Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Good morning sports media fans. I’m clearing out the queue on a few small stories. As always, if there are things you think we missed please add links in the comments or email/DM me.

 

The Beginning of The End

 

As we wrote about in this space a few months ago, 2020 marks the very slow beginning of the end of The Bobfather era at TSN. McKenzie tweeted some details about how his role would change over the course of his new five year contract:

 

 

McKenzie’s scheduled retirement as a TSN hockey insider coincides with the end of the 12 year NHL rights deal with Rogers. TSN will need to groom someone to fill McKenzie’s shoes, especially if they are able to get back in on the national NHL rights and playoffs after being shut out by Gary Bettman in 2013. The $5.2 billion dollar exclusive package that was sold to Rogers at the last minute has proven to be a ratings and financial disaster, costing dozens of Sportsnet people their jobs since 2016 as the company has tried to cut costs. TSN’s current insider crew includes Pierre LeBrun (also of The Athletic), Ray Ferraro, and Frank Seravalli.

 

The most recent Sportsnet purge saw the departures of many signature faces, including John Shannon, Doug MacLean, and Nick Kypreos. In addition Don Cherry was fired following racist remarks about new Canadians. Daren Millard, Damian Cox, Glenn Healy, and George Stroumboulopoulos were dismissed in previous rounds of layoffs. The current line-up relies on increased visibility for Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman, David Amber, as well as the talented Chris Johnston and boisterous Brian Burke. Ron MacLean remains in his current expanded role on both Saturday and Sunday. It remains to be see whether his part in the Cherry fiasco will affect how the network uses him over the next few years.

 

With no obvious successor to McKenzie at TSN, and Sportsnet in the process of rebuilding their insider roster it will be interesting to watch who emerges as the next leading voice in Canadian hockey. As of right now the title would probably default to Friedman given his national role at Sportsnet, though he obviously lacks the established credibility that McKenzie brings after years of breaking big news. A more likely outcome is that audiences will gravitate towards several comparable insiders from various outlets. This could be good for the marketplace, as more competition may lead to bigger scoops and greater diversity of opinions. Right now McKenzie controls most of the narrative on the major hockey stories

 

Over to you: To whom will you turn for insider hockey analysis after the Bobfather retires? From whom would you like to hear more over the next few years?

 

Ratings Report

 

Both TSN and Sportsnet sent out press releases last week announcing their recent triumphs.

 

 

The 4.2 million average number (French and English broadcasts combined) is impressive given that it was competing with the NFL playoffs, also on TSN, during the afternoon. The 2017 gold medal game between Canada and the US, played in Canada during Eastern prime time, averaged 5.2 million. Shortly after the tournament they issues a press release indicating the rights for the WJC would stay with the network into 2034. Bell also owns the rights to the Grey Cup and the Super Bowl, giving them multiple sports properties that land in the annual most watched list. They also hold the Canadian rights for the immensely popular EUFA and FIFA soccer tournaments.

 

TSN has done a stellar job turning the WJC tournament into a national television product, which in turn expands the profile of their many hockey experts. Jeff O’Neill in particular continues to perform at a high level during these broadcasts. For a detailed analysis on TSN’s coverage see this excellent Scott Stinson article from 2018. The perennial criticism of TSN’s coverage is that it tends to glorify Canadian stories at the expense of responsible journalism about the entire tournament. For example:

 

 

Over at Sportsnet, celebrations took place on twitter after another successful year:

 

 

Unlike previous years, there was no accompanying press release to substantiate claiming the title of “#1 sports network”. As we have seen in the past, both networks can anoint themselves victorious by fiddling with the raw television data from Numeris, and whether or not they are including radio and web traffic.

 

Looking ahead, the NHL national rights and Blue Jays games are locked up at Sportsnet, while both networks share the Raptors and Leafs rights due to the fact that Bell and Rogers own MLSE. The other property that is currently in play in Canada concerns the regional rights for some of the other Canadian teams.

 

 

While regional games reach fewer people than national broadcasts they are regarded by some in the industry as attractive in their own right since you are able to advertise directly to a defined local audience. The possibility that Sportsnet would walk away from any regional broadcasts is interesting, and may reflect the extent of their own revised valuation of sports rights in the context of the NHL rights deal.

