Team Radio’s ratings take tumble during NHL lockout
All-sports station puts up lowly score in latest measurements
The problem with trying to decipher radio ratings is that creative management has a knack of twisting the numbers in their favour no matter what the depth charts show.
They were once BBM ratings as in Bureau of Broadcast Measurement. Now they are PPM Top-Line Radio Statistics as in Portable People Meter that include encoders, monitors and portable re-chargers.
The bottom line remains that broadcasters live and die with the results. Listening audiences dictate ratings and ratings dictate advertising sales.
Not surprisingly, Gary Bettman and his Merry Band of Misfits have created havoc across the land for those radio stations and television networks that own NHL broadcast rights.
Management at Vancouver’s Team Radio wasn’t popping Champagne when the latest PPM ratings came out Thursday. A slide from No. 2 to No. 10 in the all-important men 25-54 demographic and No. 6 to No. 13 in the adult 25-54 market was hardly cause for celebration. Nor was slipping to the depths of a 1.7 overall share with the top three (CBU Radio One, News/Talk 980 and QM/FM) in double figures.
“These things happen with the loss of your NHL broadcasts,” a source close to Team Radio said Friday. “Fan 960 (Calgary Flames) and TSN Radio 690 (Montreal Canadiens) are going through the same thing. But then the ratings go bonkers once the NHL play-by-play returns. Suddenly you’re talking about a 50 share.”
Another important issue swings in the rights holders’ favour, according to the source. The station doesn’t pay a broadcast fee to the NHL team until the games resume. Either that, or the missed games are added to the existing contract at the expiration date of the agreement.
In Team Radio’s case they have five years remaining on their deal with the Canucks. Times might be difficult now but looking at things long-term there’s no need to allow panic to set in, much to the chagrin of the gloating opposition that were into the bubbly Thursday.
HERE ‘N’ THERE: With a name like Luke Esposito, top scorer with the BCHL Chilliwack Chiefs, pro and college scouts instantly check out the genes for ties to Tony and Phil. What they find is a connection to Mark Messier. Luke’s mom is Mark’s sister. Young Esposito has committed himself in 2013-14 to Harvard University where he will eventually be in the company of fellow BCHL grads Alex Kerfoot, Kevin Guiltinan, Adam Plant, Riley Hunt and Philip Zielonka.
Ryan Gropp of the Penticton Vees is the only BCHL product selected to Team Pacific for the upcoming World Under-17 Challenge in Quebec. Gropp, 16, will be in the company of strictly WHL teammates.
END ZONE: It’s a homecoming for Marc Rizzardo, new head coach of the UBC women’s soccer team. He played for the Thunderbirds under legendary head coach Joe Johnson when they won the first of 12 national titles in 1974. Rizzardo is a Clinical Associate Professor at UBC in the Faculty of Medicine, specializing in Physical Therapy.
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