Sports Media Stories to Watch in 2019: Podcasting

Sports Media Stories to Watch in 2019: Podcasting

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Good morning sports media fans. Try not to freeze out there today. Over the next few posts I’ll be discussing some stories to watch in 2019. This is Part Two. Part One, on Toronto sports media’s top free agent, can be read here.

 

I’d like to extend a special thanks to those of you who take the time to contribute to the discussion in the comments section. The best part about writing for TSM is being able to dig into sports media topics with likeminded folks. Thanks as well to the people in the industry who reach out via email, DM, and text to provide feedback and background. I am very grateful to those who maintain professional working standards with me despite differences of opinion, occasional disagreements, and the odd error on my part.

 

Podcasting Goes Mainstream

 

One of the biggest stories of 2018 in local sports media was the continued investment in podcasting by the major networks. Sportsnet made news with three high profile additions:

 

  • The Lede featuring Stephen Brunt and Jeff Blair
  • A Swing and a Belt featuring Dan Shulman
  • 31 Thoughts with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman

 

All three are welcome additions and each brings distinct elements to the media marketplace. 31 Thoughts converts Elliotte’s popular column into an hourlong (or more) listening experience with the professional and likeable Marek doing a good job as host. The Lede allows two old journalists to trade stories and discuss current events without the constraints of commercial breaks. Interestingly, both Brunt and Blair have radio shows so this is a case where the podcast is directly competing with the established legacy product. More on that in a moment. Finally, AS&AB gives the popular Shulman a vehicle to speak in his own voice on topics of interest. This is a way to expand his reach beyond merely being a guest on Sportsnet radio and TV shows.

 

These podcasts join a suite of existing specialty podcasts and on-demand versions of TV and radio shows. This continues efforts from previous years, as SN has tried and then abandoned various podcasting concepts, most recently Point Taken with radio’s Greg Brady and TV’s Caroline Cameron.

 

The strategic question to ask is why Rogers saw fit to branch out into these areas at this time. All of these media personalities have other roles at the network and so this is not a case of anyone being hired into a new role. Rather, Sportsnet clearly sees podcasting as one of the platforms on which they want their multi-platform guys to be active. And in each of these cases the network is investing time and money into creating new content rather than repackaging existing content. (You might recall that Sportsnet Magazine chose to publish a Bob McCown interview that was just a transcript of something from PTS. Not the best way to establish the credibility of your publication.) 

 

One possible answer to the “why now?” question could be revenue. 31 Thoughts has a sponsor, though there are no actual commercial breaks. A source tells me that even niche podcasts can generate significant income from advertising, so it’s possible that the sponsorship deal is lucrative. But the other two new podcasts don’t have sponsors (as far as I can tell) so this explanation isn’t terribly satisfying. 

 

Another possible answer is that all of these people are collecting big league salaries and working jobs with significant downtime. Radio hosts are only on-air for 3-4 hours a day, hockey reporters don’t work full-time from June to September. Of course the truth is more complicated than that but one can imagine that executives would look for ways to squeeze more out of existing human resources, especially if money is tight.

 

A related possible explanation is that TSN took the lead with McKenzie, Dreger, Ferraro, and Jay & Dan all publishing regular podcasts. As the battle for #1 specialty brand goes back and forth, Sportsnet might not want to cede any ground in this space, even though they have a healthy lead when it comes to the much more valuable radio space. Interestingly, neither network boasts about their podcasts in their end of year press releases.

 

Disrupting Radio

 

As someone who grew up on radio I am thrilled that more resources are being devoted to media made for listening. Functionally, I can listen while cooking or biking to work or on the treadmill. I can’t do that with TV or reading, so the more options there are the better.

 

That said, podcasts like these new offerings from SN exemplify the growing quality chasm between conventional radio and podcasts. For example, this end of year episode of The Lede has tons of clips and other production elements that greatly enhance the storytelling, and consequently the listening experience. There is no producer listed on the show page but I believe this is the fine work of ex-PTS producer Ryan Walsh. (He spoke to me a few years ago before transitioning to his new role on the Tim & Sid TV show. It’s a great read that holds up well.)

