Seen & Heard – Mailbag Edition

Seen & Heard – Mailbag Edition

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Good morning sports media fans. I’m still chasing a few things so this will be a quick post to get you through the weekend. We are testing out a “profile” option for regular commenters. You can sign up at the bottom of this post or after the comment section. This will keep track of your posts, and allow you to add info about yourself. Anonymous posting is, of course, still an option.

 

Mailbag Questions

 

I sometimes get questions by email and DM about the industry (keep sending them!). Since I’m just an observer and don’t claim to have any expertise I put some of these questions to people in the industry to inform my own opinions. As you might suspect two things are true: 1) sports media people have very strong opinions about just about everything related to sports media, and 2) there is a large variation in people’s strong opinions about sports media. (I’ll add a #3: Most people start their replies to me with “Let me tell you how things really work …”)

 

Here are some recent questions and some tentative answers. Vote in the polls below each question. I have hidden the results and will unhide them once a significant number of votes have been cast. Poll results are now visible. If you are in sports media then by viewing the results you are consenting to sharing comparable info about your network or show with me.

 

Q: It seems that, despite the changes to Rogers’ hockey coverage, a lot of people still prefer TSN. Is that true?

 

I don’t have strong feelings about this one. I share the impression that TSN is more respected by the average fan. My guess is that is just spillover from the fact that they had a significant head-start in bringing 24/7 sports TV to Canada, and most of those hours were spent on hockey. The FAN has the same advantage on the radio side. TSN’s heritage advantage will fade with time. There is an entire generation that has grown up with both SN and TSN on basic cable, and the current generation will associate playoff hockey with Sportsnet exclusively.

 

Another thing to consider is that Sportsnet loaded up on personalities that come across as surly. Guys like Kypreos, Doug MacLean, Damien Cox, Glen Healy, are not exactly the warmest characters on TV or on twitter. I’m sure some of them are lovely offline, but that’s not what most of the audience sees.

 

Another factor is comfort and familiarity. Sportsnet has tried to put their stamp on everything, and some of those stamps have been off-putting. The multi-million dollar airport hangar studio they built at CBC when they won the monopoly on national rights is a good example of that. The current studio — which is a perfectly normal size — feels tiny by comparison to what came before.

 

Then of course there is the problem of who owns Sportsnet. Rogers has a poor reputation among Canadians. That is not the fault of anyone who works for Sportsnet, and it’s not as if TSN’s owner is a bastion of customer service success. (Full disclosure: I caught Bell ripping off an elderly relative of mine to the tune of thousands of dollars over the last several years. Customer service told me that unless the customer calls to complain they don’t remedy billing errors. Nice policy!)

 

That’s my analysis of the perception of SN’s hockey coverage versus TSN’s. I don’t think it’s a terribly compelling explanation for TSN’s supposed superior status. My guess is that over the next decade the difference will largely become a matter of aesthetic taste and personality preference.

 

Over to you: If you think TSN is better at hockey, why do you think that?

 

 

Q: What do you think about all the “extra” podcasts that are available from TSN and Sportsnet?

 

This is a really interesting question within the industry. First let’s clarify the distinction implicit in this question. There are two different kinds of podcasts: those that appeared on-air and those that didn’t. The former is the traditional model of podcasting. You run your regular radio programming, and then edit out the commercials + sports and traffic updates (unless you’re the FAN morning show) and post that to your xml feed. The other model is newer: you create programming that never appears on air and is instead sent directly to people’s devices or available for streaming on your website.

 

On the one hand, podcasts are extremely cheap to produce, host, and distribute. One can create something that sounds reasonably professional with very basic equipment. (It’s also easy to convince oneself something sounds professional when it doesn’t, but that’s another issue.) As such, it’s pretty costless to flood the market with as much content as your staff is willing to create. Eager young people will of course volounteer their time for a chance to build their personal brand. Win-win-win.

 

On the other hand, there are only so many hours in the day and for every episode of The Bobcast you listen to, you’re not listening to Overdrive, either live or on podcast. The zero-sum risk is obvious: some of these newer podcasts might be cannibalizing traditional listenership, which pushes people towards radio … and commercials.

 

Another way to ask the question is whether “non-aired” podcasts add to your radio brand or detract from it. My guess is that this is a wash. But even if they do detract from the radio brand, they might enhance the overall network brand. I asked Richard Deitsch this question earlier this year and his view is that there is no tension between the two.