 

As I have written countless times, the ratings battle between these two networks is irrelevant for the audience and for most of the people who work there. Anyone who subscribes to cable pays for both TSN and SN. Outside of a handful of executives, on-air and behind the scenes talent do not receive bonuses for annual ratings wins. And of course the flawed ratings methodology employed by Numeris will continue, since it is funded by the very industry it is evaluating. If Rogers and Bell wanted a more accurate ratings system they could have created one by now.

 

Brunt Branches Out

 

This week Sportsnet announced that Stephen Brunt would begin his own interview series called Open Invitation, featuring big name guests sitting down for candid discussion. The initial menu includes Dana White, Rob Gronkowski, and Peter Mansbridge. Brunt will also be continuing his legacy project of trying to get fans to embrace Mark Shapiro.

 

In light of the recent buyout of Bob McCown it is worth discussing what Brunt’s role will be at Sportsnet in the coming years. He was one of the first big name hires from the newspaper industry made by Sportsnet almost a decade ago now. Also on that list are Jeff Blair and Michael Grange, with Damian Cox having been hired to Sportsnet and then eventually let go. Brunt has bounced around in his time at the network, from being a full-time co-host on PTS to moving to Jeff Blair’s show, returning to PTS in a part-time role, and now sharing co-hosting duties on Writers Bloc with Richard Deitsch. Brunt also makes video features for Sportsnet’s television channels, mostly on the Jays or a narrow suite of national stories.

 

The one thing Brunt does not do for Sportsnet is write. He had six writing credits in 2019, many of which were simply written versions of his video work. He wrote ten pieces for Sportsnet in 2018, again recycling content from videos on many of these occasions. In 2017 audiences saw twelve Brunt bylines. The trend is pretty clear and in my opinion it’s a bad one. Brunt biggest asset is his journalistic credibility, built on years of writing many columns a month for the Globe. That credibility is what Sportsnet was buying high on when they brought him on board in 2011 to be their multi-platform star:

 

“There is a lot of opportunity with the multiple platforms for a writer to reach an audience. I look forward to giving Sportsnet viewers, readers and listeners a closer look at today’s biggest sports stories. And of course, continuing to trade wits with my good friend McCown.” – Stephen Brunt

 

Yet as the network increasingly pivots to video, it is readers who are missing out the most as Brunt’s writing continues to wane. This trend extends beyond Brunt, of course, as Sportsnet canceled its magazine in 2016, folding all of those writers into the deluge of content that sportsnet.ca churns out on a daily basis. We have seen a similar trend over at TSN.ca, where writers are buried in small sidebars, or in the case of Rick Westhead, have seen a large drop in their original investigative reporting in favour of features.

 

All of this is good news for The Athletic, The Star, and The Sun, where writing continues to be the coin of the realm. However this points to a more distressing trend in sports media: rights holders are moving further and further away from writing about the leagues they broadcast. This worry has been noted by others who watch sports media, including SMW, whose predictions for the next decade include:

 

“By the end of the decade, sports networks that have financial relationships with the major leagues pivot away from journalism almost entirely, save for token efforts that are restricted to low-viewership spots on the schedule.” – Sports Media Watch

 

Personally, I grew up reading Brunt on everything that matters in sports. Given the realities of who he works for, and the properties they own, I accept that he can’t do that anymore. The frustrating part is that there is currently no one in the marketplace who fills that void, and the writing-focused outlets have done a poor job grooming someone to take over that role. There was a chance for the Globe to hire Bruce Arthur, but they went for the consistently uninteresting Cathal Kelly instead, with GlobeSports now on the verge of disappearing entirely in 2020.

 

As we wait for Bob McCown’s return to sports media, this is perhaps a gap he could fill. Bob’s not a writer, but I would settle for a weekly podcast covering the major issues at the intersection of sports, business, ethics, and culture.

 

Over to you: are you excited about Brunt’s new show? are you worried about the slow decline of real journalism in sports?

 


 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

photo credit: AP/Petr David Josek

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 36
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    I am sorry but the word talented does not belong anywhere near Chris Johnston. The words Maple Leaf fanboy are more fit for him. He should be nowhere near the Saturday night telecasts with his Leaf bias. Leave him on Leafs regional coverage

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    Isn’t Darren Dreger supposed to be the eventual heir to Bob’s “Insider” title over at TSN?