 

Obviously this is just one example — there are plenty of podcasts that are just as forgettable as your run of the mill call-in show — but once you get a taste for quality conversation it’s very hard to go back to the other format. This same difference was immediately noticeable when Tim & Sid switched from their Score podcast to a 15 hour a week radio show on the FAN.

 

We have discussed the problems of commercial radio for years on this site. You need to break for advertiser spots. You need to wedge in traffic and news. Depending on the timeslot there will likely be no budget for guests so you have to recycle in-house experts or take calls from the folks who have nothing better to do than to sit on hold for a chance at 30 seconds on air. None of these things apply to non-radio podcasts. You only need to record one if you have something to say, and you can end it when you’ve run out of things to talk about. No filler required. Further, podcasts don’t have the same problem of being content that goes stale very quickly. 

 

As I wrote recently, if your life doesn’t involve a car commute then it’s very hard to justify spending your listening time on commercial radio or its on-demand derivatives. The recent investment in produced podcasts by both networks has exacerbated the issue. Why would I listen to Brunt on PTS, with all the risks that this entails, when I can listen to The Lede instead? The choice becomes increasingly easy once you factor in the amount of weekly sports content one can acquire. Richard Deitsch has a nice list of podcasts here. Sure, you might not get the chance to listen to up-to-the-minute discussion of last night’s games but unless you’re stuck in the car then there are plenty of articles, tweets, message boards, and GIFs that will give you the engagement you want.

 

Where is all this headed? Right now podcasting is a minor revenue stream for places like TSN and SN. If my habits are any indication of a larger trend, this minor revenue stream is a potential threat to their major revenue stream in radio. I don’t have room in my life for both. It’s important to note that radio is a tiny revenue stream relative to TV. So it’s possible that this is just moving a small bump in the rug around without threatening the major cash cow. However, cord-cutting continues to grow and sports networks are especially vulnerable to these losses due to the high fees that each subscriber brings in. Perhaps investing in podcasting is an instance of skating to where the puck is going, if this is a place where more revenue will eventually end up. 

 

Missed Opportunities

 

Notably absent from the podcasting game are the legacy media outlets. The Star tried a podcast with Laura Armstrong and Doug Smith but didn’t stick with it.  Globesports is … Globesports. The Sun/Post tried a pivot to video that is continually cringeworthy.

 

 

It’s worth pointing out that all of the papers employ people who appear on TSN and SN. This is a healthy secondary salary for some, and pocket money for others. Good for those people, but it seems like a missed opportunity for the legacies.

 

For example, I would love to listen to a twice a week podcast on baseball featuring Richard Griffin. (TSN ditched their baseball podcast on which he was a regular guest a few years back). I would probably subscribe to a weekly roundtable with Bruce Arthur, Feschuk, and Cox on the Leafs and Raps. I would also listen to a Sun sports podcast featuring Steve Simmons and some of his colleagues This could be a version of his popular Sunday column, like what SN did with 31 Thoughts. I might even listen to Cathal’s Corner (TM), where we can really dig into why there is no such thing as a light-hearted reference to cannibalism. (never forget)

 

It seems odd to me that all of these outlets just let their full-time employees moonlight at other places when they could be producing similar content in-house. Sportsnet has shown that you can hire people to write for you and still ask them to do a podcast. If there is enough time in the week for regular spots on a TV network, or time to write a book on the side, then maybe writing for a newspaper isn’t a full-time job anymore, especially if you’re covering the games from your couch or the bar.

 

Final Thoughts

 

Toronto sports radio started to lose me in 2017 for reasons that I have explained elsewhere. 2018 made it easier than ever to cut the cord with conventional radio. Surprisingly, the off-ramps and alternatives are coming from inside the house.

 

Currently local consumers don’t have to pay anything for all this premium content, and the ad intrusions are minimal to non-existent. Will that change in 2019? I could easily see The Bobcast, for example, becoming a flagship show on a premium subscription service for TSN, or a bonus for Bell cable customers only.  Neither would be a good thing for consumers but there are highly paid people at both networks whose job involves developing new revenue streams.

 

More generally, just as cable (HBO) and streaming (Netflix) have become homes for great original content that couldn’t be produced on conventional TV, we are seeing a similar revolution in the aural area. The technology on the consumer side has been available for a long time now, with portable MP3 players and rss-feeds. As supply has increased, so has demand. It is unclear which side is driving the current boom in podcasts but there is no indication it has reached an equilibrium yet. 

