The cost to get rights to broadcast the NHL in Canada may wind up being too costly for Canada’s national broadcaster.
CBC, the home of Hockey Night in Canada, has an exclusive window to negotiate a new deal to carry the NHL that ends in August. As Steve Ladurantaye of The Globe And Mail shares, time is running out, money is tight, and TSN is eager to pounce on the rights.
But the league must step lightly – both broadcasters have reasons to let the NHL pass them by. “This isn’t a slam dunk for the NHL by any means,” one broadcast executive said. “It’s not as straightforward as someone might think.”
CBC has had Saturday night hockey since 1953 and the current deal expires after this season. Ladurantaye says CBC could lose as much as $175 million if they lose out on the TV package. Hockey broadcasts are also a big money winner for CBC to help them produce other shows.
It would be hard to imagine not seeing Hockey Night in Canada on CBC anymore. If the cost is too high, Don Cherry and his wild suits and opinions might wind up elsewhere.
If you weren’t fired up for the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs, don’t worry, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada will cure what ails you.
One of the highlights to their production each year is their montage to open up the playoffs and what producer Tim Thompson came up with this time around should have you ready to run through a wall for your team. Or at the very least run through a wall to get in front of a TV.
Highlights of playoffs past set to The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”? Yes please.
Sometimes his commentary is fun, sometimes it’s bizarre, but he certainly has his supporters as well as detractors. Now, according to reports, that might all be slowly coming to an end as CBC deals with pressure to muzzle him.
Reportedly, it’s not just Burke that’s unhappy with Cherry at this point and CBC might end up overhauling their popular Coach’s Corner segment and perhaps Hockey Night in Canada in general. Such a move might be seen as a way to modernize the show and shift the focus away from Cherry, but doing so would be a significant gamble. Like Cherry or hate him, he knows how to draw a crowd and any move to marginalize and move past Cherry might hurt them in the ratings game. On the flip side, a successful transition will eventually be necessary in the long run.
Following CBC’s annual presentation to the NHL board in Ottawa, Burke delivered a blistering critique of the program’s treatment of him and then-coach Ron Wilson. Other Canadian teams, including the Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators, blasted the network for the Toronto-centric nature of the program and complained about deteriorating journalistic standards.
It wasn’t just Don Cherry that had team executives upset, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk sounded off about how much coverage the Maple Leafs get on Hockey Night in Canada. Melnyk spoke… Creatively about who he was referring to.
“My issue dealt with the number of games shown on HNIC that are not Sens games and my concern about how skewed they are to another team that you can easily deduce. … I wasn’t given any concrete response.”
The Leafs bring the ratings whether they’re good or bad. When they’re good, Leafs fans tune in in droves. When they’re bad, Leafs haters come out of the woodwork. Either way, people are tuning in but according to Dowbiggin’s story, fans are tuning out when it’s time for Cherry’s segment. Are the times changing north of the border?
Battle of the Blades opens third season with Wade Belak tribute
While it was clear that ex-enforcer Wade Belak’s NHL career was over, it seemed like he had a lot to look forward to heading into the 2011-12 season. Belak was set to become a sideline reporter during Nashville Predators games and made CBC’s list of participants for its popular reality show Battle of the Blades. Sadly, the hockey world won’t see the well-liked former fighter in either role after his sad death in late August.
The third season of that show began Sunday with a tribute to the fallen fighter, whose spot was eventually filled by Russ Courtnall. The tribute included commentary from his former teammates and opponents along with footage from some early prep work in which Belak prepared for the competition, which pairs former hockey players with figure skaters with the winning duo earning $100K for a charity of their choice. Courtnall will represent Belak’s chosen charity: the Tourette’s Syndrome Neurodevelopmental Clinic at the Toronto Western Hospital.
The show began with a message dedicating the show to the memory of Belak, as well as to his wife Jennifer and daughters Alex and Andie.
“This one’s for you Wade,” said host Ron MacLean as the camera moved out to show his No. 3 painted on the ice.
The episode, called ‘Game On,’ documents some of Belak’s last moments as he and the other contestants prepare for the show. His sense of humour is on display as he tries to adjust to figure skates, laughs at May’s frequent tumbles and jokes about competitor Cale Hulse’s hairstyle.
“Every time I fell I’d hear Wade’s little yell, and somewhat of a chuckle at me,” May said. “It was a lot easier having a guy like Wade Belak with you, laughing at yourself.”