Bulls & Bears: Grey Cup a TV success; Blue Jays offseason a buzzkill

 

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

Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors continue to be golden. The Carolina Panthers are hunting down an undefeated season in the NFL. And the high-scoring Dallas Stars are at the top of the NHL. Yet it’s the venerable Grey Cup that gets our nod for the kind of national ratings that prove it holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Canadians. It’s true that the Grey Cup is no longer the country’s most-watched annual sport television event — as mentioned again last week, the Super Bowl took that on and has run with it ever since 2010. Yet it’s still a TV success story. Combined with a game that was competitive to the final minute, the storylines surrounding the 103rd Grey Cup helped drive an average national audience of 4.33 million Canadians (4.1 million on TSN and another 230,300 on French-language RDS). In a normal year, that would be enough for the second-place spot behind only the Super Bowl, which this year topped the Canadian sport television charts with an average audience of 9.3 million on CTV and RDS. In 2015, however, the CFL showcase will have to settle for being the sixth biggest sport TV audience of the year. That’s because 2015 was not a normal year. The IIHF world juniors gold-medal final between Canada and Russia hit 7.1 million (six million on TSN and 1.1 million on RDS). And the remarkable run deep into October gave Sportsnet and the Toronto Blue Jays the third-, fourth- and fifth-largest national audiences of the year with Game 6 of the ALCS against the Kansas City Royals at 5.12 million, Game 5 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers at 4.88 million and Game 4 of the ALDS at 4.38 million. Throw in Game 3 of the ALDS (4.24 million) and the Grey Cup actually fell to seventh place among all English-language sport telecasts in the country this year. Yet what makes the Grey Cup an annual bull market for Canadian television is that it transcends the CFL and even football. From the divisional finals one Sunday to the Grey Cup the next, audiences quadrupled. The 2015 Grey Cup drew seven times the average regular-season game this year. All told, 9.7 million Canadians watched at least some part of Edmonton’s 26-20 win over the Ottawa Redblacks, just one year removed from their expansion birth in 2014. In a year that was down 15 per cent in CFL TV ratings, the Grey Cup came through and gave the CFL, TSN and RDS something to smile about heading into the holidays.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

Toronto remains a contender in the AL East of Major League Baseball, but the buzzkill that followed their October run is palpable, as is the emotional angst among Blue Jays fans given the departures of Paul Beeston, Alex Anthopoulos and now David Price. All the new regime of Cleveland Indians executives now leading the Jays needs to do is win the World Series and today’s buzzkill will become tomorrow’s forgotten off-season and all will be good. Yet it seems the magic of 2015 — on and off the field — will not be easy to replicate.

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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