division did not break even until midway through October (obviously due to the Jays). If the Jays did not go on the run that they did, they believe they took a huge loss due to the NHL deal. I also know for a fact that those same people are saying that this year’s NHL deal is actually going worse with the bottom line. Again, I know numbers can be spun any which way but the bottom line is that there are higher ups looking at the bottom line and seeing a major deficit. I personally believe that over the 12 years, the Leafs will go on a few runs that will obviously change everything. Last point I wanted to make was in terms of Toronto sports radio, the only thing that I hear anybody in my circles ever talk about is Bob and Leafs Lunch (probably more Leafs Lunch than anything). I was at an old timers beer league tourney this past weekend and during the Team Canada game in the bar, the number one conversation between numerous groups of people during stoppages was things said on Leafs Lunch.

January 8, 2016 8:58 am

I agree with Not that Chris. Even if Rogers paid through the nose for the NHL rights, if they can effectively bury TSN it will be worth it. The World Jr’s are over and now TSN has very little to offer in terms of real content.

Mark N
Mark N
January 8, 2016 10:20 am

I honestly can’t believe the ratings for Leafs Lunch. That show is original and fantastic. I laugh out loud daily, which is saying something. It would have been interesting if TSN had been able to get Dan Shulman to do the 4-7 and compete with PTS.

January 8, 2016 12:57 pm


Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence counts for nothing. The ratings system on both television and radio are extremely flawed, but they’re all they’ve got by way of currency.

That being said, people can never play the game of, “How’s it not popular? I know at least 10 people that said they listen to it.” Case in point, I can’t see how people watch stupid shows like the Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Survivor, 2 Broke Girls, etc. but every week, they’re some of the most watched shows in Canada. Just because I don’t like them, doesn’t mean no one is watching. Just because I do watch something and may like it, doesn’t mean everyone else feels the same.

I watch Tim and Sid, while most people on here think the show is garbage. Ergo, we need numbers to quantify how many may like something.

Mike V
Mike V
January 8, 2016 1:46 pm

Mickey b, while they are rumblings and suspicions that the package isn’t going well all public statements from Rogers said they made a 10% return last year and we have no way to dispute that. Plus, if you look at the financial statements, nothing looks out of the ordinary. From Q3 2013- Q2 2014 (the last year before the NHL deal took effect) the media division made an adjusted profit of $134m. From Q3 2014 – Q2 2015 (which excludes the Jays trades and pandemonium) the division made $159m. Of course, there are other product lines in media besides sports but I didn’t see texture/showmi/CityTV particularly excelling last year.

Now who knows if this year will be the same and if the Leafs never get better with ratings staying this low for years there might be problems ahead, but content is king and we’re seeing some of the spillover effects to the rest of the network that Rogers bought in addition to the games themselves.

mickey b
mickey b
January 8, 2016 2:08 pm

@mikev- don’t dispute anything you’re saying at all. not my point. just saying that I know for a fact that there are those at rogers that ARE of the belief that the nhl numbers haven’t worked out for them so far. as I’m sure you know, there’s a LOT of differing opinions at how people are looking at the numbers within that company. big spectrum. personally, I couldn’t care less if it works out for them or not. just an interesting scenario for discussion.

Mike in Burlington
January 8, 2016 2:33 pm

I don’t think anyone outside of a tiny number of Rogers BOD knows definitively how much money is being made/ lost on the NHL contract, but I know from other corporate experience that the NHL contract is not just about able them making money today.

NHL hockey games, are significant currency see in this nation, bragging rights if you will, and anything Rogers can hold over Bell or the CBC will make them happy. Never forget that Rogers did $13 billion in sales in 2013, even losing $100 million a year on the NHL deal is very small relative to its overall size.

It’s true that any loss is not ideal, but there are lots of ways to leverage those games and eyeballs into other Rogers divisions, it makes me doubt that if there is any actual overall corporate lost at all.

