statue2

No, this isn’t about the damn statue.

Talk about burying the lede. A fascinating Canadian Press piece from Neil Davidson appeared in the Montreal Gazette, among other places, on Monday, under names like Mediocre Blue Jays winning at the turnstiles.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the piece was merely about attendance, but it’s actually a wide-ranging, Rogers-faced assessment of how the Jays have attracted fans this year though various mediums and in key demographics, complete with Rogers Media president of broadcasting Scott Moore crowing about the fabulousness of it all. Despite, y’know, this:

As of July 10, Sportsnet was averaging 544,000 viewers (aged two and over) for Jays’ broadcasts. That’s nine per cent down from the 2012 average of 595,000 at this point of the season but up 10 per cent from 2011′s average of 496,000 at the same time.

Don’t get me wrong, those are still terrifically strong numbers. And even in the last appointment-viewing stronghold of live sports, TV viewers are continually being siphoned off by other mediums and other options. There are lots of cable cutters and lots of game-in-an-hour folks out there, which might contribute to the dip.

But… uh… those alternatives existed a year ago, too, and ratings were up by nearly 100,000 per game. (In fact, this season Rogers pushed a number of digital-only viewers away from their in-house services, restricting access to Jays games on Rogers Anyplace TV to only those with cable subscriptions to the channels airing the games, having previously allowed anybody with any sort of Rogers account to watch. At least… from my limited understanding that’s what’s happened– please correct me if wrong.)

More importantly, despite all the glowing words about the fans coming through the turnstiles (who, y’know, probably bought their tickets back in February), the raised profile among the young and female demographics, the merchandise sales (all of the profit for which goes into MLB’s central revenue pool and gets split among all clubs, FYI), and the social media engagement with players (uh… at least until they all delete their Twitter accounts), are we really expected to believe that ownership is over the moon after adding $35-million to a payroll that was already above $80-million, only to find that– thanks to a thoroughly underwhelming on-field product– their main revenue-driver has taken a 9% step back?

That’s not good. At least, I think it’s not good– shit, maybe the TV industry is shrinking faster than I realize… but I don’t think so.

It’s also maybe not surprising, given the way that the team has performed, and the sobering fact that on July 10th a year ago, the Jays were 43-43 and just 2.5 games behind the Orioles, who held the second Wild Card spot, despite running out a rotation of Romero, Cecil, Laffey, Alvarez and Villanueva. (A year later the vaunted Jays were two games below .500 and seven back of the second Wild Card [note: Ugggggggggh].)

But it’s still pretty surprising! And while I’m certain that the way that the club has built the brand will help lure fans back in after they remake– er… let’s say remodel– the team once again next winter, it certainly would seem to lend credence to the old saw that splashy outlays of cash, in and of themselves, aren’t enough to kickstart rampant interest in the club. Winning baseball has to come with it.

You can see that with some slightly more granular data:

Breaking it down by month, the 2013 Jays averaged 639,000 in April, 403,000 in May (when the team went 13-15) and 575,000 in June (when the team won 11 straight).

April, of course, was buoyed 1.4-million viewers on Opening Day, and a lot of hype in the early going that quickly fizzled. And I think it’s telling that for all the excitement June’s winning streak brought, it didn’t translate into even better numbers.

Again, we’re still talking about crazily strong viewership, and I may entirely be out of my depth when it comes to missing some underlying factors to explain what we’re seeing, but man… if I’d asked you at the start of this post to guess what percentage up or down the Jays’ TV ratings had been over the same period last year, would anyone have guessed down by nine???

I certainly wouldn’t have. And back in March, who would have possibly guessed it?

The other day I responded to a commenter imploring me to suggest what feeble excuse Paul Beeston and Alex Anthopoulos might give when called on the carpet to explain why Rogers’ $120-million investment had failed so spectacularly. My two-fold response began with the fact that, as much as fans hate to hear the “excuse,” injuries and ailments suffered by guys like Jose Reyes, Brandon Morrow, Josh Johnson, Melky Cabrera, R.A. Dickey, and J.A. Happ, have truly hurt the club on the field. The second part, however, was that, given how well the club had performed in terms of attendance and– I presumed– TV, the bean counters probably weren’t terribly worried about anything else.

Seeing these numbers, then, one has to wonder if maybe the front office is in more trouble than some of us thought. Still not enough trouble to not get the chance to try again next year, but beyond that they’re hardly bulletproof. Scott Moore may do his best to put a smiling face on it, but strong as they are in the overall, the trend in these numbers can’t be good for ownership’s confidence in where this very expensive ship is sailing.