 

Over to you: have podcasts killed the radio stars?

 


thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

photo credit: Jeff Marek’s Twitter

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 47
  • comment-avatar
    Chris 2 months ago

    All of these outlets were hilariously late to get into podcasting. It’s laughable to read “Podcasting goes mainstream” because that happened many years ago. Tim and Sid got in early enough that I respect their foresight, but the rest of the mainstream Canadian sports media were laggards compared to the entire sports media industry.

    As a former sports blogger I was appearing on podcasts in 2005-06, and then producing podcasts for years thereafter. I gave up on radio around the time of Napster and it wasn’t long after when podcasts came along.
    Welcome to the party, we’ve been expecting you.

  • comment-avatar

    There actually was a Globe Sports podcast hosted by the sports editor of the time, whose name I forget. Mostly it was just him and Mirtle, but they’d also do spots with Matt Sekeres, Allan Maki, Eric Duhatschek, Roy MacGregor and Sean Gordon, back when they actually had sports reporters out in the non-Toronto wilds. It’s kinda surprising that the Athletic hasn’t really gotten into the podcast game.
    You’re absolutely right, Mike, it is strange that the newspapers have totally ceded that space to the telecoms. I see no reason that all of the Postmedia papers across the country couldn’t do the same.

  • comment-avatar

    Jeff Marek needs to go mainstream. He’s still a relatively undiscovered gem.

  • comment-avatar

    Totally agree that the Star is missing the boat here – they could totally have a really good roundtable. I might even pay for it. They’d have to have a good moderator though, esp to deal with Cox. Interesting side note is because Arthur and Feschuk are also paid (presumably) by TSN does that impair their objectivity?

    I don’t think I’d pay for PTS or Overdrive as currently constituted in podcast form. I’d pay for Ferraro only on Overdrive. I’d likely be more interested if they packaged what they currently had and put a subscriber only podcast on top of it.

    Maybe I’m in the minority but I’m not generally a fan of podcasts “enhanced” by music and outside audio… I like the drone of the participants plus maybe a few key sparse clips added for context.

  • comment-avatar
    Justin 2 months ago

    Sports media in Canada is finally catching up to the US with podcasting. The US media was FAR ahead of the Canadian media with utilizing their main talent for podcasting. ESPN was on this as far back as 10 years ago. I remember being happy to discover somewhere around 2011/2012 that they re-released PTI daily in podcast form, allowing me to listen on-demand later that night in only 21 minutes with no commercials.

    That said, Sportsnet has a small but very well-done suite of podcasts that were a very welcomed addition to the marketplace in 2018 (I especially enjoy Shulman’s podcast). As was alluded to in the above article, they’re very well-edited and sound sublimely professional, even in comparison to podcasts from other MSM outlets.

    And yeah, my consumption of sports radio is at an all-time low due to the introduction of podcasts. I only listen to PTS/Overdrive now, and even that is via podcast. There is definitely an argument to be made that the introduction of podcasts is eating their own, but I’d bet the MSM sees the podcast audience as dissimilar from their radio audience: skewing a lot younger, more tech-savvy, and looking for audio to occupy them while they’re not in the car. For the radio audience, they’re targeting an older demographic and competing to make sure their station is first on the car radio dial.

  • comment-avatar

    I think Sportsnet has done a good job with podcasts. I like the strategy to make just a few high quality options rather than overload with average stuff (Personally, I think The Lede, Swing and a Belt, and At The Letters are all great).

    It is interesting to me, that as The Fan/Sportsnet seems to be investing more in high profile podcasts, the quality of the less important parts of The Fan’s on air schedule seems to have dropped a bit? (afternoons, CBS radio more often on evenings/weekends). I wonder if that was a conscious decision to invest more in podcasts and less in the less important parts of the week. I guess it if came down to it I’d rather a really good weekly hour from Brunt/Blair or Dan Shulman or Marek/Friedman than an upgraded Good Show, so maybe that makes sense.

  • comment-avatar

    Interesting that PTS is no longer publishing the Friday call-in hour for their podcast

  • comment-avatar
    Gary M 2 months ago

    I suspect the reason they’re getting into podcasts is they don’t know what else to do. Media has collapsed and people are listening to podcasts so…podcasts. But that doesn’t mean they can make money off podcasts because these do not require the one edge these companies had before: they owned the media.