 

I lean in the other direction. Sports radio is a very staid medium: it’s basically been the same format my whole life. Podcasts that were never meant to be broadcast over conventional airwaves break that mould in subtle and not so subtle ways. There are no commercial breaks for one thing. Interviews and debates can go on as long as needed. Further, podcasts mostly get rid of cross-promotional “in-house” guests. Then there is the advantage of being able to get into very specialized topics, like advanced statistical metrics or historical comparisons. The listener can always skip ahead on a podcast, whereas a radio show is designed (in part) to get the listener from one commercial break to the next.

 

Personally, if I have an hour to kill, a non-radio podcast has significant appeal over yesterday’s call-in segments or insider commentary. At the end of the day consumers can mix and match to suit their tastes. That’s a good thing. My devices have a mix of both kinds right now, but I’ll probably delete most of the radio podcasts without ever listening to them. I find it’s pretty easy to get behind by a day or two and by that point most of the conventional podcasts have lost their currency.

 

Last point: anecdotally, I have heard from some people with radio shows that they are not thrilled with the promotion that non-radio podcasts receive. I don’t know how widespread that opinion is.

 

Over to you: how have non-radio podcasts affected your listening habits?

 

 

Q: Mike Wilner seems to have ratcheted up his act this season. Is there an explanation for that?

 

I take a lot of criticism for being very negative here. That’s a fair point, and it’s one that has changed my writing habits. One reply I often give is that in the time since I started writing for TSM, lots of very bad things have happened in the industry. Hence, a lot of the topics I cover are pretty negative in nature. Nevertheless, I have made the decision that most of the time there’s not much value in adding to the negativity by writing about topics where I have nothing nice to say. This is what leads me to the Wilner question.

 

I grew up on Jays Talk with Scott Ferguson. Scott was great at the job of taking post-game calls. In addition to having a very smooth radio voice, he had the ability to find something productive to say in response to even the least informed questions. Arguably he was too nice to some of the drunks and children who called in. But the general tone of the show was “we all like watching the Jays, let’s talk about the game we just watched.”

 

The Mike Wilner era of Jays Talk is akin to watching Jerry Springer for me. The guests on the show are either there to make a scene or too stupid to know that the show is fake, and I end up feeling sorry for them. Unlike Jerry Springer, Mike delights in shredding his callers. No one comes across the way he does unintentionally.

 

The one constant of that show is that the calls have been consistently terrible. Part of the explanation for that is, I think, a self-selection bias. If you wanted intelligent Jays discussion would you listen to Wilner? Would you call in? Mike has a several years long track record of being unable to generate that kind of discourse. You can blame the audience if you want, but the end result for me is the same. I acknowledge that there is something entertaining in watching monkeys fling poo at each other. It’s just not for me.

 

For what it is worth, some of Mike’s colleagues speak well of him. He’s not one of the people in the industry about whom no one has anything nice to say.

 

I think there is a real missed opportunity here by TSN1050 (… if only I had a dollar for every time I wrote that sentence …) I would run a Jays post-game show starting tomorrow. With the new guy Scott Mitchell and Scott MacArthur, plus the other baseball types hanging around TSN they could easily put together a JaysTalk alternative that would provide 2 hours of original programming for the next 120 days. TSN1050 is not exactly overflowing with local content in the evenings, and this would help with that issue.

 

In short, I have no idea whether Wilner is more or less of anything this year. I don’t listen.

 

 

That’s it for today. Vote in the polls, drop a comment below, and then get on your bike and enjoy the sunshine.

 

Note: A small website like ours doesn’t drive enough traffic to generate revenue in the current digital economic structure. Maybe in the future there will be a way for us to make a few bucks without resorting to obtrusive ads, subscription fees, or clickbait sponsored content. In the meantime I am going to put a tip jar at the end of my posts. If you like what you read here, consider dropping a few bucks in the tip jar. Thanks – mike

 


 

(p.s. – if you’re web-savvy and have suggestions for better tip jar plug-ins, let me know)

 


 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

photo credit: metronews

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 37
  • comment-avatar
    Themightyquinn 6 months

    I may be in the minority but I prefer Sportsnet’s coverage of the NHL now with only 2 exceptions: Bob MacKenzie in the studio and Cuthbert/Ferraro instead of Hughson/Simpson on play by play. Those are the only things TSN has over Sportsnet since the change to replace Strombo was made.

