CBC Needs to Start Experimenting With Multiple Games at 10PM, So I Don’t Have to Watch This Again

This looks like it was done in the 1970′s.  Which is an insult to the 1970′s.  This was the feed used by the NHL for highlights of Saturday night’s Ottawa-Phoenix game.  This was due to the game not being televised by either FS Arizona or… well who exactly should have picked up this game?

The answer is CBC.  The network has aired up to three games regionally on various Saturdays this season, why was this game considered so inflexible to fit it’s schedule?  The network got this very same matchup at 7PM last year and showed it regionally.

It’s something that’s been discussed a lot in the comments recently, CBC’s treatment of the west coast, and this sort of relates.  This game could have been shown at 10PM as a regional feed for just Ottawa, and maybe gotten an okay number of viewers.  But the CBC decided that Edmonton-Vancouver needed to be seen in the entire country.  A rivalry, perhaps, but it can’t be ignored that CBC showed a game featuring two teams currently outside the playoff picture and didn’t air one with two teams that were.

Perhaps I don’t get Canadian TV enough to do this.  Could it be done logically that an Edmonton and Calgary game could be shown at the same time?  Can you split those two markets up well enough?  It doesn’t matter, even if you couldn’t, you could show an Edmonton game and a Vancouver game at the same time.  In a few months, CBC is airing Montreal-LA as the 10PM game.  Why not, on some night next year, air a game like that and add in, say, a Minnesota-Vancouver game as a safety telecast, so that if the Habs are still not contending for a playoff spot, you at least have a dependable Northwest division battle to stablize the audience.

The fact is, it’s sad CBC bulks up it’s 7PM slot with so many games, when a Toronto game or a Montreal game alone can get 1.8-2 million viewers a week.  Why not try and beef up the 10PM ratings with an additional game?  Or, you know God forbid, show the Leafs at 10PM when they’re actually on the west coast?  Put it in the too much sense folder, I say.

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Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

8 Responses to CBC Needs to Start Experimenting With Multiple Games at 10PM, So I Don’t Have to Watch This Again

  1. Chris says:

    I was wondering the same thing. CBC could have at least given permission to Rogers Sportsnet East to show it locally. That was a pitiful broadcast. I hate the Senators, but it wasn’t right.

  2. Chris says:

    Just wanted to correct you, Steve. The late CBC game was Calgary-San Jose.

  3. Josh says:

    You can absolutely split up Edmonton and Calgary broadcasts: there is a CBC affiliate in each Canadian NHL city (it’s not just one for all of Alberta) and that ensures that even if by some freak of scheduling, all six Canadian teams were playing in six different games at the same time, if the CBC wanted to show all six regionally, it would be able to.

    The thing that’s all the more galling about this for Sens fans (which Chris points out) is that since CBC has Saturday night exclusivity, no other broadcaster could have picked up the Ottawa-Phoenix game even if it’d *wanted* to. I think if the Ceeb’s going to demand exclusivity, it needs to go all in: if a Canadian team is playing on a Saturday night they need to be showing it.

    And I definitely agree with the general thrust of the post, here: there are three Western Canadian teams and three Eastern Canadian ones, so it doesn’t make sense that there are so many split telecasts in the East and so few (if any, ever?) in the West.

    One reason for it is likely that the CBC nudges the NHL to avoid as much as possible having more than one possible game for it to pick up at 10pm ET on Saturday nights (it’s rare that you’ll see all three Western teams in action in that timeslot on Saturdays – it happens, but not nearly so often as the Habs, Sens and Leafs are all playing at 7pm ET). In any case, they should show Alberta and BC the same respect they show Ontario and Quebec.

  4. leafsfan1967 says:

    I wonder if the logistics of producing two telecasts outside of Canada got in the way of this happening? Don’t forget the dreadful Leafs game was being produced out of Boston so there were no “home games” for the CBC to show. It may have been too expensive/complicated to do add a third game in the States.

  5. Tim says:

    That was absolutely pitiful. It’s pretty much what the AHL does for their online streaming package; they take the in-house video feed, slap the two teams’ radio feeds on there and sell it for seven bucks a pop. I know Phoenix has had its problems, but I didn’t realize it dropped down a league.

    Chris and Josh are right. The CBC can’t have it both ways; if they want Canadian exclusivity on Saturday nights, they’d better be prepared to show all games that fall in their bucket. If they can’t or won’t air a game that would otherwise be theirs, they need to cede that game to TSN, SportsNet or even NHL Network Canada.

    And I agree with Josh about split late games. I realize that CBC wants only one late game because it starts at 10 PM or later for a good chunk of the country’s population and thus they don’t want to waste the resources on a diminished audience, but would it really kill them to do it once in a while?

    Some blame needs to fall on the American side too. Come on, NHL, you couldn’t convince FSN Arizona to carry this game, even on an alternate feed if they were showing the Suns or what-have-you? What’s Versus doing on a Saturday night that they can’t run a one-off Saturday game?

  6. Colton says:

    CBC or Sportsnet would NEVER split Calgary and Edmonton broadcasts. There’s so many Edmonton fans in Calgary and vice versa. Zero chance of it happening.

  7. Josh says:

    Sportsnet couldn’t though, even if they wanted to, could they? Both Edmonton and Calgary receive the “West” feed.

  8. Robert says:

    Steve, last season the Senators did not play in Phoenix. It was on Saturday, March 8, 2008 that HNIC showed the Senators at Coyotes at 7:00 pm eastern.

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