Unknown Pleasures

It was theScore’s holiday party last night… I think… so I’m a little late to the take on this one, but in a morning press conference today at the Air Canada Centre it was announced that Rogers and Bell had put down their swords long enough to co-acquire from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund the cash printing machine that is Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Yes, the principal owners of TSN and Sportsnet just got into bed together as the proud new owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Raptors, Toronto FC, and sizable stake in Toronto’s booming future ghetto condo market. Yowza.

It’s an astute move for both companies, I think. Why pay astronomical rights fees to broadcast the most prime content in the country when you can just broadcast it on your own networks and keep all the money in-house?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s disgusting that these co-monopolies can just break the fourth wall, stop pretending like they’re not basically two halves of the same shitty giant mega-company, and protect their own interests while gearing up to ream Canadian consumers up the ass, but for them it’s probably smart, even at the price of $1.32-billion.

What does it mean for the Jays? I honestly have no idea. I’ve seen some folks start speculating that this may have been the reason for what appeared to some as the sudden tightening of Rogers’ purse strings during the Winter Meetings, but that to me doesn’t really make sense. It’s not like they made the purchase with the thought that it wasn’t going to pay for itself. But I’m still a little too foggy to wrap my head around it, though, to be perfectly honest…

Comments (61)

  1. Know one really knows ,except whatever it is ,AA will bob and weave to the finish line. thank goodness the Jays have him.

  2. co-monoploy = oligopoly.  Just to be a prick…

  3. I haven’t actually done any reading on this or anything, but will Rogers’ stake in MLSE be lumped into the same division as the Jays (Rogers Media, I think)? If so, I can’t see it being anything but good for the team, at least in the long term. More cash can’t be a bad thing.

  4. If Rogers was going to be distracted from Blue Jays operations, or limiting their payroll because of other business interests, I think the other parts of their multi-Billion dollar industry would be a greater influence. IMO, this has no effect on the team.

  5. I agree Stoet. Not sure what this means to the Jays. It s obviously not somethin that just popped up this week. Payroll issues i think at this time is tied to where the team is at now and its ability to sustain success goin forward. Any issue with the big free agents is more about the years than anything.

  6. mccown must be creaming himself right now

  7. I sincerely doubt all this went down over the course of the winter meetings. So now way AA had some money to spend and then got a call that said hey never mind prince fielder, we’re going to buy the leafs..

    Chances are he didn’t have the money or the willingness to spend money from the beggining.

    I can’t see this as a good move for the jays, I can see how they now become less of a focus for rogers who historically hasn’t made them a priority. I don’t see any way they win in this situation. But time will tell.

  8. you are absolutley correct, and you are not an AA , just like AA , he is absolutely correct

  9. Nobody knows what this is going to do to Toronto sports in general.  We all thought this could happen, and now that it has it’s kind of scary.  I will say I don’t give it more than 5 years because the CEOs of the companies were taking veiled shots at each other throughout that conference.

  10. By that logic the Raptors are probably the big losers in all this.  Leafs in the fall/winter, Jays in the summer.  Doesn’t help that they suck and have little hope of ending their suckiness in the near future while the Jays/Leafs at least have some stuff to build on/around. 

  11. I really doubt A had anything to do with B (the “payroll parametres”).  Jays payroll is such a small drop in the bucket compared to this, and the larger Rogers corporate structure. In fact, I’m thinking “B” has never, ever changed, but was just amplified because so many people started getting boners for Fielder.

  12. Fuck the Leafs.  We want Fielder.

  13. No way the jays benefit from this….bad news for the jays, Rogers never put the jays first, now they have other sports teams to compete with for the revenues…..I’d say the salary has been capped as it stands now

  14. I doubt there’ll be a significant impact one way or the other from this.  They haven’t been throwing a bunch of their own money at the team, so if it’s treated like a separate division that needs to be self-sustaining, that’s not likely to change.  It would be different for a team owned by an individual, buying a new favorite toy to invest in, but for a team that avoids running at a loss, I’m not convinced we’ll see much change in its operation.

  15. Would have been nice to see BCE and Tanenbaum pony up some cash to fold the Jays into this monstrosity.  That outcome would likely see parameters rise substantially.  Could still happen as the marketing synergies are potentially substatial.