    Ron MacLean is better than Jame Duthie. Friedman is a rising star and probably already is the second best insider on TV next to the legend Bobby Mac. The toned down studio presentation this season (from the first 2 seasons) is almost perfect. TSN’s first intermission show “The Quiz” is the most amateur thing on sports television today. I would expect something like that on a minor league broadcast – not a major league presentation.

    I give Sportsnet a lot of credit. They felt HNIC was stale so they put themselves out there by trying something new. It failed so they changed course again after 2 dismal years. They recognized their mistake and fixed it. The overall presentation now works in Year 3. If this question was asked last year then TSN would definitely be my pick but not now after this past season. It’s definitely not perfect but I can’t believe someone would prefer TSN to the overall package presented by Sportsnet today in it’s current format (if we are allowed to forget the first 2 years).

  • comment-avatar
    KeenBeagle 6 months

    I think Sportsnet’s NHL coverage has been disappointing. I expected when they got the rights to constantly push the envelop to at least get to the polished state that TSN has. TSN has better presentation from head to toe and better on-air talent. Sportsnet commentary regularly misinterprets plays and players. I honestly think the Punjabi version has better energy although I don’t understand much of it. They likely need some former coaches who are personable and not senile to add to their analyst crews.

    As for podcasts, I think the cream will rise to the top . I would have never expected Bobby Mac and James Duthie to produce a Podcast but their material has been very good. Contrast that to the Athletics’ podcast where they don’t have an interesting content nor good host dynamic. Duthie is a great host, and Hockey PDOcast was great with Travis Yost stirring up trouble. When he left all that remained was Filipovic agreeing with his guests and never challenging them, which meant conversations never got pushed to interesting places. Same thing happens on Puck Soup where Lozo and Wyshynski are too busy laughing at and agreeing with each other to have a compelling discussion. It’s not (or shouldn’t try to be) a comedy podcast and you can’t have comic relief without some drama. I think listener habits will stay pretty stable and the best shows will canabalize the worse ones.

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    mario 6 months

    Thanks for the read MIB good insight. I agree with Themightyquinn. Not taking anything away from TSN they have been covering the NHL for as long as I can remember, and do a great job. Keeping that in mind I believe SN did have it briefly as I recall just a small window of the NHL rights. That is where Darren Dreger made a name for himself as a NHL insider and was very good at it then went to TSN along with Pierre LaBrun , because TSN acquired the right for hockey and nothing for SN. I am just surprised that none of the big names at TSN didn’t follow over to SN seeing no NHL for 12 years at TSN. They still are heavily invested in hockey and give them credit for doing so , but that is a lot of eggs in one basket (12 months a year) just for one sport.

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    fwewe 6 months

    Since the disappearance of the NHL network in Canada hockey coverage has sucked here. Shame on Rogers for not allowing the NHL network in Canada. It is such a great channel and why we can’t have it is beyond me. Do others feel this way?

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    Warren 6 months

    I’m pretty comfortable with SN over TSN for hockey. Though, I think James Duthie does a great Job and would swap him out for Ron MacLean in a heart beat. I find that Ron doesn’t remember whether he’s a host or an opinion provider – Duthie stays in the former camp much more. Ray Ferraro is great, too. He’s the best ‘between the benches’ and is as good or better than many on SN.

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    Some of the programming decisions made by 590 and 1050 continue to amuse me…………here is a promo I heard on 590 this afternoon:

    “Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final will be aired right here on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. We will join the game in progress after the conclusion of the Buffalo Bisons Triple A baseball game”

    This brings back fond memories of June 2013 when 1050 joined NBA Finals Spurs-Heat Game 7 in progress because they were airing an Argos pre-season game

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    Brian 6 months

    Sportsnet’s hockey broadcasts are still not at TSN’s level. There is crispness but still a levity that Sportsnet has yet to match. A lot of that comes from Duthie. Ron Maclean is better than Strombo but too often he gets lost in his thoughts and his point(s) become muddled. Duthie moves things along and is genuinely funny. Maclean also lets Cherry go on and on and on. The TSN 1260 Edmonton morning show runs some spliced-together clips of Cherry mispronouncing names and such. It’s remarkable and somewhat disappointing that he’s still on the air.

