Why Isn’t Hockey Night in Canada a Part of CBC Sports’ Budget Cuts?
March 31, 2009 4 Comments
Hey, did you all hear? This economy isn’t doing to good! I know! Even in Canada! I know! That Canada. Anyway, the budget cuts in Canadian government have affected public broadcaster CBC, and particularly the sports department. Chris Zelkovich has more in his terrific new “Sports Media Watch” blog:
Though sports produces a lot of CBC’s revenue, it didn’t escape today’s cuts aimed at overcoming the corporation’s $171 million shortfall.
Gone is the radio show The Inside Track, a CBC staple for decades. At this point, the CBC is saying only that the following sports will face reductions or cutbacks in coverage of alpine skiing, world aquatics, track and field, international figure skating and CONCACAF soccer. The depth of those cuts will be made clearer soon.
As for personnel, all the CBC is saying at this point is that 313 jobs will be cut in sports, entertainment, current affairs and sales.
That’s a shame for all of those sports, which dearly need coverage and exposure of some kind to keep awareness up for the events to thrive. But what we noticed, and Zelkovich did too, is that hockey is pretty much unscathed. Your telling me that Don Cherry’s wardrobe couldn’t pay to televise a season’s worth of figure skating action?
Anyway, Zelkovich is a real media member at the Toronto Star, so he got to ask CBC Sports President Scott Moore about it:
On the first point, CBC Sports boss Scott Moore says the fat has already been cut at HNIC through travel reductions and behind-the-scenes stuff. In fact, he says HNIC came in under budget after trimming.
But what about all those regional telecasts on Saturday nights? Surely, they don’t help the bottom line considering how much they add to costs.
Well, Moore says, in fact they do add to the bottom line. “The regional broadcasts have added from 100,000 to 300,000 viewers a night,” he says. “Without the extra Montreal Canadiens games, we would have less revenue because of lower ratings.”
Fair enough. Maybe Canadian readers can help tell me if we should be smelling funny business here, but his explanations make sense to me. Good news for fans of Hockey Night in Canada, we suppose.