CIS football fans can watch three of the four conference finals this weekend. You can brush up on your French by watching Laval - Concordia on RDS. Fire up your PC or MAC to watch SMU and St. FX on Eastlink's webcast. And, as always, the Ottawa-Western Yates Cup match-up can be watched on The Score.
Missing is the Hardy Trophy (not cup, that's hockey) match-up. Fans of Simon Fraser (!) and Calgary will be forced to hunt down an Internet radio broadcast if they want to keep tabs.
You can almost hear the Let-The-Eastern-Bastards-Rot indignation from here. For years, CanWest fans have been convinced that the eastern media has had it out for them, conspiring to keep their teams off the tube while making sure that "inferior" OUA teams get top billing. It doesn't matter how many times they are told that the OUA pays The Score to broadcast the games, it's still a case of the east snubbing them.
Generally, the western fans will then follow-up by informing the eastern guys that the OUA is holding them back in all kinds of ways. That CanWest is a forward thinking organization, weighed down by old fashioned Ontario pointy heads.
(Update, Nov. 7: The FAN 590 personality Mike Hogan has spilled over cisfootball.org.)
But, here is the thing. The Score was prepared to go out and broadcast the Hardy. Eager, even. The network has a vested interest in seeing interest in CIS football grow. Al the network asked for was a commitment from CanWest on what time the game would start. Apparently, that was too much to ask for. The western ADs decided that locking in a starting time for a football game was an appropriate line to draw in the sand and as a result the Hardy is not going to be on TV.
Fans lose. The CIS loses. And, most importantly, the players and their families lose.
But, at least CanWest maintained the flexibility to start its game at 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. local time.
Let's be clear here. The reason the Hardy isn't on TV is because the ADs in CanWest didn't think it was a priority. So, if you are looking for someone to blame... blame CanWest.
Please read what Mr. Hogan has to say in its entirety, which is exactly how The Score would have liked to have shown tomorrow's Canada West final between Calgary and Simon Fraser.