  16. That album (sans the Leaf) is really awesome. 

  17. Yeah, but the Leafs and Raptors salaries are also capped, by their leagues.

  18. Except that, you know, the Leafs generate the most revenue in the entire NHL, are the most valued NHL franchise, and hockey as a sport has a salary cap? Rogers can only stand to make profit. Same goes for the Raptors and the NBA. I don’t see how it will affect the Jays though.

    The Leafs are much like Rogers though. They’re both worth a lot, charge too much and do nothing.

  19. Are the venues a part of this deal? What will ACC be called now? Rogers-Bell-Centre? Bell-Rogers-Centre? What the fuck. Now more than ever we need a SkyDome and a Gardens.
    How bout Rogers SkyDome and Bell Gardens?

  20. Looking forward to having the Leafs shoved right up my ass 24/7 regardless of what sport channel I watch. 

  21. It was funny hearing the stupid radio host occupying Jeff Blairs chair today saying how much better it will be for Leafs fans to have Rogers as an owner than the Pension Fund because Rogers will be more interested in winning. He says winning is more important for Rogers than for the Teachers Pension. I wonder what the Leafs winning percentage over the years that the Teachers owned the team is vs. the Jays winning percentage since Rogers has owned them would be? I know it’s not an apples to apples comparison, but the Leafs have certainly won a lot more playoff games over that timeframe (including 3 conference finals, I think) than the Jays have. I mean, have we ever finished within 8 games of the wildcard? If so, fucking barely. 

  22. Disagree 100%. 
    How could this possibly mean Rogers budgets less for Jays payroll? The Jays are not competing with the raptors, leafs and TFC for money. MLSE is an asset, meaning Rogers just increased their bottom line. I dont know that it will translate into more money for the Jays, but there is no reason it should be less.

  23. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  24. On the plus side maybe the powers behind two of the most loathed corporations in Canada will appear in the same room and we can nuke them from orbit. 

  25. Plus this can only mean the addition of TSN3 and Sportsnet 1 part 2. You know the channels that JB will call you a retard for getting mad about when you pay more to have darts and rerun soccer on the other 9 TSN and Sportsnet channels. 

  26. Air Canada bought the naming rights to the arena for $30 million dollars over 20 years. That doesn’t expire until 2019 or so.

  27. Rogers is not one person who needs to decide where to allocate his/her attentions. It is a massive corporation which creates divisions to deal with each interest. This has as little effect in the team as would acquiring cell phone operations Iceland.

    Same, same. Nothing’s different.

  28. Air Canada likely still owns the naming rights to the ACC. 

  29. so i propose that if the jays have no intention of signing Darvish that they submit a post of 100 million anyways.


    so they can bargan unofficially in bad faith so that he doesn’t come over to mlb and they get they’re posting back. in doing so the jays prevent the two most likley other suitors (Bos & NYY) from getting him.

    that’s how you win bitches!

  30. I only see this as a positive for the Jays. It just goes to show how much of an emphasis Rogers is putting on sports as a part of its empire. Adding hockey (Leafs and Marlies), basketball and soccer to a company that is making moves on the TV front and that just started a national sports magazine suggests they’re taking it all pretty seriously.

    On hockeycentral at noon today Pelley was talking about the various opportunities they see on the horizon including things like Jays batting practice being available to viewers in the same way you can watch games on your phone or ipad. It’s in their best interest for the Jays to be good if they want to sell all of this extra content.

  31. is it a possibility that rogers didn’t want to add a very large expenditure on their books before this deal was finished? AA has been saying things wont happen until after the meetings. Maybe having Fielders contractor any other large number would have impacted the percentage rogers could get or how much equity/cash flow/expenses they had on the books for final review. Now that being said, now that it is done and the Leafs can pay for all the sports teams in Toronto there should be no worry of spending with in reason from now on.

  32. Someone asked Mr. Mohamed at the press conference if the Jays may be rolled into the MLSE family (something to that effect), and he didn’t really answer the question.

    So, ya know, there ya go.

  33. The only difference is Rogers will be making a helluva lot more $$$ each and every year now. This gives us idiots even more reason to bitch about not signing big bad free agents.

    Calm the fuck down tho, everybody please. We will still be in the wild card hunt at the all-star break and AA will trade some young prospects (and Snider) for proven veterans before the trade deadline.
    Then we make the playoffs.
    Then the Dome rocks again.
    Then the purse strings open.

    Just be patient.

  34. I think that it is possible that there is at least some connection between the purchase of MLSE and the recent “payroll parameters” talking points by AA and Beeston.

