This week’s podcast: CBC’s big hockey hit

CHML’s Scott Thompson was still on this “CRTC kicks Bell bid in the Astral” story. The shock still hasn’t worn off and rumours continue to swirl, with news Rogers might be sniffing around for Astral parts.
I applaud the CRTC’s decision to stand up for consumers and against media consolidation, as well as reports the Harper government is not going to re-open this can of worms.
Scott also asks about the impact of the hockey strike on Canadian television. A check of last Saturday’s overnight, estimated ratings shows that CBC’s brilliant contingency plan to offer reruns of “Your Pick” hockey games was quickly bodychecked into oblivion. The caper drew only 217,000 for a 1994 Vancouver/Calgary game, less than a 10th of what CBC would normally draw this time of year with the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada.

Blades’ Season 3 skater Boyd Devereaux

Don’t forget CBC–struggling to deal with a hefty cut in funding–decided to  sit Battle of the Blades this season–ditching one way they could have still serviced Canada’s hockey fix. MacLean and Cherry could still be before viewers this fall, and, by the looks of things, all kinds of skaters would have been available.
Instead, CBC loses 2.5 million viewers Saturday and another 1.2 million Sunday, where their Wizard of Oz reality casting show has slipped under the half million mark. Ouch.
CTV’s opportunistic counter-programming stunt showing four repeats of The Big Bang Theory on Saturday nights has been more successful–the back-to-back episodes drew around 1.1 – 1.3 million each–but that’s still half of what CBC got with NHL games.
Meanwhile, TSN is stuck showing Slap Shot to 204,000 Tuesday night instead of the million or so who would watch a real NHL contest. So do Canadian TV networks hope this strike/lockout ends soon? That would be yes, especially Bell and Rogers, who paid the Teachers Pension Fund a fortune for ownership of the Toronto Maple Leafs and now there’s no irresistible sports content to deliver to their sports stations.
As for the NHL, they seem more pressured by their U.S. broadcast deal with NBC, where games are scheduled in November. Hey, whatever gets this deal done, get the deal done.
There’s more radio blather; you can listen in here.

One Response to “This week’s podcast: CBC’s big hockey hit”

  1. Oh boy, re-watch a typical Game 7 where if you don’t remember which team had won the series, an MC (and an hourly time compression schedule) will spoil any forgotten action for its viewers.
    Some future day I hope the game selectors will just stick with series matches 1, 2, and 3.

    Reply

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