Scott Stinson looks at the less-than-impressive results turned in by Toronto’s various sport teams:
It makes business sense, of course, since Rogers, which already owns television networks and other content platforms devoted to sports, would own almost all the city’s sports properties, too. But would Toronto fans be any closer to a winner? Fans in this city have long lamented the inability of the bottom-line oriented current owners, dominated by the giant Ontario teachers’ pension plan and assorted business types, to build winners on the ice and the field. The franchises have been hugely successful in terms of making money, but woefully unsuccessful in the pursuit of championships.
Leafs: Zero playoff appearance since the NHL lockout of 2005. No Stanley Cups since 1967.
Raptors: In 15 years, they have won 11 playoff games. And lost three franchise players.
Toronto FC: Zero playoff appearance since club was formed in 2006.
[. . .]
So maybe Rogers would be different. Maybe it would want winners, since winners drive ratings. But the Jays haven’t sniffed the playoffs since Rogers bought them in 2000 (admittedly a tall order in a division that includes New York and Boston), and Rogers’ other sporting venture, the lease of eight Buffalo Bills games over five seasons, is thought to be a financial disaster.
It’s a pretty stark example of how disconnected the financial success of the business is from the sporting success of the team, isn’t it?
Update: Do check the comments, where “Lickmuffin” is holding forth about the iniquities of professional sports in general. It’s good, entertaining reading.