Has Rogers Sportsnet Given Up On Sports Radio? The Toronto Blue Jays become the only team to simulcast games from TV to radio

<span class="entry-title-primary">Has Rogers Sportsnet Given Up On Sports Radio?</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">The Toronto Blue Jays become the only team to simulcast games from TV to radio</span>


Where to start?

Today is March 1, the kickoff of the most significant radio rating book season. To confirm, Rogers Sportsnet Fan 590 in the drive home slot for the first week is playing best of a retired tv show. The week after, that slot will still be simulcast (there is a theme here), on a show with a rotating group of co-hosts- names TBD. At the same time, the long time PD was exited and a job posting for a replacement is now up.

If that didn’t make sales hard enough, the network made the decision to kill off the independent radio broadcast of the one team they own individually just before the start of the most hyped season since forever!

Despite boasting over 100 open digital media jobs, it’s hard not to conclude that Rogers has simply given up on sports radio.


sums up the feeling quite well right now.

If that wasn’t enough, when the team kicked things off for spring training games, two of the brass were in the stadium. However, the network could not be bothered to flip the switch and you know, carry the game, instead, Blue Jays fans got to ingest the YES feed.

I get it, it’s not like there is any demand for spring training baseball right?

oh, wait….

people do actually care about this stuff….

It really is hard to believe that there is a plan here.

For the record, Dan Shulman is an elite broadcaster. We throw around terms like the best, elite or other superlatives too often, but Dan has earned them. This is not to say anything negative about him AT all.

As I said on Twitter, there is just something VERY different about the sound and experience of listening to baseball games on the radio.

Oddly enough, the pictureless medium is more effective offering moments of silence when we wished that the television folks would shut up and let the picture do more of the talking for us.

Baseball is a game made for radio.

If this is Corona-based, then keep a radio crew in Toronto. Don’t send them to any games. We can live with that.

As many, many people have written this just reeks of Rogers being cheap. Especially ironic after they were the clubhouse leader in money spent on players this offseason.

No one will say if this move is permanent. Many are of the mindset that once you go this route, it’s unlikely to change.

“I think the audience will miss the intimate nature of listening to a radio broadcast of Blue Jays. By its very nature tv is less casual in the way stories are told and the way scenes are set. There is something magical about listening to a great broadcaster set the stage for the next pitch, especially in those really important moments in a game. Radio adds imagination to the game.” Long-time Fan 590 PD Nelson Millman.

Tom and Jerry taught me baseball. Ernie Harwell and others taught me to appreciate the medium. I would not be a fan of the game today nor sports media if it were not for games being uniquely on the radio.

I reacted the same way when 5 years ago the decision was made to leave Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph at home. That was a mistake, so too is this decision. That one was quickly rectified. Let’s hope that happens here too.

Originally this post was going to be about the fact that right now there is exactly ONE, non-Sportsnet media member in Dunedin. ONE. None of the outlets have anyone there. Talk about an opportunity for the media-owned team to control the message! The entire team of reporters who usually cover the team (but one) is at wherever they call home watching either the other team broadcasts, the MLB pitch app, or via Twitter.

Richard Griffin and the rest of the Blue Jays PR team have to arrange all requests they chose to grant virtually.

All of this is really just a shame. The pent-up excitement for the team is off the charts and for inexplicable reasons the media management team seems obsessed with the idea of tempering that excitement however possible. It makes no sense. The media travel thing, on its own, is no big deal. I get it. However the entire scenario is pretty offensive to sports fans and again, it’s the one team they own on their own. The Blue Jays are their’s and theirs’ alone, from coast to coast. They absolutely could own all channels from June until October.

Did you see that the TorStar is going to be in the gambling business?

Jennifer Botterill was a welcome addition to the Saturday night panel was she not?

Speaking of Dan Shulman, it seems that for every guy like Dan, there are 3-4 former sports media personalities who’ve fallen or really hard times. Add Norm Rumack to the list. Hang in there, Norm.

The new and much media-friendly improved Mark Shapiro made the rounds last week. He avoided questions about the young first baseman’s off-season weight loss like the plague. I wonder why. Side note, having battled weight issues my whole life I REALLY let things go over the Covid Summer eating and doing whatever I wanted. Happy to report that the new regiment has seen me shed 50LBS since November 2. Feeling great. I didn’t follow this plan or use either program but it makes a lot of sense to me.

Before ESPN, before RedZone before any of that, there was The NFL on CBS, and if you are around my age that meant Irv Cross. While I can’t tell you anything about the man, I can tell you that I watched him religiously every time there was an NFL game on. Condolences to his family and friends.

Tell me, are you using Clubhouse? If so how and why?

I just finished watching The Wire, it’s really, really good.

I could not be happier that someone smartened up and we are going to get a final Ray Donovan “movie”…

As we hit the one-year mark of Corona, it has now been one year since my kids (16 and 18) have seen the inside of a classroom. We have food on our table and a roof over our heads so I get how lucky we are, but man these kids have been robbed of their youth and they will never get that back.

An awesome podcast to listen to right here!

The NFL off-season is just starting to cook and well things are heated here in Seattle. If you think Maple Leafs are divided on William Nylander, then you need to check out Wilson gate here with the Seahawks. Honestly, I have no clue who to believe and who to trust in this mess, but I highly recommend you read this amazing story in the Athletic which does a great job of painting both sides really well.

Speaking of Nylander, compare this tire fire with this gem on the enigma that Nylander is.


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    Lee (Oakville) 3 months ago

    I think the real question isn’t whether Rogers (and TSN for that matter) has given up on sports radio, it’s whether listeners have given up on it. Most of the shows currently on the airwaves are unlistenable, and add to it demographic and pandemic-related changes, and the result is that the sports radio model is broken. Change will be hard and will likely result in much blood-letting but to pretend otherwise is disingenuous and avoids reality.

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    At the end of the day, the commitment of listeners and those who speak to them via the airwaves; comes in a distant second to those who can still generate revenue after slashing investments.

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    Salvatore Ianni 3 months ago

    I wonder if Sportsnet or (especially) TSN is thinking of trying the same thing with Leaf games, only in reverse, where we hear the radio feed with Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph piped into the TV coverage? It may be the only way we can get Joe back on TV!

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    I don’t see this changing once the pandemic is over. Rogers won’t be able to look past the cost-cutting. It gives me a chance to use one of my favourite expressions, you can’t go back to holding hands.

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    Cirroc 3 months ago

    @Lee Couldn’t agree more about it being unlistenable. Most days at noon I just sit in my work truck in silence because I can’t decide which is worse: Leafs Lunch or Hockeycentral at noon. It’s like a race to the bottom…

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    Steve G 3 months ago

    Just curious why it’s always “Rogers Sportsnet”. Why not “Bell TSN”? Neither use their corporate overlord’s name, so why the difference here?

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    Steve G: There was a time when “Rogers Sportsnet” was the official name. If you google that phrase you can find old versions of the logo that include the word “Rogers”. (And prior to that there was a time when it was “CTV Sportsnet”.)

    I suspect it’s just the same thing as how people still call it the SkyDome.