Toronto Sports Media Fall Radio Ratings


First the ARGO’s then the TFC, good things come in 3’s so next will be __________

I know how we all love the radio ratings game, so my gift to you this holiday season is the latest book:

StationM25-54M25-54 M18-34M18-34
 % Share of Hrs. Tuned% Share of Hrs. Tuned % Share of Hrs. Tuned% Share of Hrs. Tuned
 Aug. 28-Nov. 26May 29-Aug. 27 Aug. 28-Nov. 26May 29-Aug. 27
M-Fr. 6a-9a     
FAN 5905.24.9 7.08.9
TSN 10501.00.7 0.10.2
M-Fr. 9a-12a     
FAN 5906.26.0 12.711.2
TSN 10500.90.6 0.10.5
M-Fr. 12p-1p     
FAN 5906.16.1 8.08.4
TSN 10501.90.6 0.30.3
M-Fr. 1p-4p     
FAN 5902.73.9 3.04.9
TSN 10501.20.7 0.10.3
M-Fr. 4p-7p     
FAN 5905.56.4 6.38.5
TSN 10501.71.5 1.01.8

So here are my initial thoughts.

The Fan morning show get a nice little bump in the most important demo, going from a 4.9 to a 5.2. That’s a far cry from 7.2 it had a year ago, thank you Toronto Blue Jays.

In the younger demo it goes from an 8.9 to a 7.0 which is a big drop from the 11.8 from a year ago- Thank you Toronto Blue Jays.

TSN 1050 seems a jump from .7 to a 1.0 (the radio Mendoza line) which is up from the .8 last year. The younger crowd simply doesn’t listen to the show, or at least those with meters do not.

Blair jumped .2 from a 6.0 to a 6.2 in the older demo and jumped from a 11.2 to a 12.7 in the younger demo. dropped .4 from an 8.4 to an 8.0. Blair was at a 9.3 and 14.9 last year so the Jays hurt him with year over year too.

Mid-mornings on TSN do not register at all.

The lunchtime show numbers to me are the most interesting. The Fan holds at 6.1 in the older demo and dropped from an 8.4 to an 8.0. The Fan a year ago was at 4.2 and 6.7. So the older demo grew year over year and the younger one dropped.

TSN’s Leafs lunch is their top rated show at 1.9 in the older demo. That’s up from a .6 in the summer and .6 a year ago. That a huge jump (to a still relatively small number, but a positive sign never the less). In the younger demo, the results don’t continue register at all.

Midday, the Fan dropped in both demo’s while TSN saw a bump in the older demo from a .7 to a 1.2. This is a massive drop year over year at the Fan as they went from a 5.7 in the older demo down to a 2.7 and an 8.1 to a 3.9 in the younger. TSN doubled it’s audience year over year in the older yet lost it’s entire younger audience.

Drive home, McCown goes from a 6.4 to a 5.5 and an 8.5 to a 6.3 down a whack from 10.1 and 14.8 a year ago. Someone will have to tell me the last time Bob had a 5.5 in a major book. TSN improved from a 1.5 to a 1.7 which is steady with last year in the older demo. Surprisingly they lost .8 in the younger demo.

So there you have it. As you can see, the Blue Jays performance has far-reaching effects throughout Rogers and one area that really shows in radio ratings.

BTW, the ratings from our friend:

David Bray is President of Bray & Partners Communications.
Feel free to forward questions and inquiries:
Phone: (416)431-5792
E-mail: [email protected]
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December 11, 2017 2:20 pm

This rating system has always been flawed, but it’s even more antiquated now with new technology changing how we consume radio. I listen to Overdrive every day but it’s through the TuneIn app or podcasts. I also semi-regularly listen to both Brady/Price and Landsberg but only through streaming and podcast downloads. Until we figure out a valid way to quantify listeners who stream rather than listen to radio traditionally, these numbers will be skewed.