  • comment-avatar

    The Lede was good. Surprised me. Blair isn’t forced to speak while at he same time surfing the internet and listening to his Producer peck in his ear. 95% less ‘er-er-n-n-ns’. Liked the addition of old audio clips to add to the nostalgic flavour of some of their stories.  

    And with all the Pods out there, not sure why HNIC again decides to bore viewers to death with CBA talk. Saturday night is about families and kids watching hockey. Kids don’t know and don’t care about the damn CBA and parents on Saturday night just want their kids to have fun. Have a segment with Matthews or Marner teaching hockey skills to kids which creates family moments where different generations discuss and play the game that night in a rec room, bonding the next generation to HNIC. This is what Pelley and Nadir promised Bettman. 

    Kids want to grab a mini-stick and shoot a tennis ball around pretending they’re Marner or Matthews, not put on a suit and bark about escrow. 

    Note to 590 and 1050 PDs: please parse out your traffic updates into separate Pods. The information they disseminate is so critical to my well being I wouldn’t want to miss it when mixed up inside a show’s Pod. Thanks. 

  • comment-avatar

    Anyone tried Millard ‘the chirp’? Or blundells? I’m hooked on spitting chiclets right now.. all those mainstream podcasts from Sportsnet and tsn are a bit dry for me, too corporate.

  • comment-avatar
    Gary M 2 months ago

    Yaz makes a great point about HNIC. When I was a kid they had Showdown and Peter Puck and that’s the kind of stuff they ought to be doing. Of course, full credit to Alan Eagleson back then for making sure there was no CBA to talk about.

  • comment-avatar

    I must say that I’m really disappointed in everyone involved with Overdrive and their decision to invite Ray Lewis on this past Friday. Though not convicted, there is nothing that suggests innocence regarding his involvement in that murder case. I’ve always been a big booster of Overdrive, but can no longer, in good conscience, do so.

  • comment-avatar
    Libery Village Bob 2 months ago

    Talk radio is dead. My new car can tell when I get in and starts playing whatever I was listening to on my phone. No need to turn on the radio. Not even for traffic since google mapps adjusts based on traffic conditions. Only reamining reason to turn on 590/1050 is for Jays or Leafs games but I’m almost never in the car when those are on. Also I don;t care for the current Jays radio team.

  • comment-avatar
    Liberty Village Bob 2 months ago

    Jp 20 hours ago

    Anyone tried Millard ‘the chirp’? Or blundells? I’m hooked on spitting chiclets right now.. all those mainstream podcasts from Sportsnet and tsn are a bit dry for me, too corporate.

    couldn’t pay me to listen to anything affilated with Dean Blundell. No interest in his opinions on sports.

  • comment-avatar
    WestdaleRocks 2 months ago

    Part of the reason for the success of podcasts is the abject failure of radio to grab listeners.  There is a gulf between what is good and what is bad on radio right now.  Compare the very best shows, to what is the worst you’ll hear….late night and overnight on weekends.  The guy who swallowed a bucket of stones overnight is awful.  Ya, that’s US filer programming, but TSN and The Fan have a lot of unlistenable shows featuring their own “talent” as well. One of the worst things I’ve ever heard was a bit last night on a US syndicated show on The Fan.  Some guy somehow reached the conclusion that Nick Foles is a marginal quarterback because of the late interception he threw.  First, judging a guy on one play and making it the basis for his whole career, is stupid.  Second, it was a good pass!!!  It went right through the receiver’s hands!!!  This is but one example in a sea of weekend garbage on sports radio.  Yes, podcasts are doing good things and have dented the marketplace.  But sports radio has contributed to their success by completely dropping the ball and throwing on any product it can, no matter how unlistenable it is.  

  • comment-avatar
    mark coale 2 months ago

    Random thoughts:

    Don’t forget Marek was doing MVSW for a few years before that stopped.

    And since he now in Toronto and on the Gan you could include Deitsch ‘s  pod too.

    I really like the Lede but don’t care for the SFX and clips. 

    I rarely listen to live streams anymore, so prefer to listen to radio shows via pod. That also allows me to skip topics/guests of no 8ntetest (for me, football and basketball, chiefly).