    As for Brunt, I am of the mind that he’s also partially to blame for his current position. I’m sure with his cred and standing he could essentially tell Rogers what he wants to do (be it writing, tv, radio or a mix of all) and they would likely let him do it. It has seem for the last 4-5 years he’s really been cutting back on the amount of actual content he produces for Sportsnet and that just can’t be because the bigwigs don’t know what to do with him. He’s likely working towards his own quiet retirement and is quietly pulling back more and more till he finally calls it and no one will notice. then again, he’s always shown he’s loyal to whomever signs the cheque so who knows and maybe Brunt is just the good little paid mercenary that most newspaper people are jokingly referred to from time to time.

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    Original Mitch 7 months ago

    Elliotte Freidman is the biggest hack in the industry. How on earth did he become an “insider”? Oh right, Rogers called him that and it stuck. The guy checks twitter like all of us and goes on air to tell us about it. Everything he says is balanced with his own counter speculation to cover his tracks. His “sources” are whatever he read on twitter via tsn. I’ll give him credit for making a career out of a fraudulent title.

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    McKenzie built his rep in the pre-internet days, as did Cherry and McLean for that matter. Agree that there is no obvious successor because there is no chance that anyone will be able to monopolize eyeballs a decade or two ago.

    Brunt’s show was something McCown tried to do on radio in the last couple of years in his Monday 4pm slot but that was quickly thrown by the wayside. Presumably Brunt’s show will be taped / edited whereas McCown’s was live.

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    “Brunt’s biggest asset is his journalistic credibility…”
    I’m sorry, but I have to push back on this one. I really enjoy listening to Brunt’s opinions, but as a journalist, I would say his credibility began to be questioned the day he picked up and ran with the torch; and continued with his different PR events for SN (like hosting a softball Q and A session the week Shapiro arrived in Toronto). For me, he stopped being an actual journalist some time ago.
    That said, he is the only reason that I might tune in to Blair’s show. Without him, it’s truly unlistenable.

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    I haven’t listened to anything sports talk related since McCown departed – I just can’t take the ads however I always liked John Shannon and Dave Perkins – I read with interest that the new Brunt show will have ‘candid’ interviews with the likes of Peter Mansbridge! Peter Manbsbridge??? Who could possibly give a rats clacker what that smug overpaid hack has to say about anything let alone sports? If it wasn’t for the government funded CBC that clown couldn’t have gotten a job reading commercials for the Fade-Away Rest home on the local 500 watter in some place like East Jesus Alberta – Say it ain’t so –

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    Mario 7 months ago

    Not sure there will be another person that can replace McKenzie any time soon. Just like McCown when he was in his prime no one could hold a candle to these 2. There are quite a few now in the industry like Friedman ,Dreger and Johnston just to name a few, in today’s age of Twitter and internet I don’t belive it really matters.

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    Can’t believe that the FAN 590 and 680 News among others are still playing that cringeworthy Tim and Sid clothing optional commercial.

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    Liberty Village Bob 7 months ago

    Personally, I grew up reading Brunt on everything that matters in sports. Given the realities of who he works for, and the properties they own, I accept that he can’t do that anymore.

    No one under 30 has any idea that Brunt used to be a serious journalist. They only know him from his Sportsnet work.

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    Twitter is the place for insider info and breaking news. Not specifically TSN or Rogers. Could be someone at The Athletic.
    Like Burke’s insight and analysis.
    Am I the only one that can’t listen to Hockey Central when Jeff Marek hosts?

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    Selby 7 months ago

    Ya, what did happened to Rick Westhead? Does he even still work at TSN?

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    Poker Guy 7 months ago

    @Phil
    Regarding Marek; no, you’re not the only one. However, he is slightly better than #anybodybutandi Petrillo

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    Yeah I’m really noticing a local sports radio void without McCown. It’s a matter of personal preference, but I’m not really interested in ‘lets dissect last night’s Leaf game’ kind of sports radio, but loved the big picture sports talk they did on Prime Time. Even though I was frustrated by the guests half the time, I really miss the Friday round tables. I’d love it if Bob started up even a weekly podcast in a similar style to PTS. Doing it independently or through The Athletic would be cool. I’d love to see TSN offer him a show, but TSM has said no chance of that.

    I’d like to see Brunt write more as well. His role at Sportsnet has always seemed kind of confusing. Sportsnet is putting a number of talented people in weird positions these days. I think Writer’s Bloc has the potential to be really good (and is quite good as is), but the hosts seem to be restricted to focusing on typical sports radio topics rather than doing interesting deep dives like Prime Time used to. And I think Tim and Sid can be mindless fun at times, but putting their TV show on radio does NOT work imo. Doesn’t have the pace of a radio show, and you can’t really mix a national TV show with a drive home radio show. I cannot tell you how little I want to hear 10 minutes on how the Oilers or Canucks did last night. I’ve listened to the Fan since the early 90s and I don’t think it’s ever been close to as big a mess as it is now.