 

Image via Twitter.

Comments (177)

  1. My predictions for August viewer average: 325,000, September: 290,000

    • Who could possibly give a fuck about your predictions.

      • If commentors didn’t give opinions, then other commenters wouldn’t have anything to piss on, which would cut the number of comments in half, and then traffic on this site would slow, and Rogers wouldn’t be able to justify paying Stoeten to run this site. Is that what you really want, Stoeten jobless, then homeless, looking disheveled with a huge beard? Is that what you want?

        • Rogers doesn’t employ me or own the fucking site. FFS.

          • Didn’t Rogers buy The Score? Sorry if I’m wrong.

            • They bought the TV network. As you are not watching TV right now, this is not what Rogers bought. theScore continues on as an entirely digital company, focussing on our mobile app, along with the blogs and website. That’s who I work for.

              Sorry, this has been a point of frustration for a year now. You’re not alone in missing it.

            • Rogers just bought the TV rites to the Score. All of the Internet and social media parts of the Score are still the Scores

          • «Posted by Andrew Stoeten under ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS on Jul 24, 2013»

            I think u are rogers lol

        • @Wiener. Fair point. I’m just doing my bit to keep an atmosphere of rancid animosity and hostility going, and thereby keep Stoeten’s beer supply flowing. It’s really a charitable act.

      • The CFL… that losers like some of you here slam are averaging well over 725,000 viewers per game and in some cases nearly a million…so Rogers can kiss my ass with its overpaid pathetic jays games and soccor and leafs. So you TO arrogant American wannabes take you CFL slagging comments and show that up your…..

        • WTF is soccor? Don’t disagree with you on CFL ratings though, they are still strong in Canada. If you want some TV ratings to laugh at look at MLS. Toronto FC games are frequently in the range of as many at BMO as watching on the tube.

        • Also: “and show that up your” don’t you mean “shove that up your”…..are you drunk?

    • That’s a joke right?

    • The internet – where everyone is an expert on everything.

  2. Will AA be gone after 2014 if they miss the playoffs?

  3. this ship is done I really don’t think these players work well together but my real questions is this…next year they are going to have a large number of pitchers who should be ready for spring training…what does one do with all of them anyway Hmmmmm

  4. So people still believe these numbers are relevant?

    LOL @ these prorations based on 700 Nielsen boxes given out years/decades ago..

  5. At least the April and June numbers are encouraging. It seems that if the team was winning, the ratings would at least be even, if not up a little.

    You’d have to think that they’d be given at least another year of sustained higher payroll to make it work. But if they have another shit year in 2014, I think we may be back to below the $100M threshold.

    • I suspect that the Stanley cup playoffs take a huge bit out of blue jays viewership every season… they started may 1st this year and ended june 24th… the last Canadian team was eliminated may 24th. it would be interesting to see the month by month numbers for last season.

  6. Did they purposefully model the statue after history’s greatest monster or is that just coincidence?

    http://meblogwritegood.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/80-marge-in-chains/

  7. If TV numbers are down that much maybe they should consider rotating in some new voices to the commentary, though Morris and Devlin have done quite a few games. It would be nice if some of the younger alumni were given an opportunity (Green, Gonzalez, Delgado, etc).

    They could also do away with the horrible ads all over the field and outfield during the broadcast. It can’t generate much revenue and is very distracting to watch.

    • Do you not like knowing Orange Julius sponsors the line down to first base? :P

    • If you don’t have advertisers it doesn’t matter how many viewers you have. these new virtual ads bring in new revenue that pays for free agents among other things. I think I noticed the new ads for about 3 games and then totally disregarded them after that. They are far from distracting.

      • Pardon me but they are extremely distracting. They shake and get messed up half the time.

        And they are so bright and obviously fake.

        I would way way way rather just have them actually put those ads on the field in real life. Which also would be dumb.

  8. The largest growth for this team in terms of fan interest has been from young people. It comes as no surprise that TV ratings have fallen. If Rogers truly wants to be the king of ratings with the Jays they need to exploit the online market. Their policy of having to subscribe to the TV channel to view online means they lose a large chunk of young fans to MLB.com and pirated streams. Its like forcing people to have a home phone in order to have a cell. I’m not even that young anymore but I haven’t had cable in years.