    (Disclosure: all those guys and TSM himself have all been on my pod, so I might be prejudiced. 😀) 

  • comment-avatar
    Original Mitch 2 months ago

    Great topic!

    Podcasting is definitely an area where both Bell and Rogers can vastly improve but are definitely trying to make strides. They may be late getting there compared to the States, but at least there is a mandate. I think SN has done the better job in create original content that floats outside the lines of traditional radio. Simply have a regular radio host do extra talking via podcast after his radio show isn’t good enough. Needs to be like the Lede or 31 thoughts. Great, original content. I think Bob’s Monday long form interview would make a great podcast.

    There are issues though for certain. As much as we’d like to think of podcast as the opportunity for a host to be more candid, they are still way too corporate and fall in line with the usual Rogers/Bell jargon. That’s a hurdle they will never be able to jump of course so its very limiting. 31 thoughts is great but its just nicely speculating and things and making sure the NHL and clubs are positively represented at all times. Any Fan blue jays podcast will do the same. Both networks have a lot of work to do, but they are trying and that’s what matters

  • comment-avatar

    I do think the popularity of podcasts do reflect that over the air sports radio has gotten stale. Maybe it’s that radio is forced to try to appeal to a mass audience, whereas podcasts can cater to pretty specific tastes. So radio can just sound so stuffy and dull in comparison. Either way – If you get into shows like the Dan Lebatard Show or Pardon My Take, it kind of ruins normal sports radio for you. Local radio wise I’m pretty much just listening to PTS at this point on podcast. Maybe Blair if I like the topic.

  • comment-avatar

    And speaking of local sports radio dropping the ball – apparently Scott MacArthur has been let go from 1050. His show was a little dry but hardly seemed to be part of the problem with that station. I’d like to think they’d replace him with a dynamic new local show, but Bell seems so non-invested in that station I wonder if they’ll just put on ESPN. Brutal.

    He seems like a good broadcaster and nice guy? The Fan should consider giving him a job. I’d absolutely take him over JD Bunkis. Or maybe as a new Jays Talk host, if Wilner stays on PBP.

  • comment-avatar
    Original Mitch 2 months ago

    Wasn’t MacArthur’s show the only tsn radio show that was a real challenge to the Fan and every quarter kept gaining listeners while Good Show continues to drop? Not sure if that’s just a reflection on how bad Good Show is but nevertheless this is a significant blow for tsn. Only radio area where they had momentum against competition is now gone. 

  • comment-avatar

    Good discussion here on podcasts.

    One further thought I had is that podcasting trains you to care less about discussion of last night’s game. So many people watch and use a 2nd screen in real-time that you’re getting discussion/analysis of the game while it is happening. There’s not a ton of value in listening to calls or hosts talk about it the next day. By then you’re on to the next thing.

    In related news, The Athletic have a posting for podcast manager. Part of the role includes:

    Scout, evaluate, and recommend podcasts to acquire

    It will be interesting to see if they can bring popular free or donation-based podcasts under their brand and thereby under the subscription model. 

  • comment-avatar

    We will have an update on the end of Scott MacArthur’s tenure with TSN when details emerge. I like to give people some room to process things before bugging them for details.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve 2 months ago

    It is both hilarious and sad how crappy the Canadian sports podcast scene is. All parties have truly missed the boat and are struggling to catch up while thousands of advertising dollars are going to other podcasts who have been around for years. Hell, half the American podcasts I listen to have Canadian (targeted) advertising in them.

    If you’re a fan of any of the big five sports (besides NHL), there is zero reason to listen to any Canadian-hosted podcast because there are countless of American ones doing it better. I’d find it very hard to believe anyone in Cdn sports can give me insight on the Dallas Cowboys / Boston Celtics / etc.

    And as a soccer fan, it was sad to see both TSN and SN cancel both their soccer podcasts in the past few years.

  • comment-avatar

    WHAT?!!!!! My God Somebody give Jeff McDonald that jackass of the decade award. First David Bastl, then Mike Richards now Scotty Mac?

    TSN1050 drops anyone they have who is good and yet some how Landsberg and his 0.1 rating lives on?

    Look out Hayes and ODogg you’re probably next.

