Bulls & Bears: Donaldson named AL MVP; Bear market for Canadian telecoms

 

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

The week has shown some hockey business love and recognition for the city of Thunder Bay, Ont., with a research report by “The 10 and 3” showing that it has produced more NHL players on a per capita basis than any other municipal district in Canada. From Jack Adams in the 1920s to Alex Delvecchio in the 1950s and ‘60s, Charlie Simmer in the 1970s and ‘80s and the Staal and Pyatt brothers in the current era, the merged cities of Fort William and Port Arthur have been so prolific that Thunder Bay has fostered an average of one NHL product per year over the past century.

Also feeling the love and attention that comes with being undefeated have been the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, who went into Friday night’s game against Chicago at 13 consecutive wins, just two shy of the league record set by Michael Jordan and the 1996 Bulls.

Yet the biggest sport business bull this week is none other than American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays. Donaldson’s stock climbed meteorically the past six months and, with it, the status of the Blue Jays as World Series contenders. The AL MVP honours will be another terrific marketing tool for the Jays as they go into their most scrutinized off-season in at least 20 years. On that note, it’s been a bullish week for the new regime of President & CEO Mark Shapiro; signing pitcher Marco Estrada to a two-year extension and seeing Donaldson bask in the MVP spotlight these past 48 hours.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

It’s never anything but bearish when a company has to make cuts, especially those resulting in good people losing jobs they cherish and love. Yet that’s precisely the kind of week it’s been for Bell Media television, radio and digital properties across the country. Affected were dozens of dedicated contributors to TSN radio stations from Vancouver to Montreal. Beset by costs that have risen much faster than revenues — especially in the area of local and national rights fees and programming expenses — TSN Radio was forced to make some very tough decisions, streamlining the human capital behind its media properties despite a robust quarter and year-to-date earnings report by its ultimate corporate parent, Bell Canada Enterprises.

The bear market is neither singular nor isolated. Every telecom in Canada has trimmed jobs in the past 18 months as their media subsidiaries transition to the new realities of an Internet universe made up of hundreds of mainstream and specialty channels and many more competing mobile and social media options than ever before. Gone are the days when two networks in Canada and three in the U.S. carved up the pie of advertising revenues. Here now is a period of continued transition where TV, radio and print reconfigure their operations to make the most of content production, distribution and sales. When the U.S. sport television juggernaut ESPN makes the kind of cost-cutting decisions it’s had to make this year, it’s a bellwether for media companies of all stripes and Bell Media and TSN were simply not immune to the market forces around consolidation and integration.

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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