As for the rating system being broken, I am classic proof of that, every two or three months I receive a new Numeris radio ratings book, and I haven’t listened to more than half an hour of Toronto sports radio in the last for five years

January 8, 2016 2:51 pm

@ Not that Chris

Don’t get me wrong, I think the second Rogers signed the NHL deal, that made TSN essentially irrelevant in the marketplace. It not only secured Rogers the two biggest sporting properties in Canada, but ones that cover all 12 months of the year. It was almost a death knell for TSN, and who knows how the station will look in a decade’s time when they will have another crack at bidding for the national NHL rights.

In terms of Rogers making money on the deal strictly, I’m skeptical. With the cash outlay on the deal trending upwards each year, while the ratings are trending downwards, I think they may be in tough. Of course I am not including the synergies it may/should provide for other parts of the company, as well as destroying the competition in the process.

I’m just bitter they’ve ruined the hockey viewing experience, especially with what they’ve done on Saturday nights, so that’s why a part of me hopes the deal doesn’t end up roses for them.

January 8, 2016 2:51 pm

I know this has been stated many times before here the rating system currently been used is so out dated, who really the true numbers and will we ever know or believe. But the various views are always a interesting read.

January 8, 2016 4:25 pm

Leafs Lunch still the best overall show on Toronto radio.
PTS unlistenable with Blair and Reid (anytime with Reid, really. Nice guy but terrible on radio). Arash Madani is better than anyone but Brunt or Cox.
Mornings are terrible on both Toronto sports stations. I avoid both and find myself going out of market with TuneIn Radio.
[email protected] goes off the rails whenever Shannon is on, which is a lot (he’s your annoying great uncle who is often full of sh$t). Kypreos seems to always to be away and gets exposed when he isn’t. This show is dying and SN seems oblivious.
Naylor is improving but his co-hosts vary too much. Naylor has zero chemistry with Kate Beirness. Tim Graham is like Naylor x2. Feschuk’s arguments get chewed up in seconds. And Bruce Arthur seems to know everything until you scratch the surface. Only Simmons works.
The evenings are a wasteland. Nothing there.
We need new voices in this market.

Mike V
Mike V
January 8, 2016 4:26 pm

Why is the system broken because you don’t listen to sports radio though? It’s not meant to only target one subset of listeners and any attempt to do so would be managing the sample to generate results you desire.

Mike in Burlington
January 8, 2016 5:18 pm

Perhaps I misspoke, I will clarify …

Unlike TV ratings which is electronically monitored via the set-top box attached to your DVR or cable system, radio ratings are done via a written book that relies on honesty. With television ratings, if you are hooked up to the monitoring system for ratings, what you watch and when you watch is done electronically without your input or ability to change.

This is very different than an/fm radio, as a book holder, I can simply choose to fill in whatever I want when I want. The fact that I’m not a fan of Toronto sports has nothing to do with anything, except it’s ironic that this is a sports media website. I could just as easily be a ravenous fan of Toronto sports media exclusion of all other, but in my case the opposite just happens to be true.

I prefer Fox Sports radio and ESPN simply because they’re coverage is national other than just one city, that’s just me.

Too Much
Too Much
January 8, 2016 6:15 pm

Mike in Burlington – you are a little out of date on your knowledge of ratings. TV is measured mainly via PPM – an electronic device you carry with you. The set top device went out years ago when Nielsen and BBM (now Numeris) merged.

Radio in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal is also measured by PPM. So, someone who wears a PPM has both their radio and TV tuning measured.

In the other markets (many for radio, a few for TV where there are local stations) the diary is still used. However radio diaries are sent to different people than TV diaries where both TV and Radio are measured. Radio is measured for 8 weeks (different group each week) in fall and spring while TV is measured for 3 weeks. PPM is measured continuously, those who wear them do it all the time (supposedly) for up to 3 years or until they don’t want to do it, whatever comes first.

Some say PPM measures what you actually watch/listen to, while diary measures your supposed preference (i.e. in a diary you mark down what station you usually listen to/prefer, even on days/times where you didn’t actually listen to it – the habit/what I think I like factor.)

January 8, 2016 8:09 pm

Love Leafs Lunch myself. Why is it the best show? It’s three guys who talk about only one sport and the sport they know. You don’t have guys like John Shannon talking Basketball or Arash Madani talking hockey. All knowledgable, with three pals who have different personalities and a very good host.