I’m in my 20’s – I’ll go my whole life streaming rather than listening to actual radios. Same with virtually the entire millenial generation. The % of those who stream/download will only get higher, especially when internet-linked vehicles become the norm. How can the rating system be fixed to reflect this?

Steve B
Steve B
December 11, 2017 2:26 pm

I still chuckle when people say Jeff Blair needs to be fired, he delivers the best ratings in Toronto Sports Radio. Alot of logic from some posters there.

December 11, 2017 2:56 pm

Thanks for the read and as flawed the system is. Personalities are very important but if your content like the Jays, Leafs , TFC and Raptors aren’t winning it really hurts your ratings which is no big secret. Which brings us back to does Rogers really need to sell the Jays?

Paul G.
Paul G.
December 11, 2017 3:06 pm

Although still a ratings leader, as a long time listener of Bob’s I am not surprised by his drop from previous numbers. While its true that no one is better when he is “on his game”; too often he just mails it in. Couple this with subpar second chairs much of the time and you have long time fans like myself who only tune for a specific guest/topic; as opposed to the entire 3 hours.

December 11, 2017 3:25 pm

The thing that jumped into my head immediately was that the Fan losing Andrew Walker has decimated them in the 1 to 4 time slot.

December 11, 2017 3:43 pm

So for males under the age of 34 there is basically no one listening to tsn between 1-4 pm. Damn in numbers.

“What am I doing? I’m talking to an empty telephone cause there is a dead man on the other end of this line.”

December 11, 2017 3:45 pm

Damning numbers.

Mike V
Mike V
December 11, 2017 4:39 pm

Streaming is still included in these numbers, the same as if you’re listening to terrestrial radio.

GOOD SHOW is becoming a BIG PROBLEM for the Fan and Cadeau. They had a perfect chance to revamp went Walker was sent packing but all they did was replace him with Ennis to run the same show so underlying problems remain.

May still be a blip but Bob is now in a five-book downswing. Yes, Jays have a lot to do with some of the quarters but i still believe that ratings are eventually catching up to the huge decline in quality the show has had over the last number of years.

Steve B
Steve B
December 11, 2017 4:58 pm

@MIke V

I just think his core group of listeners are moving on for whatever reason. If there was a hunger for a different radio persona, you’d think that TSN or one of the competitors would see a bump. TSN has been flat for years.

December 11, 2017 4:59 pm

I stopped listening to McCown not because of him but because of his co-hosts. Brunt seemed to be the one co-host that could offer intelligent thoughts and stand up to Bob. Can’t stand the arrogance of Cox. Shannon seems to spend more time looking at his phone than listening to the guests. Maybe it’s been Brunt that has helped Blair and hurt McCown.

Original Mitch
Original Mitch
December 11, 2017 5:35 pm

One reason Bob numbers down is his lead in is dropping like hot potatoes. Obviously there’s a correlation between 1-4pm drop on the Fan and Bob drop meaning their 1-4pm problem is even bigger than at first glance. I guess they should have left Walker solo. Not a giant fan of his but clearly he carried the show well by himself initially and the precipitous drop since he left can’t be ignored. And like a poster once said here, 1-4 is basically the only real Cadeau project on the Fan (other than evenings and weekends) and this is what he does? They are in no position to be patient with Bob signing new contract. Doesn’t it seem like they should just bring back T and S? Like them or not the network needs to do something with them and they are better on radio anyway.

mike (in boston)
December 11, 2017 6:56 pm

Do we have to explain this every time? Sadly yes. Numeris doesn’t do a great job explaining their methodology (because it’s pretty bad)

If you are one the dozen or so male sports radio listeners wearing a PPM it can detect the tone embedded in the online broadcast stream …

….but not if you are using headphones
…. unless you are wearing an adapter between the PPM and your headphones. NO ONE IS DOING THAT.

