Monday, August 20, 2007

Premature Evacuation

That headline doesn't make as much sense as I thought it did now that I see it written down. Well now that I keep delaying the subject it looks even stupider. Let's get started. Jeers to the unnamed exec at the CBC who decided against airing the final 13 minutes of the Rough Riders v. Eskimos game on Saturday night. A power outage at the stadium in Regina (apparently no longer called Taylor Field) caused a delay in the game. Instead of sticking with the broadcast when play resumed (in a close game) the unnamed civil servant in charge at the time decided to air "The Good Thief" starring Nick Nolte. She had actually decided to cut the game across all markets before being convinced by the producer to keep the broadcast going for viewers in Saskatchewan(though inexplicably Edmonton got Nick Nolte).

I am not a fan of CFL football but I stand in solidarity with my fellow sports fans. This is an absolute outrage. If some unnamed executive in Toronto decided that the broadcast of one of my team's game would be cut short to air a bad movie I would be apoplectic. How dare you? CTV, if you decide to pull this crap with a Bills game you better have Sue Thomas FB Eye on call because I'll probably do something crazy.

I call for a full investigation before hockey season starts. We need to know whether this was a case of incompetence, malice or simply blind adherence to the rules. My bet is on the latter. Bureaucrats don't tend to be the best at making decisions on the fly. There can be no logic, be it based on commercial or artistic merits that would justify this decision. It's not as if they were going live to breaking news or a Christmas special featuring the Rankin Family, Anne Murray, Great Big Sea and Rita McNeil. Apparently federal law states that if the aforementioned concert happens all channels with switch to CBC and if you're not watching TV your television will actually turn itself on to the CBC. I'm sure the three people nationwide who were staying in on a Saturday to watch a Nick Nolte movie could wait another 13 minutes. Presumably this isn't the most desireable demographic for your advertisers so why cater to them? Some have mentioned the instance where NBC cut the overtime of the Sabres/Sens playoff game to air the Preakness pre-race show as a precedent. At least that was justified based on commercial interests and they kept the broadcast going in the hockey-friendly markets. This latest debacle is completely inexcusable.

Western Canadians, this is not a "Toronto hates the West" thing. This is either a "CBC hates sports" thing or "CBC hires people that Global or CTV won't" thing, or both. There's also a slight chance that Nick Nolte is behind all this. He could probably use the couple grand he got in residuals from the broadcast.

That's it for today. T-minus 20 days until the Bills opener.


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you assume that the CBC civil servant is a woman. P.S………Bills suck.

Steve Holt said...

That wasn't an assumption. I'm just repeating what the Globe and Mail reported. suck