I wonder if they gave it a solid shot, if Leafs Lunch is the answer to challenging PTS? I know the discussion topic would be limited and perhaps the general audience gets tired of hockey talk but radio is about entertainment and these guys figured it out without bits and phoniness (Tim and Sid). The great thing is these guys are just themselves, not trying to be something they’re not, not trying to get a rise out of audiences.

January 8, 2016 8:34 pm

Leafs Lunch IS great. And should remain where (when) it is.

January 8, 2016 9:54 pm

Daren Millard is the only consistent thread on Hockey Central At Noon and he’s a broadcaster which are a dime a dozen. Kypreos and MacLean come and go so there is no ‘show’. Leafs Lunch has the same problem but Hayes is a better anchor. Leafs Lunch is almost always with either Odog or Noodles or both so it sells more as a ‘show’. To me it feels like Millard is just doing the show for the NHL office; stiff and corporate.

If you’re serious about hockey and your life depends on it, as it does at Sportsnet – you do what they did with Bob years back to get him back from mornings: you go to the crew of Leafs Lunch and give them a piece of paper and say ‘write a number down that would make you switch over to Sportsnet at Noon’. And you do it. Whatever ratings HCN gets has little do do with its people, it’s the timeslot and the network.

The Leafs Lunch numbers are on a network with a signal that is equivalent to putting rabbit ears on the roof of TSN. The goal is to generate heat and excitement about NHL games and HCN fails at that terrifically. If SN can give Blundell 500 K to deliver the same or lower ratings as Brady & Walker then they have money to deliver a real show from 12-1.

Mike S
Mike S
January 8, 2016 10:23 pm

I have always listened to both noon hockey shows (HC at Noon via podcast and Leafs Lunch live) and I still do………..I used to prefer HC at Noon but these days I definitely prefer Leafs Lunch

When Sportsnet got the NHL national package they reduced Kypreos & MacLean from 5 days a week on HC at Noon to 3 days a week………that has definitely weakened the show

Leafs Lunch is a very entertaining show and the daily segment with Ray Ferraro (whish usually lasts 25 minutes) might be my favourite segment on Toronto sports radio

January 8, 2016 11:38 pm


What makes Leafs Lunch great is that there doesn’t seem to be any corporate interference for those two hours. I imagine that if they switched over to SN they would have to sell their soul and be something their not. The show is a waste on TSN 1050 but because of that it allows them to just do their thing and put on an awesome show.

The other thing that impresses me is when they bring in other people, they fit in. Craig Button and Andria Petrillo come to mind. The only guy that didn’t seem to work was the host they had on when Hayes was on paternity leave, not sure who the dude was but he seemed to be trying to hard.

I actually used to somewhat enjoy Hockey Central but I haven’t listened to it in over a year.

January 9, 2016 12:31 am

My 2 cents from the cottage….

Of what’s available from 1050 & 590, here’s the regulars that appeal to me:
Pierrre McQuire; Ray Ferraro; cousin Sal; Jemele Hill; Mitch Berger; Dave Hodge; Craig Button; Jon Morosi; Arden Zwelling; Sam Consentino; Declan Hill; Richard Deitsch; Bob Ryan; Peter King; Dave Perkins.

All about the guests!

I think Andrew Walker is a rising star, especially when he’s without Brady. Very similar to when Tim went without Sid. Both are engaging and informative, which is all I can really ask for.

I’d like to hear Madani as someone’s co-host and Lajoie does a terrific job of keeping a time slot flowing when he goes solo. I think both are under utilized.

Jim Tatti does an admirable job with “Game Night”, maybe it’s time for him to have a regular daytime slot.

In time, hoping for an expanded role from Shulman, perhaps taking over PTS and putting “bored Bob” out of his misery.

Hopefully the 2PDs make an offer to one or all of, James Duthie, Mark Hebscher, Mary Ormsby and/or Ron McLean, offering each their own radio shows.

But highest on my wish list would be for AM 740 to launch a sports based show, 2-3 hours every day, totally independent of 590 & 1050, I suggest starting off with Hebscher & Ormsby.

January 9, 2016 7:00 am

Pardon my ignorance here but with the rise of digital cable I would have thought that TV ratings would be fairly easy to get.

