SBD/March 28, 2013/Media

Rogers Exec Eyes Blue Jays Ratings Boost Following Offseason Payroll Jump

Rogers Media President Keith Pelley yesterday said that the Blue Jays “could draw twice as many TV viewers as last season if they play to their potential,” according to Michael Oliveira of the CP. The team in '12 “attracted an average of 507,000 over the course of the year." That was up 7% from '11, but Pelley said, “When we looked at (the payroll boost) we said, ‘This will do a tremendous amount for Rogers, the Blue Jays are ready to pop in terms of not only on the field, but as far as being a fashionable brand now in Toronto.’” He added the team's decision to "add money and payroll was not in isolation." Pelley: "It was done in a decision that, if we can play meaningful games in September, what that will do to Sportsnet. Those numbers of 507,000 would creep up to in the neighbourhood of a million viewers.” Oliveira noted some fans will be “disappointed that Rogers is again shifting some Blue Jays broadcasts to Sportsnet One, a channel that’s typically bundled into the pricier TV packages.” This season’s games will “only be available to stream on the web and mobile devices by Rogers TV customers.” But Rogers Media Senior VP/Content David Purdy “hinted that’s expected to change and customers with other TV providers should get the same digital access eventually” (CP, 3/27). Pelley said, “If we start winning, we’re doing a million viewers a night. Ratings are nothing more than a form of currency” (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/28).
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