    I agree with TheMightyQuinn: Cuthbert and Ferraro is the best hockey TV PxP team in Canada. Hughson is OK. If Sportsnet could just bring in Ferraro, things would get much better. He could do panel work, too.

    Bobby Mac is still the best insider out there but Elliotte Friedman is the best thing at Sportsnet. Kypreos can’t think on his feet and I’m often left with a furrowed brow when he’s done speaking words (because those aren’t sentences). And Hrudey is just not interesting. Nice guy. Bland broadcaster. O’Dog would definitely leave TSN for mo’ money. He would spice up that panel.

    Also, I’ve never understood why Sportsnet didn’t raid more of TSN’s OFF AIR people. The producers and directors there get it right far more often than not. And removing one of TSN’s strengths would make Sportsnet look better by undermining the product at TSN. The ratings are only going to improve from here with the Leafs and Oilers having the league’s youngest superstars. The money ought to be there.

    Podcasts? I’m everywhere. I generally listen to Prime Time Sports on podcast so I can eliminate Shannon, Jones, as much as possible. But I also podcast Marek v. Wyshynski, which is hit and miss (depends a lot on the guest). I have not listened to Duthie’s Rubber Boots so I can’t comment but the Bobcast is hit and miss too. Sometimes it’s a little too much Bob. One of my favorites is Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, especially during the summer months when things are slow in the sports world.

  • comment-avatar
    Mickey b 6 months

    Ron MacLean has brought a whole lot of respectability to the hnic panel. Huge positive difference. Kelly hrudey may be a bit bland for those who don’t have a high hockey iq but he definitely knows his stuff. I really like Friedman and he comes across as a hard working super likeable guy. Unfortunately the reality for him is that he’s a poor mans bob Mckenzie and I’m sure he’s intellligent enough to be the first to admit that. I feel really bad for him when he tries to talk on ice hockey stuff as he embarasses himself to anyone who knows the game. Should stick to plugging away on the off ice stuff. Kypreos sounds like a single A atom hockey coach at best. Not sure who he appeals to as hockey guys wouldn’t respect his knowledge and he doesn’t come across as a likeable guy to your casual hockey fan/viewer. Back to Ron Maclean keeping that dicey panel somewhat respectable. He is easily ithe second most knowledgeable person on the panel behind hrudey.

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    Your post about Wilner is spot on – My thoughts exactly – I just can’t listen to the insufferable condescending clown – The monkey poo comparison made me laugh out loud – Thanks

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    Mike 6 months

    lol @ Kelly Hrudey knowing his stuff.

    These playoffs he said:

    Shea Weber is as fast a skater as PK Subban …. LOL
    PK Subban is a #4 defenceman in the league.

    IN THE LEAGUE. Not in Nashville, IN THE LEAGUE.

    So Kelly Hrudey thinks there are somewhere between 90 – 119 defencemen better than PK Subban.

    Guy is a joke.

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    Original Mitch 6 months

    The NHL intermission shows are an automatic channel changer for me on Sportsnet. I could not be less entertained. This is producer’s fault I imagine but it is ungodly boring and unoriginal. Now I get during playoffs it’s a nightly thing so original features are harder to do. But come on! Throw the viewer a bone once in a while. I just watched the period and litstened to Hughson and Simpson. Why you show me same highlights and saying same thing?? It’s literally painful.
    Scott Oake is the only good person on that crew and he’s horribly misused.
    I don’t credit Sportsnet for “fixing” their mistakes after two years of the NHL deal. They should have known in the first place of their massive blunders. Strombo, the set, getting rid of After Hours, all things that should have never happened in the first place so they get zero credit for fixing what they broke. It’s like giving the school credit for refusing Holmoka to vonlunteer. Why did they let her in the first place!
    And I know we all love Friedman around here. But he should not be on panel discussing plays.
    Imagine having a huge budget, willing talent and 2 ten-minute segments at your disposal and you come up with ” I hearing so and so is in the running for assistant director to the video scout in Winnipeg. Can’t and won’t ever confirm anything (until I read bob’s tweet) but that’s what I’m hearing”

    TSN isn’t that much better but at least the Quiz shows original thinking.

