On this week’s podcast, Scott Thompson at Hamilton’s CHML wants to know how Rogers’ $1.3 billion bid for Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment could affect how we watch future Toronto Maple Leaf games on TV. Would this ultimately spell the end for Leaf games on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada or Rogers Sportsnet rival TSN?
Not likely, I’m thinking. Rogers will need some cash flow after dumping all that cash into the Teacher’s lap (the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund is the current majority shareholder at MLSE). CTV/TSN pays a reported $750,000 for every Leaf broadcast, so 20 games at $15 million at least helps whittle down the interest on that $1.3B. As for HNiC, the CBC can’t afford to lose the one night they win and Leaf broadcasts have been red hot this season (even if the team isn’t. Funny how that works). Look for Rogers to continue to monetize this evergreen property if and when they land it. Too bad it will be years before they can lease out any playoff game rights.
Continuing with sports TV, Scott also asks about those great Grey Cup ratings. My theory: even though this year’s tally over just over six million viewers came a shade under last year’s, I’m guessing more people actually watched this year. Those PPM ratings ‘roids were at their giddiest when the 2009 Grey Cup totals were counted last fall across Canada.

We also talk about the late, great Leslie Nielsen with a strong recommendation to go out and buy or rent the one six episode season of Police Squad (1982) on DVD. Fall down funny, especially if you grew up watching those straight arrow Quinn Martin productions from the late ’60s and ’70s. Police Squad (“IN COLOR”) just took those old cop shows apart.
You can listen in to the entire podcast here.

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