Bulls & Bears: Blue Jays were the big story of 2015

 

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 every Saturday.

 
 
 
 
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, .

More on This Story

 

BULLS OF THE WEEK

Canada hosted the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup and the Pan-American Games this year and despite the typical doomsday scenarios and pre-event angst, they were both successful in reinforcing this country's sterling global reputation for event management. Yet there was no bigger national sport business story in 2015 than the rise of the Toronto Blue Jays. They won their first American League East title in 22 years. That meant baseball games made it onto the podium of most-watched Canadian sport TV shows for the first time in two decades, with the biggest of the Jays' ALDS and ALCS games (4.2M to 5.2M in average audience on Sportsnet) behind only the Super Bowl (9.2M CTV/RDS) and the gold medal game of 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship (7.1M TSN/RDS) in ratings, and ahead of the Grey Cup (4.1M TSN/RDS).

The "Year of the Jays" ends with honourable mention to the NBA's five-game Christmas Day TV and merchandising extravaganza. Yet there's no more bullish force in the business of sport in North America this week than a movie called simply, Concussion. Opening yesterday, it is no Christmas gift for the NFL. With its focus on the tragedy of the late Mike Webster of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Will Smith in the lead role of Dr. Bennet Omalu and a significant promotional spend by Sony, Concussion is bound to do more for public awareness around the shortand long-term dangers of brain injuries than the $9 billion class action by NFL alumni and the terrific documentary and book, League of Denial. Even with a middling Rotten Tomatoes grade of 61 per cent for Concussion, that makes Hollywood an unlikely change agent in one of the most important - and troubling - issues facing football, hockey and other professional sports today and in the years to come.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

FIFA and the IOC have had bad years, albeit for different reasons. Soccer's global governing body has been engulfed in a 2015 corruption scandal whose scope and depth are breathless, above and beyond the flawed bidding processes for the World Cups in Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022. That makes ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA head Michel Platini and their eight-year suspensions notorious candidates as bears-of-the-week (if not bears-of-the-year). Meanwhile, reformist IOC president Thomas Bach has been adept at pushing through best practices in governance but the Olympic movement has a different kind of crisis as candidate cities balk at the multi-billion dollar budgets required to host Games. Yet the biggest bear-of-the-week is also the biggest bear-of-theyear for the business of sport in Canada and it's the loonie. It's dropped more than 15 cents on the US dollar in one year and 10 cents in the past six months, forcing Santa Claus to do his thing at a 71-cent dollar. The average Canadian NHL team payroll is on track to be more than $10 million more expensive in Canadian dollars. What that means for expansion to Quebec City heading into 2016 is anyone's guess.

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

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
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, .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice