Monday, June 09, 2008

CTV: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Just in, TSN/CTV has 'saved' the Hockey Theme Song. First, I didn't know the song needed saving. Second, this accounts for flat out thievery. The song didn't need to be saved. There was ongoing negotiations (or extortion) with the jingle writer Claman and CBC for the use of the song which has been in rotation for 40 years at the CBC. So with the extortion not going according to plan, Claman turns to CTV/TSN and extorts them.

CTV, big bad billionaire company, steals this song from public broadcaster CBC. Yes it's as bad as it sounds. I know CTV/TSN wants to pretend this was done to ensure the survival of the song but there wasn't much doubt that a deal would have occurred with the CBC. They would never let the song die but they sneak in, do a back-door deal and poof, it's been stolen.

According to CBC and how there was double-dealing going on:

We offered arbitration, mediation — we offered to meet their price. On Friday, when it came right down to it, we never got a response from them on our latest offer and find out, in the meantime, they appeared to be negotiating with CTV.....If that is the price CTV wants to pay, it won't be the first time nor will it be the last time, probably, that they outbid us for something. They have a lot more profits than we do...

I've become more disillusioned and disappointed with TSN over the past couple years, particularly when they started broadcasting NHL games. They've become big, fat, loud and obnoxious. They're shit as broadcasters now who depend on gossip instead of storytelling. They spend more time shelling out the rumour-de-jour instead of actually commenting on real stories. Ten years ago when I moved out on my own and got cable for the first time, I was most excited to get TSN. A sports network that was dedicated to good sports broadcasting. It simply is not anymore. Maybe because I still believe NHL hockey belongs on CBC and they put on a better broadcast. TSN is filled with loud and idiotic broadcasters (Pierre Maguire anyone?) who prefer the sound of their own voice to sport. They are not The Sports Network, they are The Toronto's all about the Leaves even when they don't make the playoffs. They are THE first story on Sportscentre and are discussed at the exclusion of everyone else. The broadcasters make Don Cherry look unbiased.

After the story broke earlier today, there were quite a few comments on TSN's website under the story and the majority of them were NOT supportive of this move. Well I just checked and many of those negative comments are no longer there. Mmm interesting TSN.

TSN/CTV should be ashamed of this underhanded and sneaky ploy. I still prefer my sports from CBC and I was heartbroken when CTV/TSN won the 2010 Olympics. They do a shit job at the Olympics. A plague on your house CTV/TSN. This was not saving the song, it was theft from the big bad rich company over a public broadcaster.

So go ahead, buy a song synonomous with the CBC. It will not reduce CBC's hockey viewership, not their better sports broadcasts. You basically will give them free advertising since this song will be associated with CBC forever. You can't destroy history. I tune into CBC for the hockey, not a song.


Shannon said...

I hear what you're saying, but I disagree with the CBC being the best announcers of the game.

But when they weren't calling the Maple Leafs, they were calling our guys by the wrong names or with incorrect pronunciations.

I'm sad for CBC to lose it, but competition is competition, and there are plenty of other great songs out there for them to use (Ice Ice Baby, anyone?).

Scarlett said...

I'll take a few mispronunciations as opposed to screaming into the TV screen and almost giving Crosby or their favorite player du jour a hand job on air. I'll take CBC anyday!!

Anonymous said...

From what I've read, the CBC announced that they could not get a deal done and would be holding a contest to get a new theme. It's at this point that CTV began their negotiation, nothing anywhere indicates that they acted prior to the deal failing. As a hockey fan of 40 years I have to tell you that the last 3 have been brutal, Cherry is now a caracature of himself and Bob Cole announcing borders on senility, NBC and TSN did a much better job in the playoffs 2008 without question. Let the CBC go Scarlett, they can't compete any more.

Scarlett said...

They announced that ONLY after finding out Claman was negotiating with CTV at the same time. Of course they cut off talks at that point. Enough is enough.

I still prefer the CBC...I like their broadcasts. They actually focus on hockey and not rumours or sucking up to the player of the moment.

cadoo said...

CBC is brutal! Hockey Night in Toronto has been dead to me for quite a while now. I only watch when the Oilers are playing or in the playoffs. During this years playoffs I watched as much TSN and NBC as I could. During the 2006 playoffs oilers vs red wings games there was no time, penalty time or period displayed. Terrible coverage of that whole Oilers run. Don't get me started on the HD coverage or lack there of.

Scarlett: I find CBC just as guilty as TSN of playing favourites. The philly vs pittsburgh series was a great example of this. All CBC could talk about was Crosby and Fleury. Favoritism makes the commentary hard to listen to. Especially when your cheering for the other team. I have pulled out the center speaker and just listened to the crowd when I've been annoyed enough.

TSN has had my support because of there great coverage of the world juniors in beautiful HD.

I hope TSN gets the Oilers coverage in the 2009 playoffs. I think TSN gets 3rd or 4th pick so hopefully quite a few canadian teams make the playoffs to make this happen. You know CBC would choose Oilers last. So there is a good chance of this happening.

I'm glad the CBC lost the theme song. It's a sinking ship.

d said...

I still like CBC and I don't have a problem with Cole.

Growing up, hockey = CBC. That's the only thing CBC is good for. Hockey and Olympics!

Lady_Byng said...

it's not just about CTV "stealing" the song from the CBC, its also about Dolores Claman and her agent/lawyer cashing in when the relationship with CBC was going to shit.