    Completely agree with MIB on Cathal. His pieces are horrendous.

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    The $5.2 billion dollar exclusive package that was sold to Rogers at the last minute has proven to be a ratings and financial disaster,

    Again, this has not been proven at all. In fact, with the latter, it’s demonstrably false. Are we going to go through the whole 12 years with this ridiculous talking point not dying?

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    Am I the only one that can’t listen to Hockey Central when Jeff Marek hosts?

    He’s definitely an upgrade over Millard but Marek has also fallen into the trap of being too “buddy buddy” with the hockey players and such they talk to on the show. To his credit though he still doesn’t sound as phony and brown-nosing as Millard was on Hockey Central.

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    Steve in Waterloo 7 months ago

    Perhaps it is my age, but I cannot understand why the younger generation will watch 90 seconds of advertising, for 30 seconds of highlights. Fox, TSN and Sportsnet continue to divest themselves of written content, replacing with video. I’m older, but let me say, life is short. There are better things to do that watch 90 seconds of the same video’s, time after time.

    Also, Greg Millen, as a public service request, could you PLEASE change the ratio from 90% goalie talk, 10% all the other players. I know you were a goalie, but let’s have some balance, please.

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    Mike V – Rogers has been making cuts to Sportsnet and HNIC since 2016. There have been several quotes by SN folks asserting that the cuts have nothing to do with people’s job performance. TVA (Rogers’ French language partner on the NHL deal) has been making cuts as well.

    The issue is not about whether the NHL deal is profitable for Rogers; rather it’s about the rate of return they anticipated vs what they are actually earning. If you think these austerity measures are unrelated to the expected performance of the financial investment in NHL rights then I’m not sure what would convince you otherwise. 

    Happy to debate this topic if there is more to be said on it. 

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    MIB, briefly I see it this way.

    On one hand, we see public financial statements released through the CRTC showing record profits and revenues for the Sportsnet family of channels for every year of the contract so far. That alone I believe would show that using the term “financial disaster” is misguided.

    On the other hand, we have those same channels trimming some jobs and choosing not to renew contracts of certain on-air talent who – lets be honest – were not fan favourites outside of BM. We’ve also seen various job cuts at pretty much every TV outlet (TSN, CTV, CityTV, ESPN) whether or not they were profitable. I don’t even particularly trust current management comments about the job cuts because they have their own incentives that involve face-saving measures (easier to sell if public thinks you are losing money).

    So no, I don’t think the logic is as simple as “Rogers pays for NHL rights and Rogers cuts jobs, therefore the NHL rights caused job losses”. I would agree with “Rogers has directed Sportsnet to be even more profitable than it already is so they are cutting expensive personalities to replace them with cheaper talent or not at all because management believes that will achieve it”. I would also agree with “the consequences of the drive for increased profitability at the network has unduly fallen on the employees, many of them behind the scenes and did nothing wrong, while those remaining are pushed to do even more than before. ” That has happened at a whole lot of companies. Call it “late-stage capitalism” if you’re so inclined. Nor should it be a surprise, this is the same channel that had student interns working 10-12 hour days for free.

    Not a perfect example, but in 2017 ESPN cut 250 jobs in two swoops and the CW was similar: new NBA/MLB contracts kicked in and they were stretched financially. That CW didn’t bear out, they’ve just spent even more to get other rights like SEC football and if you listen to John Ourand or James Miller, are about to make a big push on the NFL to not only keep MNF, but get a better slate of games and add a package for ABC so they are included in the Super Bowl rotation. They’ve also elevated the profile of younger personalities like Pablo Torre, Mina Kimes, or Katie Nolan to replace those let go.

    So is the NHL contract underperforming whatever internal benchmark Rogers initially set and how realistic was such benchmark? I don’t know and we are very likely to never know for certain. But sure, for the sake of the argument lets go with that they are. I don’t believe that should be the question we are trying to answer. Rogers betting on getting a 10 for sure and ending up with a 7.5, does not make it a disaster.