    • Correct.

    • Totally agree. MLB.tv, NHL Gamecenter, Netflix, etc. are worth every penny over traditional cable imo. My only worry is once companies like Rogers, who also own the teams, figure out ways to force us all to use their services or nothing at all then we have a problem. Not saying it will happen 100% but I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be less options in the future.

      • Rogers REALLY pissed me off with the whole half of a season “preview” for Jays games on Rogers anyplace tv. I’ve had a cell and internet through Rogers for years now – but that shit is over after this bait-and-switch tactic. At no point during the first half of the season did they call that service a “preview”.

        I feel like its no coincidence that they felt the need to erect a statue to the fearless leader – not outside the giant downtown offices which he actually built, but outside of the publicly funded stadium he purchased for less than 5% of the cost of construction, before shitting all over the team he purchased for a more than a decade. The bone-heads at Rogers are clueless as to how to actually provide a service of value. Sure, throw up a statue of a man who never in his life positively effected the actual baseball team. Might as well do it at the absolute low-point in the season as well, to remind us all exactly how bad things have been for a long time, and how the company can’t even pay tribute to itself without messing everything up. I’m surprised it even looks like him really.

  9. I blame Hayhurst and Zaun.

  10. One thing to remember – these are the highest TV ratings in all of MLB.

    • Importannt

      • Not really, because it’s apples and oranges. They’re on network that serves a country of 35-million. Not thinking there are a lot of regional networks in the states with that reach. Granted, reach alone doesn’t make the Raptors popular across the country, and the Jays have done well of late to build their brand nationally, but it’s really not something we can pat ourselves on the back for, I don’t think.

        • I agree it isn’t a fair comparison, but from an ad revenue point of view they should be able to compete with the biggest teams. Each Sportsnet can run different commercials (4 times the ad sales) or they can run ads nationally to a large audience. Few channels in Canada could claim to hold that type of viewership from 6:30 pm until 11 pm for 6 months straight and the cost of the production is very small compared with most TV. It should be a cash cow.

          • Except they don’t get competing bids for their TV rights like other teams do, and who knows how much of the revenue ends up back in the budget of the team and how much gets back to the network.

            • All of the ad revenue from Sportsnet is reported as Rogers Media revenue. All of the expenses from the Blue Jays is reported as Rogers Media expenses. You can’t simply transfer the revenue to the Blue Jays. Accounting doesn’t work that way.

              • Rogers has magic accountants, though.

              • You can’t simply transfer the revenue to the Blue Jays, but Sportsnet should be paying the team for the rights to broadcast games. The higher the ad revenue, the higher the amount that Sportsnet should be transferring the Jays. This is what would happen if the same company did not own the team and network…as the TV audience grows, the more revenue the team would make from the TV contract. This shouldn’t change just because the two are owned by the same company (key word is SHOULDN’T), but I would bet that Sportsnet is transferring an amount to the team that does not accurately reflect the value that they get from Jays programming.

            • Do you think rogers would ever sell rights to some games as a way to make more money?

              • I think keeping the broadcasting in house (to fill up programming on sportsnet , capture the ad revenue, control all aspects of the programming, etc.) would be much more valuable to Rogers than the money brought in from licensing it to another network.

        • You’re clearly right that it’s an apples and oranges comparison, but it’s nevertheless important to keep in mind should the declining numbers be used as an excuse at some point down the road for cutting payroll. Our TV numbers relative to those of the rest of the league suggest that we should always be among the big boys in terms of payroll, notwithstanding a particular year-to-year decline.

          • unless Canadian eyeballs are worth ALOT less than American eyeballs to advertisers the blue jays should be near the top of the league in generating revenue through TV broadcasts… whether or not rogers channels that revenue back into the baseball club is a different question entirely.

            • There have been alot of comments over the Jays TV revenue. The Jays are the #2 TV market for MLB in terms of audience, only behind the Yankees. MLB has set formulas for revenue sharing based on the market size.

              The ad revenue for Sportsnet and the revenue for the attendance are all in the same Media bucket (as well as radio and magazine revenue as well).

              an extra 640,000 in attendance over a season will add another $19-$25 million or so to revenue as the average ticket price is about $30 – $40.