    Scotty if you are reading this. You were always one of my favourites since day 1 of TSN 1050. Thank you for entertaining us in our cars and making a small station with a brutal signal worth while, even when they tried everything to ruin it. I hope you land on your feet soon. They could use you on the Fan. If not the fan I would love to hear you on Sauga 960 with Richards and Bastl. God knows that station has nothing after the morning show.

  • comment-avatar

    Looks like I called it re McArthur being the new Jays Talk host:

    https://twitter.com/yyzsportsmedia/status/1085617771516325888

    If Rogers would like to pay me to consult I am available.

  • comment-avatar

    Great News. I assumed he was let go because well… TSN 1050 is run by a goof who let other good people go.

    Happy for Scotty Mac. This is a huge upgrade from Wilner. Congrats to both Scotty and to Dave Cadeau on a grrat hire.

  • comment-avatar

    What happened to Brady’s podcast with Caroline Cameron? I loved it. Did Scott Moore cancel it beacuase it had a woman on it?

  • comment-avatar
    Sperk 2 months ago

    I think focusing on only MSM outlets getting into podcasting is a little myopic. There are so many great Toronto based sports podcasts out there that have nothing to do with Rogers, Bell etc that are taking listeners away from radio. I think their late entry into the market is just a desperate attempt to promote expensive talent that is losing market share. Podcasting is replacing talk radio due to its convenience, better experience and, for some, lack of corporate control.

    Perhaps focusing a deep dive article on the Raptors Republics, Toronto Mikes of the world and how they’ve squeezed into the market place would make an interesting read?

  • comment-avatar

    I came here to echo what Sam said earlier. It’s interesting that the Friday PTS podcast no longer includes caller hour. The only reason I can think is that this segment has a lot of appeal to listeners, so they want to pull people in on the Friday 4pm-5pm slot and hold them for the whole show. I’m very disappointed by their decision to take out the callers, it was my favourite part of Friday’s and I can’t listen live. I hope they change their minds on it. 

  • comment-avatar
    Gary M 2 months ago

    Sperk, that’s the interesting thing: legacy media giants have no significant edge in podcasting. The fact that they’re doing it, imo, is sort of an acknowledgement that their time is up.

  • comment-avatar
    Roy Quinn 2 months ago

    Ironically. It was Jeff Blair who prompted me to explore podcasts. A few years ago, after Brady was replaced with Blair, I gave Blair a listen, for a few months. Couldn’t deal with his voice and his stammering. (In the good ‘ol days, having a voice for radio, was a prerequisite, for, you know, being on radio…).
    The competition, on TSN, at the time (and still), was not my cup of tea. So I explored the podcast thing, for my morning commute.
    Fast forward to present. Podcasts for my morning commute are mostly comedy, Bill Burr and recently Conan O’Brien, along with some targeted interest podcasts. Radio is not turned on, in the morning. The drive home? “Overdrive” on TSN. Everyday. With Ray Ferraro being cannot miss at 5:00 PM.

  • comment-avatar

    Point taken Sperk. We tend to focus on MSM activities just because that’s what most readers know and care about, but with podcasting there’s tons of good work being done by other outlets. It kind of mirrors the rise of blogs as an alternative to newspapers.

    If someone wants to do a round-up of independent sports podcasts, write to me directly and we can talk about a guest post.

  • comment-avatar

    @ Roy Quinn Jeff Blair drove many,many people away from fan590 !! Personally I went from 90 % listener to the Fan down to the current 5 % . The advertisers have to be ecstatic.

  • comment-avatar

    @Jim  – Not to be a ‘well actually guy”, but if you look back through this site, Blair’s consistently had big ratings. If I recall correctly he’s been the only show in the lineup with numbers like the ones McCown gets for years. TSN is in the toilet at the time slot too. Fair enough that you don’t like the show though!

  • comment-avatar

    @Sam. @Mike

    The Friday PTS 4 PM hour is not available anymore on podcast but if you really want to hear it apparently it is available on the 590 website…………..in my opinion it makes no sense to have 14 hours of PTS available each week via podcast and one hour not available…………..I sent an e-mail to 590 about this earlier this month and here is what they said:

    “Please note that the listener hour of PTS can now be found on https://www.sportsnet.ca/590/prime-time-sports/https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.sportsnet.ca_590_prime-2Dtime-2Dsports_&d=DwMGaQ&c=zwPfxOisiRWGoGc9Pq9Wrg&r=SmqjnDr82RnQ3ZhZ-yIDVDrYzo9jAEaYO5wulRG2t1E&m=ZaNJoPfRAfvdFqT-8HQCmsVA6vAKNvm7FJ2f5SMJgPo&s=6Z0GVyyE2lSUZg-rkpcAH15SfHtBWf9rFnZDKLlVd0U&e=.