Are digital boxes not capable of sending signals both ways? It doesn’t seem that challenging for me to believe a digital box would keep a history of what was watched. Channel, time, duration, etc.

I get that basic cable and radio are different because they are one way signals….but with digital cable I would have to think the numbers would be simplistic to get and take out a lot of the human error

January 9, 2016 9:35 am

Here is a past TSM post pointing out how anything we hear about alleged ratings is complete crap.

Since they still have instructions on how to fill them out and mail them back, I assume they still also use the diaries for TV.

They also have to phone people first to get them to agree to participate. In 2016, who still answers unsolicited calls from unrecognized numbers? They have to advertise to encourage people to answer.

January 9, 2016 1:59 pm

I discovered Leafs Lunch about a year ago and it is a blast. Far more entertaining than HC at noon. Their discussion about Swiss Chalet the other day was hilarious, without the feeling of being overdone.

One huge difference I see at Leafs Lunch vs HC or PTS for that matter, is how often the SN guys put each other down. I know they think they are being funny, but put downs of each other are constant, the word “idiot” is tossed around with regularity, and after a bit, it is somewhat off putting. At LL their humour is more self-deprecating and they come off as more natural.

Not That Chris
Not That Chris
January 9, 2016 4:45 pm


I think, actually, I’m positive the ratings will start trending upwards for the NHL on Rogers when the Leafs become somewhat relevant again. Last season, even the most die hard Leafs fans stopped watching, and who could blame them? In my lifetime, I had never seen a professional sports team just quit trying like those guys did. It was disgraceful. I know a season ticket holder who couldn’t even sell his tickets for face value in the second half of last season. With the expectations for this season set so low, coupled with the incredible run the Jays had going into the fall, the apathy toward the Leafs continued into this season. When you essentially lose the biggest market in the country, the ratings will reflect it. That will change as the Leafs get better.

This deal will not only be extremely profitable for them, but it’ll look like a bargain as pick and pay comes, and more and more people change the way they watch through devices, internet etc…as their deal with the NHL is on all platforms. Nobody can back door them , like Yahoo did the US Networks last year with the NFL.

I’m not a Rogers shareholder, so I don’t care either way. I just think they cut themselves a smart deal and killed their competition in the process.

William D
William D
January 9, 2016 6:34 pm

@Not that Chris

Payments for the NHL rights from now to the end of the contract will increase 5% a year to almost half a million dollars, Initial payment was low allowing Rogers to surpass forecasts in terms of revenue. A huge piece of the success of this deal will be the Canadian teams making the playoffs, if that does not happen with great regularity Shareholders as they did in the beginning will sour on this deal, Ad revenue is known to take a big dip when Canadian teams either exit the playoffs or don’t make it at all. I’m not saying the deal won’t pay dividends for Rogers, I’m just not sure it’s a slam dunk as your making it out to be, there are way too much variables.

January 9, 2016 7:24 pm

“In time, hoping for an expanded role from Shulman, perhaps taking over PTS and putting “bored Bob” out of his misery.”
A bored Bob is better then anything going right now – Blair et al couldn’t carry his jock-
As for Shulman – Take away the fact he is Canadian and he wouldn’t get a second look in this market – I think he is the most overrated voice to come down the pipe in a very long time – There is no doubt he is competent but he does too many sports to be really knowledgeable about any one and he doesn’t have the ability to replace a “bored Bob” on a steady basis – Part time host maybe but he wouldn’t be listenable for a full 3 hours with that voice- And I don’t believe he would tolerate a goof like Reid as well as Bob does-

Mike S
Mike S
January 9, 2016 7:52 pm

Shulman does two sports (baseball and college basketball)……..that doesn’t sound like too many to me

Shulman did a very good job as PTS host for an extended period of time in the mid 1990’s when McCown was on the morning show………..his voice was definitely listenable for a full 3 hours then so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be listenable now

I’m not saying Shulman will replace McCown (I don’t think that will happen)……….but he is definitely more than qualified

Not That Chris
Not That Chris
January 9, 2016 8:11 pm

“As for Shulman – Take away the fact he is Canadian and he wouldn’t get a second look in this market ”


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