              • For what it’s worth (probably nothing) there are no baseball clubs broadcast nationally here in the U.S. There was a time 10 or 20 years ago, that you could get superstations like WTBS (Braves), KPIX (Giants), WGN (Cubs and White Sox), and WPIX (Mets and some Yankees). If you throw in my locals (Reds and Indians) and I could watch a lot of baseball if I chose. These days, It’s just the Reds and Indians and whatever they show on MLB network. I think MLB wants it this way so people will subscribe to the pavckage on MLB.com. Same with the radio. 40 or 45 years ago I could get 12 of the 24 MLB teams on my radio at night. Today that number is 6 of 30 (Reds, Tribe, Yanks, Mets, Phillies and Cardinals) A lot of clubs have moved to smaller staions for their flagship station (Tigers, Braves, Cubs) The White Sox are still on AM 670, but the reception is awful. Once again I think MLB wants it this way so you have to subscribe to certain services just to listen to certain teams. I live as close to Pittsburgh as I do Cleveland or Cincinnati and I can’t get the Pirates on TV or radio. When I get the Blue Jays I find them at AM 920 or sometimes 900 (CHML Hamilton) Of all stations AM 740 in Toronto booms in here at night like a local station. So when all else fails, I listen to that old music.

              • Let’s not forget that baseball is the property that justifies the network … cricket ain’t going to get it done.

    • wow, great point man…context!

  11. I am not a sportsnet 1 subscriber and have been able to access SN1 gamines on anyplace tv all year. They mention that it’s gated only to sportsnet 1 subscriber, but in my case at least the restriction they talk about isn’t implemented.

  12. RE: The Rogers On Demand/AnyPlace TV thing.

    Yes. I have Rogers internet and no other subscriptions. I no longer get access to Jays games. It happened two months into the season, because Rogers being Rogers. Needless to say I’ve begun researching non-Rogers internet providers, as that was the only reason I still solicited their services.

    I’ve been a cable cutter forever (since, uh, 2004?), using a mix of grey/black market and legit online TV options. But loved my legit HD Jays broadcasts. Now that those have been taken away, I’ll probably go with TekSavvy or something and buy MLB TV.

  13. This is the first year in its existence that MLB.tv doesn’t black out local games. I’m sure the numbers are impacted by those choosing to pay a yearly $120 to see every Jays game online or on their phone.

  14. I do have basic cable with them though (no SN1), so maybe that’s the distinction. Internet only subscribers no longer get access, but any tv subscriber gets access to all games.

    • Do you get the SN1 games? Because they say you’re not supposed to.

    • They’ll probably cut it out eventually. My cell subscription got me the games until a month or two into the season. I went on a few forums and those that had actually talked to Rogers about it were told it should have never worked. I think there just slowly working out the kinks to ensure they drive everyone away to the grey market/illegal streams.

      • No SN1 here, and all games used to work on Anytime TV until this week.

        I wish Rogers would have a clear stance on who can watch what and be a wee bit consistent.

  15. Here’s to hoping this a step in the right direction to get AA fired!

  16. If AA makes no improvements this offseason then he should be fired

    • WOW. What powers of deduction led you to this amazing conclusion?

    • Didn’t you think in ST that he’d made massive improvements this year? Of course you did. AA doesn’t actually play on the field BTW.

    • Whether they panned out or not is irrelevant – if you honestly think that AA DIDN’T make huge improvements to the team before this season, or that there isn’t a single GM in all of baseball who wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on that Miami trade (and, honestly, maybe even the Dickey trade) in a stone cold second, than you are seriously fucking deluded.

      • Of course, but you can’t be Scott free in making those decisions when they backfire

        • Yes, you can.

          • If they “backfire,” if you misevaluated, you can get off scott free, but you shouldn’t. Whether that’s what’s happened here or not is a different debate.

            Stoeten, do you know which scouts left the org last month, and what they were responsible for?

            • Good process sometimes brings about bad results. Evaluate the process, not the results.

              I don’t know much about the scouts. Elliott mentioned their names at one point. The Jays have a lot, so who knows. Doubt it was related to the season struggles, as they were all let go after the draft.

              • Pretty difficult to say its a good process when the results are so shitty. In the real world, the validity of a process is defined by the results it generates.
                A large portion of the good here was the residual dividends of assets acquired by the GM who preceded AA.
                Aside from failing to sign his top picks and, selling out the future for what so far at least, seems to be a shitastic team; what has AA done other than blow several millions of Rogers dollars?

        • Yeah why didn’t AA just predict the future? Some lady down my street can predict the future for like $15 – it’s not hard.