    The call-in hour is no longer part of the podcast offering”

  • comment-avatar
    Steve 2 months ago

    There are so many great Toronto based sports podcasts out there that have nothing to do with Rogers, Bell etc that are taking listeners away from radio.

    What are these great Canadian sports podcasts? There are no Pardon My Take / Bill Simmons /etc equivalents here, just a bunch of team-specific pods run by fans or blog sites. The last popular non-MSM podcast to come out of Canada was The Basketball Jones.

  • comment-avatar
    Frank 2 months ago

    Should be a shout out for Steve Dangle Podcast which has a cult following amongst a demographic that is probably younger than that which reads this blog. 

  • comment-avatar

    @Steve – I don’t listen to it but Hebsy on Sports is another.

    @Mike S, @Mike. Interesting re the call-ins being only on the website. Its not really even something I listened to… just seemed interesting that they even bothered to make that decision to take it off the podcast.

  • comment-avatar

    @Roy Quinn – I discovered the ‘play next’ button inside Pods. So before I go for a long ride, I cue up a bunch of Pods and they play sequentially. And you don’t have to restart them when you receive a call or even if you stop and turn the car off to go eat or something – it starts playing right where it left off. Listening to Brunt on The Winter Palace podcast right now but online, can’t find it on Itunes. Never heard of it before. I could be wrong but I think Starting Lineup is the first local 590 or 1050 Pod to introduce an ad: Pizza Pizza. #Fail. The new Sauga 960 Richards show needs to tune up their app. When listening on my Iphone, both 590 and 1050’s stations continue to play when you switch screens or even if the phone is dark. 960’s feed immediately goes off in both those circumstances. This is an easy fix on the provider side, it isn’t a user issue. Same happens with Soundcloud. Not sure what their issues are with Itunes but they have yet to appear there. 

    Had heard Cauz here and there last week and just thought MacArthur was on vacation or something. Based on the additional news that he is taking over post game Jays Talk ( nice call Daniel ), I’d say Scott wasn’t fired, he was offered more money by 590 and left. If not more money, then at least Scotty has better job security than being an afternoon wasteland time slot host on a station with a moribund signal. Making it worse was that it was a one person show which is a tough slog for anyone for three hours so you can’t really criticize the show. 

    MacArthur’s first love is baseball and he’ll still be on prime talk radio quite a bit across all their shows so his brand will get much better exposure. Also, Wilner was getting a lot of TV air time with that position, I would guess MacArthur will as well. Good career move. Let’s hope there will be less Senators talk on Jays Talk than there was on The Scott MacArthur show. 

    On another note, MacArthur proved himself prescient by creating a transportable Twitter handle unlike the once unfortunate @bradyfan590 whose handle was appropriated by kindly Russian, Irka Gushtyn, who luckily continues to Tweet pictures of Russian landscapes and wildlife and red haired children riding horses but easily could have been a fan of #AssWednesday or something infinitely more offensive. You’d think that after that debacle, Sportsnet would have learned their lesson. Nope. Lucky again. @SNBarryDavis now does sports product reviews from London, England. Or maybe SN did keep it and it is a bogus account. Barry has Tweeted 4 times since March of 2017, has no likes, and the link pinned to his profile is dead. Perfect. 

    Let’s see who the next possible stooges are:

    @gregbradyTO, @ElliottFPrice, @hughwburrill, @SNJeffBlair X, @DougMaclean, @RealKyper, @JeffMarek, @FadooBobcat, @richarddeitsch, @JSportsnet ( John Shannon, worst handle across two stations’ main lineups).

