Monday, June 16, 2008

The Good Ol' Never Ending Hockey Theme Debate

As much as this issue has been beaten to death, this was published on the CBC blog by Scott Moore, Executive Director of CBC TV Sports. This question was posed, the answer is listed below:

Are you mad at CTV/TSN?

Actually, yes I am.

I worked there 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. They do very good production on hockey that is different in many ways than Hockey Night in Canada. I don’t know why they would want to make their product less unique and more like the competition.

CTV management characterized their actions as “saving the song." But they knew the negotiation hadn’t run its course. I firmly believe that if they hadn’t inserted themselves into the negotiation, the result would have been different. Their move capitalized on a lot of publicity, and had the added benefit of making a competitor look bad. I hope it ends up being worth the money for them at the end of the day.

An article on Globe and Mail included a response from CTV’s President Rick Brace:

“To try to lay this at our feet or suggest we somehow interfered with their negotiation is just ludicrous,” Brace said. “They made a decision. They announced it to the world. And they walked away.”

Seems like the big boys now are out over this matter, and they’ve come out swinging!

I’ve been pretty silent on this issue for a while, and not just because of how ‘played out’ it has become (the conversation that never seems to die!). When this issue broke it seemed unfathomable that the CBC was actually risking a part of Canadian culture over the desire to run a high profile contest/Reality TV show. As ridiculous as it sounds to say that a theme song for a Hockey show means that much to our culture I’m fairly confident more Canadians identify with that score as truly Canadian then they do with a number of other typically Canadian stereotypes.

I do hope to test this theory one day over in Europe or Asia, I'm pretty sure that yelling out the word "BEAVER!!" to someone walking by with a Canadian flag on their backpack would not illicit the same feeling of camaraderie as the opening few notes of the Hockey Theme would (and just to make things clear, any giggling that may result does not constitute camaraderie here!).

Personally the CBC can be upset over the way this has turned out but I feel they don't have a right to make those feelings public and directed towards CTV; they made their bed and now they have to sleep with the certain decrease in approval ratings for their network. For them to single out CTV here for being opportunistic - and looking good with the public as a result - is not right, and also doesn't help their damaged image either.

But what are you thoughts on the matter of CBC's apparent outrage over this matter? Do you feel Moore has a right to be upset here? Post your thoughts NOW!

Related: Fur Still Flying Over CBC's Loss of Hockey Song


Tyler King said...

Scott Moore is a brilliant PR man, doing a brilliant job of playing the victim here.

I dunno how many people are gonna fall for it, though.

sager said...

Just the fact he typed "less unique" -- there's no such thing as less or more unique -- shows that Moore doesn't get it.

Duane Rollins said...

You can take the copy editor out of the.....

Dennis Prouse said...

Do I think CBC should have made a better effort to retain the song? Sure, but I can't help but wonder if this is just silly-season stuff that will be forgotten once the real season begins again. I compare it a bit to the Monday Night Football theme -- iconic, sure, but in more recent years it has become secondary to a long of the other, err, "stuff" that they use to open up the broadcast.

I truly believe this was more about TSN/CTV sticking their thumb in CBC's eye. CBC coughed up the puck in their own end, and TSN made them pay for it. By the time the puck drops for the season, however, I rather doubt anyone will be talking about this.

Mike said...

I think that TSN/CTV will NOT let us forget about this - I mean they aired the hockey theme ad naseum when they first got the rights to it, I'm pretty sure they're gonna make a big deal about it when the season approaches!

If they did do this to take a shot at the CBC, that would certainly be a great way to further rub it in! And while it likely won't be done in a rude way considering reactions like this I'm pretty sure they won't mind reminding the CBC who won the upperhand in this situation.

And while I agree the Monday Night Football song has definitely lost more of its endearing qualities as of late, they kind of did that to themselves by making too many purposeful changes in my opinion. They slightly tweaked the HNIC theme a few years back but definitely nowhere near the way MNF revamped its opening. I don't think that relates quite as well in this scenario.