    • AA has only changed the culture, minor league stock and major league talent level but ya, one year of a higher payroll not working out so far is worth his job. IT’s not like he can build on the pieces that are working and you know keep piecing together a team that can win, let’s just blow it up and start over……not

    • Go away. Just go.

  17. Maybe if JP would get back on Twitter all this would change! Jays haven’t won a game since he abandoned the Twitterverse!

  18. Age two and over?

  19. Stoeten. Heard you on CBC this morning on my way to work. Well done. Just saying.

  20. Coincidentally, Rogers Q2 2013 numbers came out today which reflect the results for the Blue Jays in the 2nd quarter.

    MEDIA

    Summarized Media Financial Results

    - Quarterly Operating Revenue up from $470 from $440 million (up 7%) from same quarter last year.
    - Operating Expenses up from $361 to $406 million (up 12%) from same quarter last year.
    - Operating Profit down from $79 million to $64 million (margin down 5.4%) from same quarter last year.

    Notes:
    Media Acquisition

    On April 30, 2013, we finalized the purchase of Score Media Inc. (“theScore”) for $167 million after final regulatory approval was received from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. theScore was Canada’s third largest specialty sports channel with 6.6 million television subscribers. theScore was subsequently rebranded to Sportsnet 360.

    Media Revenue

    The increase in Media’s revenue reflects increases in distribution revenue generated by the Sportsnet properties and other specialty channels, as well as higher sales at The Shopping Channel and higher attendance at Blue Jays games. Excluding the impact of revenue generated by the acquisition of theScore on April 30, 2013, revenue growth would have been 5% and 1%, respectively, compared to the corresponding three and six month periods of 2012.

    Media Operating Expenses

    The increase in Media’s operating expenses reflects higher player salaries at the Toronto Blue Jays, and increased programming spending at Sportsnet due to the increased NHL games aired on Sportsnet as a result of the NHL lockout earlier in the season, which together approximated $35 million of additional expenses versus the prior year, partially offset by cost management initiatives. Excluding the impact of the acquisition of theScore and the residual impacts from the NHL lockout, Media operating expenses would have increased 7% and 2%, respectively, compared to the corresponding three and six month periods of 2012.

    Media Adjusted Operating Profit

    The decline in Media’s adjusted operating profit for the three and six months ended June 30, 2013, compared to the corresponding periods of 2012, primarily reflects the revenue and expense changes discussed above. Excluding the impacts of the acquisition of theScore and the residual impacts from the NHL lockout, the change in adjusted operating profit for the three and six months ended June 30, 2013, compared to the corresponding periods of 2012, would have been a decrease of 8% and 0%, respectively.
    ———————-

  21. I think the surprising thing is that the April Ratings are below last years. High expectations equates to a higher fall?

  22. Who would be a good JP replacement that is realistic?

    • A hockey net.

      • Hmmm hockey net..
        Fewer swinging strikes, fewer missed swings, more walks, fewer wild pitches and passed balls, less power, worse caught stealing percentage, takes criticism better…

        I’m pretty torn on that one.

  23. In my opinion, it’s more about additional content added to the spectrum.The Jays pregame,Jays in thirty,Baseball central,traffic driven to SN.ca,articles for SN magazine etc.
    It’s like the creation of SN1.They put unbroadcast and addtional games there to try to force the widing fanbase to purchase the channel.
    You’d be surprised how much revenue that Sn 1 raised.
    Additional content across all properties creating additional revenue streams at a minimal cost, that may offset any dip in the TV ratings.
    All they had to do was create a bigger buzz with the team.
    The additional payroll is chump change in the big picture.
    It would be surprising if the media experts didn’t predict a worst case scenerio with TV ratings and utilized the product for new content on other platforms that people are gravitating to.
    IMHO

  24. Attendance is up almost 8,000 people a game.

    if you play 14 home or so in a month that’s 112,000 people who are at the roger center watching, not at home watching.

    Couldn’t the spike in attendance be a contributing factor to TV ratings being lower? Especially in big games, they’ve had terrific crowds.

    • Not to mention the fact that I would be surprised (and maybe I’m just oversimplifying things) if TV numbers didn’t drop historically in the summer months. Who wants to be cooped up inside during what little summer we get in Canada.?

    • I don’t believe there’s that correlation. The two numbers are not on the same scale and many of the television viewers are outside of the GTA.