    When Beeston first mentioned the possibility of a $120M payroll for the Blue Jays, I think that most people formed the impression that the team would spend to win, which would then hopefully result in better attendance so as to increase revenues. That scenario, of course, would require Rogers to front the money first to acquire the players necessary to win before generating the revenue increase.

    I don’t know if that’s the impression that Beeston intended to convey when he first raised this subject prior to last season, but it certainly had that effect… And knowing full well that was the impression he left, he didn’t ever back off of it until this week when he seemed to change his tune somewhat. Now, instead of spending to win to create revenue, he made it clear that the team must win to create revenue and then they will spend to sustain that winning. That is quite a bit different than his original message. It is also a formula that would not require Rogers to come up with any additional funds from their other ventures to fund the Blue Jays budget since any future increases to the Blue Jays budget would come from the revenue already generated by the team’s winning.

    Is it purely coincidental that this new message – or at least a clarification of their old message – came in the same week that Rogers decided to spend $650,000,000 on purchasing 37.5% of the Leafs/Raptors? I don’t know. But I think that it is fair to wonder about that possible connection.

  35. “co-monoploy = oligopoly.  Just to be a prick…”

    Precise word here would be duopoly.

  36. it just dawned on me today as to how shitty it is going to be for an Astros fans for the next 5 to 8 years.

  37. hey doesn’t Bell own a portion of the Habs ?     Leafs and Habs sharing partial owners. yikes.

    How about Bell & Rogers just renaming their venues the “Wifi hotsports”

  38. I didn’t include the raptors because they will never be successful. NBA players dont want to play here, they’re too ignorant

  39. slurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp 
    boy rogers come tastes GREAT


  40. Raptors do suck, but Forbes has them listed as the 10th most valuable NBA franchise.

  41. Pretty sure the Molsons own the habs, Bell just has the naming rights to the arena

  42. Which is mostly due to the fact that the fat cats who want Leafs boxes, season tickets also have to purchase the seats for raptor games..

    Wonder if they’ll try to move the jays in to that scam too

  43. Bell currently owns 18% of the Habs. They’ll have to sell in order to acquire the Leafs.

  44. Meh, doesn’t change the fact that it’s value is at $399MM. Toronto FC is rated as the 2nd most valuable MLS team too. That one surprised me.

  45. thats correct sorry.

  46. Not too surprising, they pack that house every night.. I’m assuming LA Galaxy was 1st??

  47. It’s a bit easier when half the fucking league makes the playoffs. 

  48. Now in order to get Leafs season tickets, you will also have to get Jays and Raptors season tickets.  It’s a win win for everyone :)

  49. you’ve conveniently forget the massive investment that Rogers has just made to acquire the leafs..

    it will be years before they start to see a profit on the initial investment.

  50. the payroll paramaters issue has everything to do with the new cba cutting out the jays in revenue sharing. rogers was pocketing that cash and now that it’s gone they are going to rape and pillage the jays.

  51. I wonder if they’ll make companies buy ads on the Jays’ broadcasts as well.
    Cuz Rogers is always looking out for the ‘free market’. Amirite?

  52. Go out and get me a beer.

  53. That’s my assumption as well.

    Double-checked; yep they’re 1st.

  54. I  sure hope not..

    While the dome can be pretty stale when the attendance is 10k and change, atleast its still a very fun and casual environment

    I honestly can’t stand going to watch leaf games, and I’m a big hockey fan.. but the crowd is so pretentious, so quiet and uncomfortable. Last time I went to a game a guy asked me to sit down as I stood up to watch a fight..

    you want to take clients out theres plenty of lounges and restaurants where you can talk business

  55. The NHL already announced that bell can aquire MLSE and keep the Habsburg too….they do not have to sell…..

  56. Actually, apparently they don’t need to sell. Not sure how a company can get away with owning parts of two teams (it should be frowned upon by the NHL…) but they’re okay to own parts of both.


  57. I didn’t consider that, but you have a point. Leafs have a ton of support from companies, so perhaps the Jays get in on some more corporate sponsors.

  58. Atleast LA spends some money on players

  59. You and all the rest of the poors are just cheapfucks with no decorum. They have a place for people like you – all the dive bars everywhere, for all the other morons that waste their lives invested in something they have no control over, and idolizing the same guys that would have made their lives shit in high school.

    Ok, JB doesn’t have to post now.

  60. Come…or cum?

  61. Can’t wait until Rogers changes the name of the Air Canada Centre

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