    @heylandsberg, @CarloColaiacovo, @AndiPetrillo, @GMillerTSN X, @CraigJButton,, @djpoulin20, @mcauz56, @HayesTSN X, @odognine2, @jamiemclennan29, @rayferrarotsn X, @DarrenDreger, @TSNBobMcKenzie X, @rawmikerichards, @DavidBastl, @BarryDavis_

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    Forgot to add – MacArthur kept his Twitter handle but swept his account down to 26 Tweets but when you click on his Tweets nothing shows up. Zero photos or videos and under 1000 likes. 

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    Sperk 2 months ago

    @Steve I think this an “eye of the beholder” type of situation but I enjoy team specific deep dive conversation more than the generalist stuff you hear on the radio hence why I moved to listening to those in the car exclusively. You’re right, there is no Canadian Bill Simmons…as @Sam mentions, Hebsy’s podcast I understand is well regarded but that’s not my cup of tea.

    The Raptors Republic, Argos Fancast, Leafs Geeks are examples of podcasts I personally listen to that are Toronto based. They aren’t debate based like Pardon My Take or big personality driven (Simmons) but for my 45 minute commute they are really given the time to look deeply into teams I follow. It’s way better than 5 minutes of Raptors talk with a team-friendly/paid guest, 10 minutes of commercials and traffic etc. but again, that could be a matter of personal preference. Regardless, I feel that having the ability to pick and choose your content is a more powerful option than relying on what McCowan and crew feel like talking about today.

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    Chris 2 months ago

    The Fan590 canned Elliot Price today. Can’t say I’m surprised. The morning show was awfully dull and Price never fit it. He sounded like a old out of touch man with a Kermit the frong voice.

    However all the blame isn’t his. How many versions of Brady and ______ do we have to go through before they realize that Brady is not any good either. Well I guess they did realize that and then unrealized it?

    So here is to Lang, Walker, Price and soon to be Burrell. Brady goes through more cohosts than anybody I know.

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    We will have a post up soon about the radio changes at Sportsnet and TSN. February came early this year. That’s usually when the line-ups shuffles happen. Tough break for Price who moved his family here from Montreal less than two years ago.

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    Milan Maglov 2 months ago

    Try the ‘Hockey Night in Canada Podcast’ with Rob Pizzo. It’s pretty good, way beyond stats. Another CBC Sports podcast is the ‘POV Podcast’ with Anastasia Bucsis (former national team speedskater), which focuses on in depth conversation with high performance athletes

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    Soooo..The Fan590 gas-piped Elliot Price from their morning show.Take a deep breath and think about this.In the 5th largest media market in North America where the main sports radio competition mornings (TSN Lansberg) whose ratings of total listeners is less than the total of homeless people in Toronto is really sad.
    There HAS to be so much more to this story that people will never know !

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    @Chris – Walker isn’t a fair comparison. The whole show was unfairly gassed at the time Walker left. Check older posts on this site.

    I was going to wait until MIB posted a thread about radio to rip Brady and Price’s show again. Least liked iteration of Brady. And I like Brady and always have since Brady And Watters. Will be interesting if we find out that Price was ousted at the behest of Brady a la Lang. I miss Brady and Lang.

    Price was good, though he sounded like he was trying too hard. Brady was good. Show was not good and I can’t really place my finger on it but I’ve never listened to Brady less. Every day as soon as Hugh gets to the ‘b’ in ‘Good morning everybody..’, my hand would involuntarily fling toward the dial to change it to 1050 or Stern lest I be aurally sporked again while listening to a basketball bounce on a floor and squeaking sneakers leading up to Kawhi make a dunk ON RADIO.

    TV highlight shows are a dying breed for a reason. Highlights on radio flatlined years ago. Enough already. I’d rather choose being chased by a swarm of wasps then listen to Hugh Burrill read and play highlights for EIGHT minutes which is a massive percentage of the show’s total hourly airtime. Kill me, please. (wasps, unlike bees, will continue to sting until they feel safe again)

    If the PD continues to insist on the daft and repulsive playing of highlights and reading of scores by Hugh Burrill or any other unfortunate soul tasked with the same, the only guarantee is that the show will limp out of the gate and fail yet again.

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    Love this podcasting chat. I’ve been listening to sports podcasts since 2008. Can’t stand terrestrial sports talk radio anymore. Too boring. Same old hosts with the same old stories. It just all seems OLD. It’s good to see the Canadian sports media outlets FINALLY taking a deeper dive into the podcasting waters.