    Would Rogers make the NHL contract again if they could go back? Yes, I think the would.
    Would Bell still make the same deal for CTV/TSN/RDS with the side-agreement on CBC? Yes, I think they would.
    Would Sportsnet be better off if they had lost all national rights to Bell? No, probably not. I think they would have made less money and job losses very likely would’ve still happened by now.
    If you have different answers to the last 3 questions, I’d love to hear the reasoning behind it.

    Ok, not so brief after all.

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    sportsnethack 7 months ago

    Not clear why Friedman is being anointed as “The Next One”. His work is very pedestrian and, as others have noted, he basically cannibalizes Twitter and Social Media for his stories. A lazy hack. I’m curious why this guy has received such a push for so long. He’s easily replaceable. By the way, if the NHL TV package is so wonderful, why the massive lay-offs at Sportsnet? Why the cannibalizing of various divisions within Sportsnet? Dozens of media experts (that is to say, people who make their living in the media sector, or who crunch the numbers) insist that the deal was/is a bad one. Yet Mike V keeps up this incessant chatter that it was a tremendous boon for Sportsnet. What accounting chicanery makes that possible? And is Mike V really a Sportsnet vassal?

    Scott Moore and Keith Pelley went into those meetings with Bettman treating the whole matter as if they were just out of college and interviewing for a job, and would do anything to get the gig – in this case, even grossly overpaying for a stale and sterile product that is growing less popular by the year in Canada. Stupid, arrogant fools.

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    Original Mitch 7 months ago

    @mikeV 
    How else do you explain the mass layoffs, the smaller productions of the games, picking up US feeds instead of sending a crew? All those things point to a company that is stuck with a financial loser and trying to make arrangements around it. Remember the early days of the deal with their million dollar multi level studio,  and they’d have segments around a virtual net and have that social media chick doing things. Now it’s tiny set and hot stove talk around a small desk. These things are not a coincidence. It has been a financial burden on the company. 

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    Mike V – I accept all of these points except the one about internal benchmarks. We know that those have been missed due to things like giving away Jays playoff ads to companies who didn’t get the NHL/HNIC ratings results they were promised. That has been reported on by people like Shoalts. We also know that there was lots of expansion of hockey coverage (sets, games, insiders) in 2014, and we have seen a retrenchment of those same items. So in 2014 there was a desire to expand spending on hockey. The imperative to “do more with less” seems to have come in 2016. I’ll reach out to some people to see if we can further clarity on this topic.

    This is a separate point but the media division’s profitability is hard to analyze since the Jays payroll is included there. I genuinely wonder if there is another organization in baseball where the starting catcher’s salary is lumped in with the cost to build the Tim&Sid set.

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    sportsnethack, who are these “dozens of media experts” (do we even have 5 people who cover media in Canada?) who say it is a bad deal? Come on, name someone, anyone, who will go on the record stating that Rogers has LOST money on the NHL. I’ll start: Dave Shoalts, who I would not consider a “media expert” per se but has covered the space and did write a book on the subject. In an interview with this very website said “In my research no one has said that things are going badly, for what it’s worth. Everyone is pretty optimistic that the deal will be good in the long run.” He also said ” One detail that came as a result of extra digging was that Rogers paid … off the top of my head I think it was one million dollars … over the number that Bell had offered the NHL for the same package. Bell had the original idea, and when Bettman decided he wanted to go with Rogers he basically said “offer me a dollar more”. At that level a dollar means a million, apparently.” So both media conglomerates were willing to make the exact same deal and if Bell had won out – it still would’ve been a good deal.

    You ask if I’m a vassel but all I’ve done is make the assertion for about five years now that premium sports rights are valuable enough to pay high fees for it because the investment is recouped through yes ad dollars but also sub fee increases. This is not exactly a controversial opinion anywhere among those media experts. And as the financial numbers get released I point out that the network is not losing money on the NHL contract. BTW, I don’t know why saying that job cuts were unnecessary financially and done out of greed by the organization makes one a hack for said organization.

    MIB, if the cost initiative started in 2016 it started when the Sportsnet networks (main, 1, 360 combined) generated 667.8 million in revenue with 139.6 million in pre-tax profit. The last reported year is 2018 when the revenues were 714.6 million and 176.7 million in pre-tax proifit, so that fits with the general theme of Sportsnet rolling in dough while clamping down to capture any more they possibly can.

    Another thing that stands out, while there was a 5% reduction in headcount from 2016-18, average salary jumped from 90 to 113 thousand. A top salary can easily skew this, but I can’t think of anyone who joined or renewed a contract to justify that move. Whatever the reason for the increase, doesn’t indicate payroll cost-containment.