What people are asking for is a way to measure listenership based on number of people streaming at any given time. Networks have some of that data but don’t share it with Numeris which is why it will never be reflected in the ratings. The real solution is app based data collection. In the US Nielsen has started using this technology.

Mike V
Mike V
December 11, 2017 7:12 pm

TSM, because the signal the PPMs pick up are still in the streaming audio, just as MIB said. Doesn’t make any sense to take it out.

December 11, 2017 7:36 pm

The Fan had a good thing going when it was Brady/Walker, Blair, Tim/Sid, PTS. As someone who enjoyed Tim and Sid on radio, it’s a shame they messed with that. Trying out Blundell and downgrading 1-4, seems to have taken a toll a bit.

The only things that really stand out to me in these ratings are – Good Show having a rough start, and just that fact that ,wow really few people are listening to TSN. I know Overdrive has its fans but… it’s just crazy how that station has just never gained any traction. It’s got to be close to the lowest rated station in Toronto, no?

December 11, 2017 10:07 pm

GOOD SHOW Is absolutely terrible. Curling or darts on the radio would be better programming.

Ennis shouldn’t be allowed on air. No natural talent. Always seems forced and fake.

Bunkis doesn’t belong on the air in a world class market like Toronto.

Big G
Big G
December 12, 2017 1:05 pm

In reading a piece from Steve Simmons today, it makes me think why is Tim Lewieke’s name not even being uttered by sports media in Toronto, yet all his former teams have drastically turned the corner from where they were prior to his arrival. He set the wheels in motion with all his managerial appointments. When it came to criticizing Tim all hands were on deck, not that all his moves were fruitful all you hear CRICKETSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One wonders if Tim would form a group with Larry T to purchase the Jays if they became available.

December 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Different Jimmy here. I actually like JD on Good Show. Last week with Ennis off was very listenable.

mike (in boston)
December 12, 2017 3:32 pm

Here is a press release describing the Nielsen Total Audience Measurement system in the US. This is a measurement system that doesn’t rely on PPMs capturing signals from a stream, which is what Jonah is asking for from Numeris.

What I find interesting is how they would know which demographic the person streaming would fall into. We already know that newer radio apps scrape data from your device (e.g. what other apps you have installed) and send that back to the network. Do they guess that you’re male or female based on that? How old you are? Nielsen makes some vague statement about matching their data with partner data, but claims it’s all non-identifiable or “pseudonymous”.

If you’re really interested you can download the WEEI or WGR apps and look at the privacy menu. Each details how your data is used.

December 12, 2017 4:03 pm

..I am not at all surprised McCown’s numbers have dropped….John Shannon is the antithesis of Young Demographic & ‘Radio Personality’….Outdated, Out of Touch…Grating…

Fan590 stop being Lazy…you can’t fool us…Sticking Shannon on your radio every single day, On some absurd Hockey-Live-Look-In-Show on the weekends….will render your radio station Obsolete. Trust me.

You Suck, John Shannon.


Mike V
Mike V
December 12, 2017 4:05 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Nielsen just rolling out the measurement to their panel? It’s not measuring total streaming, just streaming in apps from people providing Nielsen data to generate ratings.

If that’s the case, this isn’t that much different than how it’s always been done. If you’re not in the survey group, you aren’t counted. If you’re in the group but aren’t using the box/PPM/app at that particular time, you aren’t counted.

Paul G.
Paul G.
December 12, 2017 4:07 pm


Dislike of Shannon is not restricted to a particular demographic.

This long time critic is approaching 60.

Mike V
Mike V
December 12, 2017 4:36 pm

You’re also not included when you watch TV – either streaming or through cable. This is how every measurement panel works. I don’t get why it should be different for streaming the radio station.

