Bulls & Bears: Bullish week for soccer; Coyotes saga continues

 

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, .

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

BULLS OF THE WEEK

On a week kick-started by the year’s third largest revenue-generating weekend to date (behind only Saturday, May 2, the day of the Kentucky Derby and the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao cashfest and Super Bowl XLIX), there were plenty of winners in the business of sport. Consider that FC Barcelona — the world’s fourth richest sport franchise valued at $3.16 billion — beat Juventus 3-1 to win the UEFA Champions League final, the world’s biggest annual sports television event in terms of global audience (north of 175 million live). That same day, Canada used an injury-time penalty kick to edge China in the opener of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The match drew the biggest soccer crowd in Canadian history at 53,000 and set a television ratings record on CTV, TSN and RDS, with an average national audience of 1.8 million, a peak of 2.6 million in the final minute and an aggregate of 5.6 million viewers who saw at least some of the action.

The bull market for sport television transcended soccer and saw the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final work ratings magic. Riddled by injuries and carried by LeBron James in the defining series of his career, the Cleveland Cavaliers have found a way to be even at two games apiece with the Golden State Warriors in the best matchup in an NBA Finals since the Chicago Bulls took on the Utah Jazz in 1998. The first three games set records for ABC, averaging more than 18 million viewers per game.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks are also knotted at 2-2 in the Stanley Cup Final, one that has already recorded the most-watched Game 2 ever on NBC, with a continental audience of 9.1 million (7.2 million Americans on NBC and another 1.9 million Canadians on CBC). Yet for the second consecutive week, our biggest bull is a horse. American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes, delivering a live continental audience of more than 22 million as the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. It was a generational moment for horse racing, an industry in decline but one that will enjoy a healthy afterglow.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes entered yet another bearish period this week after the city of Glendale cancelled their lease on a technicality, hoping to stop the bleeding of more than $8 million in annual losses on a bone-headed arena management contract signed in 2013. The deal is ostensibly a subsidy of $15 million per year; yet even that can’t stem the Coyotes’ own red ink of more than $35 million per year. The city’s play is a renegotiated lease, but it appears that the Coyotes will sue Glendale for $200 million. Relocation — even if it’s only slightly east to downtown Phoenix — is back on the radar for the Desert Dogs.

Tom Mayenknecht is host of 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 in The Vancouver Sun.

 
 
 
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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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