Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: R.I.P CBC?

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: R.I.P CBC?

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: R.I.P CBC?


An editorial from the Prince George Citizen, published Nov. 27:

When future historians look back on the demise of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the date Nov. 26, 2013 will loom large.

That's the day the CBC lost Hockey Night In Canada.

On the surface, it doesn't look so bad. The CBC will continue to broadcast Saturday night games and the Stanley Cup final for the next four seasons under the blockbuster 12-year, $5.2 billion deal Rogers Communications inked Tuesday with the National Hockey League.

The details, however, show the CBC got completely hosed and their senior managers know it.

CBC president Hubert Lacroix informed CBC staff in an internal memo Tuesday morning that job losses are coming as a result of the deal as Rogers seizes control of CBC's NHL coverage. Rogers will decide what Hockey Night In Canada looks like, what features it shows and who will be the on-air talent. Ron MacLean, Don Cherry and Jim Hughson may have contracts with the CBC but Rogers will decide what role, if any, they will have in Hockey Night In Canada starting next season.

That's not even the worst of it for the CBC under this sub-licensing agreement with Rogers. Lacroix was asked at the news conference announcing the deal how the CBC will make money under this new arrangement. His shocking answer was that Rogers will keep all of the revenue and simply pay CBC a flat fee to air the games.

"We think the ability to still have 'Hockey Night In Canada' is something important to us ... and that's what we get out of this," he said. The only other benefit - and it's not a tangible one - is that the CBC will be able to promote its other programming during Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts.

Lacroix and the CBC knew this day was coming. They couldn't compete on the money front and there would have been many more job losses if the public network had been shut out of NHL hockey altogether, an option that could still happen four years from now.

Initially, it looked like TSN was the big loser but it's not as bad as it could have been for the "Toronto Sports Network. …

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