  • comment-avatar
    Original Mitch 6 months

    For the record and to give credit where it’s due, I loved the CBC opening on Saturday with the parents talking about their kids. Sure it was cliche but it was very well done.

  • comment-avatar
    Wayne 6 months

    Ok I love PK Subban and I would want him on my team. But come on he is not #4 in the league! He couldn’t even make the top 8 for the Olympics. Mike please give your head a shake! There’s Doughty, Karlson, Burns, Weber, Keith, Vlasic, Pietrangelo, Muzzin all better!

  • comment-avatar
    Mickey b 6 months

    @mike, I’ll have to assume you’re not really a hockey guy and that’s perfectly fine. However, I never heard hrudey say that there are 90+ better dmen in the league better than pk but if he did I’ll definitely give you this that one. Obviously that’s ridiculous. It would contradict a whole lot of what I have heard him say. I’m thinking there must have be some misunderstanding there but again if he said that he’s obviously wrong. I’ll take your word for it for now but must say I’m shocked and find it very hard to believe. Other then that I can tell you that he is very much respected for his hockey knowledge amongst hockey guys especially compared to his colleagues on the panel. Are there much more knowledgeable guys out there? For sure but again vs kypreos and Friedman he’s in another class.

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    Andrew 6 months

    Wilner, I’ve talked to him at Pitch talks on 3 different occasions and he’s super approachable and genuine, not how he comes across on the radio for Jays Talk. He always gets asked how he does it night after night without losing his mind… I think the way he handles callers now is his way of losing his mind on them, he just doesn’t realize and I doubt there is any of the higher ups at Sportsnet listening then to give him some suggestions. Because it doesn’t really matter after all.

    It would great if TSN would do a post game call in show, I wonder if the callers would be just as bad.

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 6 months

    @Wayne @Mickey B

    I think you guys are missing what he’s trying to say. Hrudey is saying that PK is a #4 defenceman… he’s not saying 4th best defenceman in the league, he’s saying PK would be the 4th best defenceman on every team he would play on in the NHL. So top 3 * 30 teams = PK is the 90th best defenceman in the league. THATS the point that Hrudy is making that Mike disagrees with

    As for Wilner. My buddies and I used to ask each other: Did you hear what Wilner said to this caller on jays talk last night? never about the game, just Wilner trashing another caller. like MIB said, it felt very Jerry Springer and honestly it got old.

    TSN talks rarely about the jays, and I question the journalistic integrity of all Jays reporters and insiders at the fan (Rogers). So for the most part I’m left to discuss with friends. and honestly I’m fine with that

  • comment-avatar
    Joeybutts 6 months

    Barry Davis Outta the park podcast is very popular, much more than raw mike Richards, Brady and Cameron or any derivatives sports podcasts. Barry still has access to the blue jays since he was well liked in the clubhouse. I’m wondering what are Rogers feelings on the fact that he is a former employee using what was a Sportsnet privilege access and why is there no similar Rogers mandated podcast where blue jays players are featured?

  • comment-avatar
    Pete 6 months

    Now that Sportsnet has gone back and aligned itself with what the CBC was offering before, the product is infinitely better. TSN I find does a slightly better job of the in-game product. I prefer MacLean over Duthie. Cuthbert is great. Give me Hughson over Miller, who sounds like he is gargling marbles when he announces a goal. TSN’s Quiz is the hokiest thing out of both productions, especially since Duthie admitted it is pre-planned and scripted. Ask question, have panelist look in camera and deliver his answer like a robot, and continue that three times. No genuine free-flow to it.
    I’m not a podcast listener save for the extremely odd one here and there. I understand someone doing it for personal pleasure. How it benefits guys like Duthie and especially McKenzie I’m unsure of.
    Once Wilner becomes objective as opposed to a condescending shill for the team, I might consider taking him seriously. People suggest the callers to Jays talk provoke his “act”. I think it works both ways and his “act” provokes the callers just as much. TSN has all the ingredients to counter Jays Talk, which I’m sure would have a lot of converted listeners.

  • comment-avatar

    Which broadcast is better is a toss-up to me now. TSN has an edge on content, though I can’t get past my pet peeve of their director repeatedly cutting to that wide angle zoom-in camera during the intermission panel. Every time someone new starts talking, which is sometimes it’s times per segment, they cut to that wide angle shot that zooms in on the panel. It’s one of those things which you notice once, and then can’t stop being bothered by it.

