Where is that sweet spot for wins and crowds? What should Rogers be shooting for?
IMO no one at Rogers still thinks 78-84 wins is a good way to go forward as I'm sure they've done a deeper analysis than I'm doing below. We don't have easy access to TV ratings (that I know of) but we do for attendance.
90+ wins: 3,355,006 (6 seasons)
80-89 wins: 2,389,355 (17 seasons)
70-79 wins: 2,056,171 (9 seasons)
60-69 wins: 1,650,184 (2 seasons)
Remove the pre-Dome years and you get... 90's: 3,720,671 (4 seasons) 80's: 2,425,227 (13 seasons) 70's: 2,153,695 (8 seasons) 60's: 1,900,041 (1 seasons)
Remove the 1990's (dome new still)
90s: 2,794,891 (1 season)
80s: 2,183,225 (9 seasons)
70s: 2,013,448 (6 seasons)
60s: 1,900,041 (1 season)
I see a pretty clear line in the sand there. Winning in the 60's to 89 (can be decent, but not 'wow') and you get around 2 million fans. Crack 90 though and you get from just shy of 3 mil to 3.7 million fans depending where you draw the line for time frame. Remember this year was 89 wins and so was 1989 (first year dome existed) both years with over 3 million. Shift it to 85 and up and 75-85 for wins and you get...
86+: 2,945,395 (13 seasons)
75-85: 2,126,170 (15 seasons)
86+: 2,829,734 (3 seasons)
75-85: 1,952,304 (10 seasons)
I think I see a strong sign there. being in that 75-85 win range is not really any better than being in the 60's but crack 85 and things get a lot more interesting.
As to TV I found via Forbes that the Jays had over 1 million viewers per game on average this year, a 12% increase from last year's 901k per game which was then a record for the network (Sportsnet). I guarantee that Rogers wants to see that continue. The World Cup of hockey which Canada won only averaged 329k per game as a comparison. Another comparison point is via The Star and we see 2013 with great hope at the start of the year the Jays had 540k viewers per game, up 7% from the previous year and up 25% from 2010. At the time of the article the Leafs (big money makers) averaged 700k viewers per game for a horrid product. Once the Jays were out of contention ratings dropped below 500k, to 437k per game.
Bottom line: unless the people running Rogers are idiots (and they aren't) or the Jays lose money even with the massive increase in audience size (unlikely) the Jays will have a bigger budget and a goal of 86+ wins this year.