      • what does that have to do with anything?

        if the TV ratings in GTA drop they will drop the overall ratings

  25. First off, Stoeten, you are correct about Rogers Anyplace TV. I was in Montreal for a few days over the all-star break, staying at my aunt and uncle’s. They don’t subscribe to Sportsnet so I tried watching the ASG on my iPad using Anyplace…didn’t work, because their cable/internet provider isn’t Rogers. (And on the same token, I think there’s some channels that are exclusive to Rogers customers, like SN1? I could be completely wrong but I remember reading that somewhere)

    What I’d be very interested to see with regards to these ratings is how it’s split between the Greater Toronto Area (including Hamilton since it’s a close enough drive) and the rest of the country. I wonder if ratings are falling in the GTA while rising everywhere else. Just a thought of course, I have no numbers to back that theory up, but I’d be curious to see that split given how the club has increased their marketing presence outside of Toronto.

  26. For O-Dawg, it’s like falling off a greasy log backwards!

  27. Still pretty good for a last place team which doesn’t even have much hope of even finishing 4th. I think the suits can see that winning drives these numbers overall, and to cut payroll and presumably have a worse club would be foolish as it would lead to lower attendance ( hence revenue) as well. No, I think they are planning copious moves as we speak to ramp up interest for next year which will take place over the coming weeks. Some, like player moves may or may not occur shortly. I think they can see, that overall they have a positive trend and don’t want to fuck it up

  28. Perhaps watching the game could be considered more appealing if Tabler and Buck weren’t murdering my ears with the doldrums.

    • OMG they had their “A” game going last night.
      Example:
      Buck: “The last time a Blue Jays starter got a win at home was…”
      Less than one minute later:
      Tabby: “The last time a Blue Jays starter got a win at home was…”

  29. Back before I gave up on watching these bedshitters, I was almost exclusively using the Rogers On Demand through my PC and iPad. This was available last year too, but the iPad app didn’t work (at least not for me) and the PC site wasn’t 100% perfect. They’ve promoted this a lot so it wouldn’t be surprising if it accounted for at least part of the drop. Rogers wouldn’t be worried about this, since you see all the same ads and they can presumably track the exact number of viewers.

    At the same time, it doesn’t surprise me to hear that the numbers are tailing off. Last year’s team was better (at least in terms of W-L record) at the same point in the season and many of us kept watching even after they completely went in the toilet, just to see the prospects. This year there’s nothing to look forward to except more of the same bullshit, really. I’ll probably tune in here and there if/when they bring up Stroman or Pillar, but those guys aren’t high profile enough to bring in additional casual fans.

    People have been very confident that the Jays won’t veer away from their approach next year, largely because there seemed to be an assumption that the revenues would stay up. If things really bottom out over the next couple of months, you have to wonder whether a fire sale in the offseason becomes a lot more likely.

    • It absolutely will not. Zero chance.

      • I agree Stoeten.
        Makes zero sense from all angles.

        • It makes sense from the exact angle outlined in the article that prompted post. Operating profit is down this year (albeit based on consolidated results — but Rogers accountants would be able to carve out the Jays P&L and look at this year vs. last year).

          If Rogers feels like they can generate similar revenue with a $60 million payroll as they can with a $125 million payroll — as this season so far demonstrates, the W-L record doesn’t seem to matter either way — then there’s no reason for them not to tell AA to run it at $60 million.

          It’s really up to AA and maybe Beeston to convince them that 1) the current shitty results are down to randomness and injuries and aren’t predictive of future performance, and/or 2) they can make tweaks in the offseason that will help the team a lot, leading to revenue improvements next year.

          Can they do that? Sure, it’s quite possible. It’s also possible (though unlikely I’ll admit) that Rogers is thoroughly unconvinced by that rationale and says chop it down to $60 million and rebuild with whatever prospects you get in trade. Ironically, that approach would be more likely to bring back certain segments of disillusioned fans (like me) who don’t particularly want them to run the exact same team out again next year.

          Again — not saying a fire sale is unlikely, but I certainly am not confident enough to say zero chance, or that it makes absolutely no sense. In fact, in any non-sports business, if you convinced your owner to double expenses (on the premise of being able to boost revenue by X percent) and your results were actually worse the following year, having your budget slashed wouldn’t even be a discussion, it would be automatic. Along with you losing your job, of course — which is why I also believe that the chances of AA getting fired at year’s end are slim, but non-zero.

          • No. You’re dumb.