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    I'm not Wilner 6 months

    “Barry still has access to the blue jays since he was well liked in the clubhouse.”

    No, he was not.

    Source: I work in the clubhouse.

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 6 months

    I think it’s good that there are now ‘extra’ podcasts available.

    It wasn’t that long ago that you’d turn to sports radio for information on what’s happening right now. Scores, trades etc.

    But now with twitter taking over that role, I feel like it makes sense to switch to push sports radio into places where it can be listened to anytime, since I don’t think people go to radio nearly as much now for breaking news kind of stuff. The podcasts are also specialized in a way most shows can’t be. I download At The Letters, and enjoy it quite a bit. All in all, with podcasts, it’s more about picking and choosing what you want to listen to, and when. Definitely better for the listener.

    I’m actually surprised more of the podcasts haven’t found their way on air. It’d be better than CBS sports radio.

  • comment-avatar

    I mentioned it last week but in response to this tidbit – “TSN’s heritage advantage will fade with time. There is an entire generation that has grown up with both SN and TSN on basic cable, and the current generation will associate playoff hockey with Sportsnet exclusively.”

    With TSN nabbing the regional rights as they have – I’m not sure how true the statement above will be. They might associate playoff hockey with SN (or CBC as I find I do) but hockey in general I believe will still be a TSN advantage (assuming they continue to offer a far superior product).

  • comment-avatar
    Sperk 6 months

    I’m actually surprised that more people on here haven’t gravitated to podcasts…beyond the convenience and ability to choose your content (which are enormous pluses IMO) you don’t have to sit through 20 minutes of commercials per hour. Not to mention, it’s the same commercials over and over.

    To me the content is better on a podcast…I am not sure why people want to hear what Buck, Zaun have to say as you they are just going to regurgitate that same opinion a few hours later on the same broadcast. Whether you like them or not, do really have to hear from them multiple times? As a huge Raptors fan, the info you get on the various podcasts about the team is infinitely better than hearing mid-day interviews of Leo, Jack, Devlin etc.

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    Hans 6 months

    While I would agree that Rogers hockey has improved it still has that feeling of the kid who is desperately wanting to be acknowledged as the best. As if they’ve got to prove something to everyone instead of just giving us the broadcast. I’ll also say while he has mellowed out this year Kyperios still needs to decide if he’s an actual media member or a player agent/NHLPA rep. You can’t be both and his bias towards everything NLHPA really makes me skeptical towards anything he reports unless Elliotte confirms/agrees with it.

    Could TSN’s lack of a post-Jays talk like show be an MLB rights thing? Does Rogers rights over the Jays extend to pre and post type shows as well? That said, I am surprised that TSN hasn’t opted to go into a baseball show like the fan has for radio. As others have said, TSN does have the people to make something that can serve as an alternative to what Rogers/fan590 offer.

    On the Wilner front – wasn’t he “better” before he got given that weekend off a few years back for questioning one of Cito’s moves and has since been nothing but a good company man?

    Sperk – depends on the podcast. There are a few out there that I would more classify as “shillcasts” because of the large number of ads the people toss in throughout the show.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 5 months

    Wow! Usually I’m complaining that the networks are spinning too much with only reporting on reach or whatever billions of minutes viewed. But someone at Rogers decided to go super granular with demos share and AMA in the latest chest-puffing PR statement: http://media.sportsnet.ca/2017/06/sportsnet-is-canadas-1-specialty-network-for-third-straight-year/

    I believe this is the first time demo data like this has been released publicly and it’s about time. Never understood the secrecy all networks had around ratings.

    Call it a bad stereotype but I wouldn’t have guessed sports are #1 and 2 channels among female audiences.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 5 months

    Another thing you can infer from this data is that TV viewership in the 18-34 age bracket is off a massive 17% from just 2015. Not exactly apples-apples because 2015 is for the full year but that is still a very sharp drop in a short time.

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    edge 5 months

    I still much prefer TSN’s hockey coverage to SN/HNIC. If we consider that TSN still has a lot of Leafs games, plus the English rights to the Canadiens, Senators and Jets, you can argue they do just as much hockey regionally as SN does.

