Saturday, December 09, 2006

CBC MAY KEEP HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA

It's Saturday Night! Hello Canada, and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland...

I've read the latest rumor in the Globe from William Houston about the future of NHL hockey on CBC. He now rants that the CBC is now the frontrunner to keep Hockey Night in Canada and that they may split the playoff rights with TSN. TSN will take on an expanded role in the Stanley Cup package and show some Canadian games, but Hockey Night in Canada on CBC would go on, same as usual, says Houston. They're looking at a four-year deal and looking at paying maybe 100 mil a year, a sizable increase.

All I gotta say is, William Houston, make up your mind already. Earlier you wrote a story saying CTV was going to make a billion-dollar, ten-year bid and that the games were as good as gone, and now you say CBC is gonna keep the rights. Either you have the scoop or you don't! Figure it out, man.

Maybe CBC grabbed some sense and realized they could not afford to lose their one and only hit show on the network. And maybe CTV looked at the ratings numbers and grabbed some sense, too! A billion dollars for NHL rights? Especially when CTV puts up better numbers with their regular shows like Lost and Desperate Housewives during the week? Talk about a waste of money they were looking at. I'll bet they only floated that billion dollar number in order to get more games on TSN, and that sounds like it'll happen; they can't be serious about getting the entire package!

Sounds as if CTV wasn't going to show a lot of games anyway; this story says they were going to show just one game on Saturdays and the Stanley Cup Finals, and that would be it: the rest of the games were going to be on TSN. Including the entire bleeping playoffs! I can't believe CTV is serious about paying a billion dollars if this is what they plan to do, serve up this sort of non-coverage effort. I'll say it again: this is a total waste of money.

And frankly, there ought to be no way in heck that the NHL is going to agree to this sort of reduction in coverage on Saturday night, either. I am certain they love all the attention they get from the CBC with their saturation coverage and their obsession with hockey on just about every show they put on the network. You don't see that from CTV, that's for sure. And frankly, the fans love the CBC's obsession with "our game", this "hockey-is-Canada" schtick. The fans think it's great, and they love seeing the news junkies get upset every spring when The National gets bumped to make room for their beloved playoff games! The fans don't want to see Hockey Night in Canada go anywhere--- and neither do I.

But who knows, really, what will happen. I'll believe it when I see it.

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