            They’d poison their brand and dig themselves even further into a hole with their customers. How much more monumental would the task of bringing people back to the Dome and the TV broadcasts if they pulled anything that smacks of a Loria move? Financials would be worse not better if they did that.

            • Definitely, it would do way more damage to tear this thing down after a bad season then to trying to add some more pieces even at the expense of some of the current ones and would increase revenue drastically if the team is in the playoffs because you know the attendance would rise then and so would the tv ratings. I know I would be hugely disappointed if a fire sale would happen.

    • So not gonna happen.

  30. Last year jays games were blacked out on mlb.tv across Canada whereas this year it seems to only be blacked out in Ontario. Probably not that statistically significant but could have some influence on those numbers. I know a number of people here in Vancouver who gave up their cable and watch on mlb.tv instead.

  31. Re: ratings down 9%

    I used to watch a majority of games on line for the past few years for free, for being a rogers customer. I saw every Home Hardware add, and endured the Orange Julis graphic as it made the feed flicker.

    They took away that service when they changed the criteria to being a sportsnet customer.

    I will never purchase bundled cable in my life again as I do not see the value in paying for content that I would never watch. I don’t think that I am alone in a wave of consumers who use the net as a primary entertainment source.

    Would I pay for a subscription? Sure, but we all the know the blackout issue.

    I now watch on Vipbox occasionally, but the experience is far from great. So I watch less.

    This is kinda an old story, but my point is that if I am part of that 9% (according to however they calculate it), it’s because Rogers has given me a reasonable opportunity to consume their product.

    • *correction* it’s because Rogers has NOT given me a reasonable opportunity to consume their product.

    • If you’re ok with paying for mlb.tv you can get around the blackout restrictions by using a free browser extension called mediahint to stream on your laptop (and then connect it to your tv assuming you don’t have ancient hardware)

      • This is great!

        I was worried that I’d have wade into the world of manual proxies.

        The only concern is that some of the literature on Mediahint says that it is vulnerable to shutdown. Are there any other browser extensions that work as well and simply you can recommend to use as a back up?

        Many Thanks.

        • Ive been using mediahint for about 5 months (used it for netflix as well) it did go down for about 5 days once. I wasn’t able to find a similar back up but there is unblock us, it costs 5 bucks a month but there’s a free week trial. It is something you manually configure but its just a quick change of your dns settings. overall mediahint has been pretty solid though. Plus US netflix is actually worth the 8 bucks it costs.

        • Any proxy/vpn is subject to shutdown (well, shutdown from accessing mlb.tv). That’s just the nature of IP. If they ID a segment as “proxy and probably used to avoid blackouts” they’ll block it.

  32. I tried using Anyplace TV last night and it said I needed a SN1 subscription EVEN THOUGH the game was airing on Sportsnet (which I do pay for). Total crap.

  33. I’m sure they’re very nice men and intelligent and interesting in person, but the broadcast combo of Buck & Pat combo … grating, and wearing thin. I know I’ve shut off the broadcast for the simple reason that those 2 are driving me nuts.

    (They’d be SO much better if they’d just shut up for a little while throughout the game! But no, they yammer on incessantly… it’s irritating.)

    Combine that with high expectations & miserable performance, it’s no wonder some people are choosing to tune out.

    • They are delightful people. I deal with them several times per season.

      Yet Sportsnet has to start realizing and acting like a big boy and start going after all star talent for the broadcast booth.

      We all know how great Ashby was, and Morris has pleased many, but there are still way too many homegrown guys and former players on both the radio and tv side.

      This is baseball, get the best talent you can. Buck was that, but they made him do play by play when all of us who heard his first tour in Toronto, and his ESPN radio work that he is a colour guy.

      • keep in mind that buck replaced Jamie Campbell…

        campbell is to buck as buck is to vin scully.

        buck is old school and says stupid shit all the time but at least he is a professional… and really sportsnet probably isn’t too worried about attracting hard core fans like us… they are trying to attract fringy fans who probably like buck’s familiar tones and vanilla approach to calling games.

  34. With so many losses, fans are likely too hung over to give a shit about the Jays, what with all the alcohol-induced coma’s they’ve put us in.

  35. rogers’ are cyborg’s, will kill for profits

  36. Hey Soeten, you said injuries are an excuse. How about this

    tampa lost upton, shields, keppinger

    yankees lost jeter, arod, rivera, texiera, granderson

    Yet they still won. Jays lineup is completely healthy and still losing.
    Injuries only expose how weak your depth, bench, farm is.

