Bulls & Bears: Flames, Oilers struggling, and economy isn't helping

 

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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BULLS OF THE WEEK

It has been a good week for both Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers and Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos. For one of them, it will get even better in eight days. Both CBS (53.3 million) and Fox (45.7 million) basked in the glow of huge American television audiences for the NFL’s conference championships. And CTV and RDS drew big for the two NFL games here, with an AFC Canadian TV record of 2.8 million for the Broncos’ 20-18 win against the New England Patriots and an equally impressive two million for the NFC final, especially given the lopsided Panthers’ 49-15 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

The Nashville Predators — one of the best-managed and best-marketed American NHL franchises south of the Mason-Dixon Line — are enjoying their first All-Star Weekend. Meanwhile, the Toronto Raptors have won a franchise record 10 in a row and will host the NBA All-Stars in two weeks. Can you say #WeTheNorth? Yet how about the Canadian tennis missile, Toronto’s Milos Raonic? Anyone who can quadruple television audiences on TSN and RDS for overnight matches from the Australian Open is having a bullish week. Raonic’s play these past two weeks at the first tennis major of the year has been terrific business for Wilson rackets and New Balance shoes and apparel. It’s been a good return for his corporate sponsor Aviva Insurance. It’s also been a huge fortnight for compression sleeves, head bands and mouth guards; which have become the signature trifecta of tennis accessories for Raonic. He’ll be back up to 11th in the world next week.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

At the NHL All-Star break, the Montreal Canadiens are looking for answers to the free fall they’ve been on for more than two months. They have plenty of miserable Canadian company, though. As we noted last week, it’s been a scarce market this season for all seven Canadian NHL teams, none of which are in playoff position this morning. Yet no Canadian team is feeling the pain as much as Alberta’s Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. On the ice, they’ve dropped to the bottom of the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. The bigger sport business problem — especially looking ahead — is the bear market in which the Oilers and Flames are playing. We’re talking about 70 cent Canadian dollars juxtaposed against oil prices that have dropped to $30 per barrel. That hurts Edmonton and Calgary fans where it hurts most. Alberta has suffered 19,600 net job losses over the past year; the most the province has endured since 1982. Unemployment sits at 7.1 per cent in a part of the country that has been at the top of Canada’s economic food chain for the past couple of generations. That is not good news for the Oilers as they work toward the completion of Rogers Place, their new $605-million arena this fall. But it’s even worse news for the Flames, who are looking to get public support for their own $890-million downtown arena, stadium and field house complex along the Bow River. It’s not the best time to be asking for funding from taxpayers.

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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