    Yeah, media is a hodgepodge. It’s why I find the CRTC Financial Summaries to be more useful to look at individual networks.

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    Mike V. and I have hashed out the Rogers-NHL deal a few times on this website. We certainly agree that the Rogers-NHL contract has been profitable to date; the publicly-available CRTC financial statements clearly show the profits.

    Mike V. and I disagree about the future profitability of the Rogers-NHL. I believe that the financial future of the deal will be challenged by the following factors:

    Rights fees account for 75% of Sportsnet’s expenses and are estimated to grow by approximately 7% per year
    That 7% figure is net of the TVA rights fees paid to Rogers in respect of French-language NHL rights. TVA is losing money and, if they were to go bankrupt, that would add approximately $76 million each year to Rogers net costs
    Revenues were flat 2018 over 2017. Combine that with the almost 1 million reduction in the number of subscribers since 2014, and flat revenue growth in national advertising, suggests to me that there are significant revenue challenges for Rogers. Mike V. is more optimistic about future revenues for Rogers under the NHL deal than I.

    For the 2018 reporting period, Sportsnet/HNIC made almost $140 million in operating income. Companies, and certainly a public one, want profit growth in the future. Even if you assume that all non-rights fees expenses do not grow over the remaining 7 years of the Rogers-NHL deal, revenues will have to grow by 4.6% per annum to maintain the $139 million operating profit. I think an annual revenue growth rate of 4.6% is high given the factors I outlined earlier. Accordingly, I think the recent Sportsnet cuts are consistent with the view that Rogers is concerned about the future level of profits in respect of the Rogers-NHL deal.

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    Gary M 7 months ago

    Mike V comes to play.

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    Bwmsdj 7 months ago

    How does Michael Grange still have a job? He’s the biggest piece of shit in the industry. If people knew what he said when cameras weren’t live, he would’ve been fired long ago

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    @ Bwmsdj…Such as?

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    Is it me or does it seem that the fan/sportsnet is giving a major push to Brunt’s new youtube series? Seems now in every segment, especially on writer’s bloc, his interview series is getting major plugs.

    Has anyone watched it? Is it worthwhile or just the usual Fluff piece for Sportsnet by Brunt he’s been doing recently?

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    Rest in peace James Deacon………….the Maclean’s writer passed away this week after a long battle with cancer…………..he was an occasional co-host on PTS…………..and a frequent PTS roundtable guest, back when they used to have many different outside voices instead of focusing primarily on Rogers people…………….Brunt gave a nice tribute to Deacon at the end of Writers Bloc yesterday (Jan 21)

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    Gary M 7 months ago

    I think if Fox Sports had hired Tim and Sid instead of Jay and Dan, the outcome would’ve been very different.

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    Chance Vought 7 months ago

    Kobe’s death doesn’t erase the fact that he was credibility accused of rape and then slut-shamed the woman that accused him. It’s disgusting and very revealing that Mike criticized Ashley Docking for daring to mention that fact about Kobe’s past. I guess he’s learned nothing from the MeToo movement.

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    Chance – I don’t think it should be the main focus but I agree that Kobe’s rape trial cannot be ignored when people are telling the story of his life. I understand why people want to go away but it did happen and it’s not something that can just be retconned out of existence. It is interesting that I’ve read of other journalists who also brought it up that were also attacked, verbally, because they dared to speak of it.

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    hey y’all – we will try to get a post up soon with reactions to the Kobe tragedy. Feel free to have at it here in the meantime. Also, if you read or saw something that you think deserves special mention, please email or DM me. 

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    Gary M 7 months ago

    I didn’t think Mike was that critical, if you’re referring to Twitter. He called it strange, which it kind of was as she seemed to oscillate between ‘now is not the time’ and now totally being the time.

    Kobe is lucky. Lucky his alleged infraction was news well prior to Me Too and prior to cancel culture, as for some reason they grandfathered these things. And lucky he had daughters and not sons.

    Ashley is very extreme woke affluent white liberal on things, which works fine in Toronto media. But on the ‘let’s get real’ scale, we saw the outpouring at the Grammys. When you’re miles to the left of Alicia Keys on an issue, you’re extreme.

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    Here’s a link to the article I read for those interest regarding the reporter being attacked for bringing up the Kobe rape case

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