Tuesday, June 10, 2008

That's the CBC for you!

You know, it sounded like it would be all fun and cheeky if CTV, which owns TSN, snapped up the rights to the Hockey Night in Canada theme.

Now that it's happened, though, it just seems wrong. There's probably very little that can be said here that would keep anyone from piling on the See Bee See. Bashing the public network is as Canadian as beavertails, curling and the Rideau Canal.

Meantime, anyone who slags Dolores Claman refusing to undervalue her work should give her/his head a shake. She's not a college football player. She's got a right to get paid for her work.

(UPDATE: Dear friend Keith Borkowsky, of the Brandon Sun, offered up some guest commentary.)
"If you are looking for someone to blame for the song's new home, look squarely at the CBC. They had every opportunity to settle this dispute long before it got to this point and when things got bogged down, they simply relied on the defence, 'They wouldn't dare do that to us. We're the CBC.' The problem for them is 80 year old pensioners need to eat too, and if their creation is worth a couple of million to someone, they have every right to sell it to the highest bidder."

"Here's the next question the CBC needs to ask. How can they justify dumping a song that has clearly unified Canadians to support their brand for less money than they pay Don Cherry, who is clearly not as well loved and actually brings some level of tarnish to the corporation?

"If you were looking for relics where they could point to and say, 'That's our history and we're proud of it.', I believe at some point the good people at CBC Sports will look at this as another sorry aspect in an era where the grand old corporation let its performance slide into mediocrity. For that, I wouldn't be surprised to see heads roll."

(During the network's labour stoppage in 2005, a Simcoe Reformer colleague, Monte Sonnenberg, noted that the CBC model was created for a zero-channel universe, now it's unable to adjust to the 500-channel universe.)

CTV purchases The Hockey Theme (The Canadian Press)
HNIC theme song lives ... on rival networks CTV, TSN and RDS (Puck Daddy)


Robert C. said...

Thought this would happen after the Friday deadline. You know CTV wanted to stick it to them again. Got the CFL last year and the HNIC song this year?

Just saw a preview for TSN Sportscentre about "SAVING THE HOCKEY SONG". Oh boy. But can't blame them for capitalizing on CBC's mistake.

Krister said...

I think you are wrong about Ms. Claman. Yes, she has a right to get paid for her work but it comes a time when something becomes larger than $$ and truly public domain. This theme is one such thing, in my opinion. Ms. Claman comes across as - rightly or wrongly - a selfcentred cheapskate.
Now I am going to give my head a shake.

sager said...

Well, Krister, she's an 80-year-old woman, and she's had a lawsuit pending vs. the CBC for several years, and maybe her lawyers were frustrated ... plus you know how artistic types are protective of how their work is used.

GoGades said...

Boy, you know we live in a great country when people find time to get upset about this. The commentary over on the CBC site is priceless, you'd think they had outlawed beavers (animal or otherwise) or something.

I'm far more interested in that angle to the story than the actual event. In this age of PVRs, I can't remember the last time I sat thru the HNIC song.

Von Allan said...

This probably won't come as a surprise when I say more power to Dolores Claman. Until the copyright of the song is truly in the public domain, she owns the rights to it. And she has every right to earn whatever she can over it.

For whatever reason, people often think this type of behaviour by artists in almost any medium is crass. I'm sorry but it is not.

To my mind, the CBC's major error in this was thinking (or perhaps seeming to think) that Claman had no other options save for dealing with them. Perhaps they did realize it and underestimated the emotion that many Canadians have over the tune. If that's true, though, then it seems peculiar to me that they still wouldn't come to a deal once the news became public and the public reaction was plain to see. I suspect that whoever did their cost/benefit analysis didn't do a great job.

sager said...

Thank the Lord that GoGades was here to see the big picture ... I've been saying since last week that there are about 10 things to change with Hockey Night before you'd touch the theme music.

And thanks, Von, for lending the artist's perspective.