Bulls & Bears: Blue Jays dominating ratings, Cubs can't shake curse

 

Tom Mayenknecht hosts The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and TSN Radio, where he regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of sports business. He reviews the major winners and losers of the past week

 
 
 
 
Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

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Sorting out the major winners and losers of this week — with a bottom-line twist — in the world of sports.

BULLS OF THE WEEK

Full credit to the New York Mets on their four-game NLCS sweep of the Chicago Cubs. But in Canada the Mets took a back seat to the October television juggernaut that is the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays continued to dominate the Canadian sports television landscape, averaging 3.61 million over the first five games of the American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals — exactly the same average number they generated for the five-game ALDS comeback against the Texas Rangers. Sportsnet scored average national audiences of 3.94 million for Game 1, 3.86 million for Game 2, 3.64 million for Game 3 (despite being up against Monday Night Football on TSN and Justin Trudeau everywhere else), 2.8 million for Game 4 (with the dip courtesy of a 5-0 Kansas City lead after two innings) and a bounce back of 3.8 million for Game 5 on Wednesday. Remarkably, the Jays-Royals’ showdown in Canada has outdrawn the series on FS1 and FOX Sports in the United States in every single game of the ALCS. It’s impressive to note how the 3.8 million Canadians on Sportsnet in Game 5 stand up to the 2.6 million Americans on FS1. It’s even more impressive to consider the per capita television penetration, which was 13 times greater in Canada. A large part of that is driven by the national positioning the Jays have achieved over the course of their 38-year history, particularly since the departure of the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C., in 2005. Yet it is also a testament to the social, economic and technological fabric of Canada. Imagine these same numbers if all of the ALCS games had been played in prime time when most Canadians are off work.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

The National League Central Cubs have had a terrific season. With 97 regular-season wins in the toughest division in Major League Baseball, it’s been a breakout year for Chicago. With the highly capable one-two punch of general manager Theo Epstein and manager Joe Maddon in charge, the Cubs are in good hands with some of the best young talent in baseball. Another starting pitcher or two to go with Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester and Epstein could very well repeat what he did to erase the “Curse of the Bambino” for the Red Sox in Boston in 2004. Yet there’s little doubt the Cubbies are hugely disappointed with the week they had against the Mets. After dispatching the Pittsburgh Pirates in the wild card and knocking off the major league-best 100-win St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs became the Cubs. They bowed out on Oct. 21, 2015; dubbed Back to the Future Day in North America. That’s the day Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly character in the 1989 movie Back to the Future 2 jumped from 1985 to 2015 and the Cubs had just won the World Series. That prophecy will have to wait at least another year. It’s yet another year since the Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, only 23 years after McFly was sent back to 1885 in Back to the Future 3.

Listen to The Sport Market on TSN 1040 AM Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Bulls & Bears airs at 9 a.m., followed by Weekend Extra with Sun Sports at 9:30 a.m. Follow Tom Mayenknecht at: Twitter.com/thesportmarket

 
 
 
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Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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