    • Dude Lawrie (best young up-and-comer), Reyes (probably our best position player), Dickey (ace), Morrow (a supposed #2), JJ (another supposed #2), Happ, Santos (supposed to steal away the closer role), Melky (batting champ) have all suffered from varying degrees of injury.

      That’s 3 of our most important bats and 80% of our starting rotation! Add in Romero’s woes and some of our young pitching depth being on TJ recovery and we have a very clear area to point to.

  37. A Ted Rogers statue ? (welcome to last week, I know) Not Alomar/Carter/Stieb….but Teddy gets one. FML…The ship is sinking. Where’s Shea Hillenbrand…

  38. I think every picture Stoeten posts from here on out should just be that photo of the ted rogers statue.

  39. When I get a gigantic bronze statue, I’d like it to be of me in my younger years. Not when I’m a wrinkly old man. If I’ve got to be remembered forever, remember as I was when I was 24. Attractive, fit and with beautiful long flowing hair.

  40. The Jays attendance being up 8K/game will contribute 16-24 million in revenue. The MLB revenue sharing agreement for 2014 and onward will add another 27 million in revenue per team. TV revenue is based on viewers and was probably set at the beginning of the season based on prior season numbers. As I said before, the Jays viewership is among the top 5 in MLB.

    Yankees average 296K households, Mets 173K, Tigers 168K, Phillies 168K, and Boston 153K. The Jays averaged 507K PEOPLE last year which is about 189K households, putting the Jays at #2 among MLB.

    • Tim you seem to know your stuff. What is the modifier for translating number of viewers into households?

      It’s something I’ve been trying to figure out for a long time.

  41. It’s really only surprising in light of the smoke being blown up our asses about attendance.

    It should surprise no one that thousands fell off the bandwagon when a vaunted playoff roster turned out to be a sub-.500 team.

  42. Stoeten -

    Just to try and parse something you mentioned earlier, and maybe you can clarify, if you know… you said:

    “Not really, because it’s apples and oranges. They’re on network that serves a country of 35-million.”

    I suppose this is correct, but The Sportsnet Channels (combined) reach a total of 9.3 million households (http://www.rogersmedia.com/sportsnet/platforms/tv/subscriber-information).

    YES, on the other hand reaches 15 Million (http://deadspin.com/5962206/news-corp-buys-into-the-yes-network-as-the-rsn-bubble-grows-closer-to-bursting)

    Jays games still outdrew Yankees games on YES in terms of #s by about 200,000 viewers per game last year (http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/yes-network-is-nations-most-watched-regional-sports-network_b50381).

    Now, would there be differences in how “households” are counted? The ratings systems? I’d think that YES would be one of the largest regionals. I’m kinda assuming I’m missing something here.

  43. Anyone who works with stats, which I am sure Rogers has many of them, knows that AA made the team better this year by pulling the moves he did. Their chances of winning are higher than they have been in a long while, definitely better than last year. So I can’t see Rogers getting too excited by a 9% drop in viewership, if the Jays finish strong then that number could go up by quite a bit. Also don’t forget about the internet traffic… it would be interesting to note if that was up this year or down…

    • uh.. by up i mean they could have better viewership than last year in total, which will be the much more valuable stat, especially if you are selling advertising over a full six – seven month time period. Apr-Sept.

  44. “In fact, this season Rogers pushed a number of digital-only viewers away from their in-house services, restricting access to Jays games on Rogers Anyplace TV to only those with cable subscriptions to the channels airing the games, having previously allowed anybody with any sort of Rogers account to watch. At least… from my limited understanding that’s what’s happened– please correct me if wrong.”

    Actually, they’ve now gone a bit further in their insatiable greed…in order to watch any games on Anyplace TV, you have to be subscribed to Sportsnet One; ie, even if the game’s on any of the other sportsnet channels, you can’t watch the game online on Anyplace unless you have their VIP package, or have a subscription to Sportsnet One. They did this in the last week or so, and didn’t tell anyone they were gonna do it. Nice, huh? Great way to grow a fanbase.
    Seems the quality of the broadcasting is commensurate with the quality of the product on the field…but now I’m rambling…

  45. btw
    I called Rogers and they said it wasn’t them who made this decision, but Sportsnet, which of course would be somewhat comforting if they didn’t, you know, OWN Sportsnet. At any rate, it seems as if this is the new policy.

  46. Fuck Rogers

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