Mike S
Mike S
December 14, 2017 3:15 pm

A rating of 5.5 for PTS?……….for McCown’s sake I hope he negotiated his new contract before these numbers came out

Blair has by far the highest rating in the younger demographic………I find that amusing since he is a crusty guy in his mid-to-late 50’s who blocks just about everyone on Twitter

Just about every 590 timeslot is down significantly from this time last year (Blue Jays effect?)………..and while the 1050 numbers are still awful at least they can say that all of their shows have a higher rating this time in the main demographic compared to the same time period in 2016

December 14, 2017 11:41 pm

The Good Show is an absolute dumpster fire. Bunkis is without a doubt, The. Worst. It’s a two person show and he continues to talk on and on and seems to forget that there’s a co-host. He’s incapable of asking a guest a question without a 2 minute lead-up. Hey JD, it isn’t all about you.

As someone mentioned in an earlier comment, when Brady and Walker were in the morning, followed by Blair, Tim and Sid in the aft and PTS late aft, the line-up was bulletproof. I’m sure there were other underlying reasons, but it’s frustrating as a listener when it appears they need to tweak just for the sake of tweaking.

I would also concur with the sentiment around Bob’s 2nd chair. I always enjoyed Brunt and Cox is OK, but it falls off quite fast from there which can really take away from the show. Some Friday’s the “roundtable” is ba-roo-tal with who they put together. Put some effort into it!!

Gary M
Gary M
December 16, 2017 5:35 pm

People fixated on streaming numbers be careful what you wish for. I suspect they are very low relative to traditional radio numbers. The number of choices in terrestrial radio is something like 15. Add in satellite and it’s what, 150? In streaming, the number of choices approaches infinity.

December 18, 2017 6:11 pm

Anyone that didn’t enjoy The Last Jedi is contributing to the death of good storytelling.

December 19, 2017 12:59 pm

‘I suspect they are very low relative to traditional radio numbers. The number of choices in terrestrial radio is something like 15. Add in satellite and it’s what, 150? In streaming, the number of choices approaches infinity.’

This is kind of what i get a chuckle over then people say ‘I can only listen to things I hate, I have no other options’. You literally have 1000s of options, every moment of the day.

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones
December 20, 2017 10:23 pm

Is there any better sports radio talk than McCown and Shannon discussing shopping at Costco for 10 mins.?

December 22, 2017 8:16 am

McCowan and Shannon talking to Sol Korman about meat platters?

December 22, 2017 7:23 pm

Interesting that over in Vancouver, Sportsnet 650 isn’t too far off TSN 1050 after only a few months:

“Fall radio ratings are in & the news is not good for Vancouver’s all-sports stations. TSN 1040’s numbers down big over last fall (1.7 share vs 3.9 last fall). Sportsnet 650 has a 1.2 share. The 3 all-sports stations rank 16th (TSN), 17th (650) & 19th (TSN1410) of 20 Van stations”
– @BradZiemer

Meanwhile it’s been years here without TSN making a dent.

Arthur Joseph Branco
Arthur Joseph Branco
December 31, 2017 4:19 pm

TSN 1050 did make a dent a few years back. The Mike Richards show put up much better numbers then anything they have now. Then TSN lost the hockey rights and everything went to hell.

Jeff MacDonald is useless and his lineup is a joke. The morning show sets the tone for the day. If you get out of the car locked to a station you will likely keep listening when you get back in the car later in the day.

Michael Landsberg is a ratings killer.

chiming in from the '6'
chiming in from the '6'
January 3, 2018 11:23 pm

Always thought Bunkis was a Bubkus when he chimed in on air, while producing Andrew Walker show. Bunkis like othet foolish producers of sports radio shows, thinks he’fit to be a radio host in T.O. Answer – go back to producing

Ennis is adequate host and during holidays station had a woman named Ashley -can’t remember her last name – who was quite astute talking on various sports, and asking pertinent questions of phone guests while on Jeff Blair show.

Take out Bupkis and substitute with Ashley and FAN 590 1-4 time slot would get better ratings, thus pumping up ratings for Prime Time Sports.

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