    My issue with TSN is that nationally they are too hockey-heavy, as there isn’t a panel show for anything non-hockey. There’s no panel show for all the tennis they do, nor anything for the NBA, MLS or auto racing. Even the CFL only gets hits on SC other than gamedays when their MIGHT be a pregame show. Disney/ESPN severely cut back on Baseball Tonight, so why doesn’t TSN have a baseball show of their own? It’s impressive that they can kind of hold their own despite losing national hockey rights, but they can do a much better job highlighting the stuff that they do have.

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    Cirroc 5 months

    @Jeff

    Let’s not get out of hand. Simmons may be a dink but it’s hardly sexist to suggest that mixed doubles is not on many people’s radar.

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    robinauroa 5 months

    TSN hockey coverage is far superior to SN. All facets, from pre and post game to in game and play by play. TSN is excellent IMO, but they get an assist from how awful sportsnet is.

    Ron is a definite improvement over George, butbhisbact is tired. And SN eliminated some of the space age garbage like magic puck replay machines and the fake rink with Kelly and Nick running up against each other, but come on. Compare the panels, compare all the on air talent… it’s not close.

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    Good info on the total % decrease Mike V. Thanks for posting that.

    I always laugh when press releases talk about “coveted” markets. The current one covets both M18-34 and M25-54. Bad news for those of you who are men 55+. Despite the fact that you’re among the richest people in Canada and will have great pensions and paid-off mortgages when you decide to retire, advertisers don’t care about you or your spending habits. Instead they care about 25 year olds who are more likely than ever before to be underemployed and living at home.

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    A couple of thoughts on the survey results: HOCKEY

    • 75% preference for TSN hockey broadcasts: I’m willing to bet this is mostly about personalities. If even a couple of people were to defect to SN then I would expect the number to move to 50-50.

    • For the next several years there is going to be lots of regional hockey on TSN and lots of national hockey on SN. Other than the Leafs or all-Canadian playoff matchups, there’s not a huge demand for national hockey in Canada. It will be interesting to see if SN can grow their numbers for matches that fall outside these categories, which is the say the overwhelming majority of their stock of games.

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    Sperk 5 months

    @Jeff

    I agree that this doesn’t mean Simmons is sexist but I think it would serve everyone to remember this tweet when Simmons writes his end-of-year article breathlessly defending how a gymnast should be the Lou Marsh Trophy winner

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    A couple of thoughts on the survey results: PODCASTS

    • I would have expected a stronger preference for “radio” podcasts since the other kind tend to be more niche. That said, I wonder how many people seek out podcasts of radio shows they missed. Probably not that many, since there will be another episode coming right up the next day.

    • Personally, I have not listened to live radio in years. While I understand the importance of “live” when major news is happening, that is so rare in sports especially since blockbuster trades rarely happen anymore in the NHL, NBA, and NFL. Even if they do, you’re likely to find out on Twitter within minutes and then you can flip on the radio.

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    A couple of thoughts on the survey results: WILNER

    • TSN1050 has been very unadventurous with their evening programming. A post-game show during the summer seems like a no-brainer. Nothing to lose, and if you make any gains then this chances the rest of the station.

    • I wonder how popular post-game shows are in general. I grew up listening to Andy Frost on 640 and Norm Rumak on 590 and these seemed like important shows for the station. But it’s entirely possible these shows draw flies compared to 7am-7pm and so any investment is a waste of money.

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    I never listen to radio podcasts, maybe sometimes small clips i find on tsn.ca for a interview or something. but never the actual pod of the whole show. It’s live or nothing. I am also not interested in the tsn personalities side podcasts like duthies or bobby macs. I get enough of them on TV or Radio, don’t really need their podcasts.

    The podcasts I do enjoy are guys who are no longer on air, or are just part timers.. such as Raw Mike Richards, Bastl’s Bytes, Toronto Mike’d and I heard Jesse and Gene are going to be starting a podcast soon ( I miss them). Those are the guys I’m interested in.. all very good shows. I might even check out the mack and Cauz podcast one day if I’m bored.

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    Tighthead 5 months

    Isn’t mixed doubles almost a novelty in tennis these days?

    It’s a nice accomplishment, but it is to singles what ski cross is to downhill in the Olympics.

    I don’t see it as a gender issue. If the Canadian winner was male I assume the reaction would be the same.