Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Well, here's an interesting twist! Turns out the loss of the iconic "Hockey Night in Canada" theme wasn't a result of CBC not having the money to pay for it. It was because they'd spent too much of their taxpayer stipend on American programming.

Don't believe me? Just ask the guy who bought it, CTV President Rick Brace, in today's Globe and Mail speaking to one of Canada's best sports columnists, William Houston.

"On the whole question of cost and who can afford what, they actually bought the rights to 'Jeopardy' and 'Wheel of Fortune'," Brace said. "So, they made a decision to do that, which I'm guessing was a heck of a lot more expensive than what the theme would have been."

Ouch! So for those of you still thinking CBC's decision to emulate the program schedule of the Fox affiliate in Toledo was a wise move, there's yet another example of how buying US shows undermines our culture.

Meanwhile, on the same topic and from the same Globe article, just a little more proof that "The Legion" knows what it's talking about (see post below) when it comes to network branding. This quote is from CBC Sports Head Honcho Scott Moore...

"I worked there [at CTV and TSN] for many years and have a lot of friends there. But I would never in a million years have expected they would pay so much for a song that is so associated with CBC....I don't know why they would want to make their product less unique and more like the competition."

Now all of this may be continued sniping or sour grapes between the two networks. But it's interesting both seem aware buying US shows has costs that don't show up on a balance sheet and hardly anybody can tell them apart anymore.

And yet nobody at either network seems capable of thinking outside their box. Let's hope they start before they're on the street living in one.


Dwight Williams said...

Oh. Hell.

Has anyone told Trebek about this yet?

Alternative Girlfriend said...

Hello Jim, here's some interesting reading for ya:


Vancouver – CBC will air more foreign programs than ever before on prime time English TV next autumn, defying CRTC licence expectations and confirming that CBC has lost touch with its public broadcasting purpose, says the watchdog group FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting.

CBC will regularly broadcast 7 hours of foreign, mostly US, programs during prime time. This is a substantial increase, eclipsing the highest level of foreign content ever tracked since FRIENDS first began monitoring CBC’s English television schedule in 1990. CBC has logged a steady increase since the current head of CBC English operations took charge of television in the summer of 2004.

This plan will place CBC in defiance of the CRTC’s broadcast licence expectation of 80% Canadian content during prime time and runs counter to the recommendation of Commons Heritage Committee in its recent report on CBC’s mandate “that prime-time hours, from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm Monday to Friday, on the CBC/Radio-Canada’s television networks, should be reserved for Canadian productions”.

“CBC is supposed to be about presenting Canada to its citizens, not American game shows and Hollywood movies,...” (read more)