Trouble could be on the horizon for one of Canada’s most popular television programs. The competition has been plucking CBC’s talent away, and TSN’s already poached the theme song… Lyle Richardson, aka Spector, takes a look at some of the hard truth surrounding the iconic Canadian presentation we know as Hockey Night in Canada:
The rise of cable since the 1980s brought about the birth of TSN (the Canadian equivalent of ESPN) in 1984, and Sportsnet in 1998, which over the years have been challengers to HNiC’s dominance, showing regional coverage of Canadian teams in regular season games throughout the week, as well as regular and post-season coverage of non-Canadian teams up to the Stanley Cup Final.
That led to concerns in recent years of Hockey Night in Canada being moved to another broadcaster, such as CTV, which owns TSN. That seems unlikely, however, as a rival network would have to pay CBC for the rights to the Hockey Night in Canada name.
While CBC’s current contract with the NHL lasts until the end of the 2013-14 season, it is expected CTV could make a serious push for the exclusive broadcast rights of Canadian-based NHL teams, which would then be televised on TSN.
In 2007, CBC successfully outbid CTV for full broadcast rights of all Canadian NHL teams , but the market has changed since then, and CBC could find it very difficult in three years time to top CTV.
The aging of Hockey Night’s top on-screen personalities could also become a potential problem.
No other hockey program can set the stage for a big game or series, or sum up an entire post-season, like Hockey Night.
But given the rising competition from cable, evolution of sports coverage, the loss of key on-air personalities and the aging of others, it remains to be seen how much longer Saturday night will remain Hockey Night in Canada on CBC.
The mystery of the missing Stanley Cup
The good people of Dunnville, Ontario were forced to enjoy Nathan Horton’s day with the Stanley Cup sans Cup. Greg Wyshynski, net detective, is on the case and it sounds like the Cup missed its flight.
There is no offseason for Mikael Granlund’s dazzling dekes
Stick tap Hockey Wilderness
Every Goal, 2010-11: Henrik Sedin
Our good friend Harrison Mooney breaks down all 19 of Henrik Sedin’s goals from this past season, complete with video and hilarious commentary/insight.
All hell breaks loose at Capitals’ development camp
Some kids looking to make a name for themselves as three fights broke out on Saturday at the Washington Capitals development camp. Russian Machine Never Breaks breaks down the combatants with photos and video.
Is there anything Joe Sakic can’t do?
Joe Sakic defied the dead puck era in the NHL, and if golf had a dead ball era he’d probably defy that, too. Sakic sunk a $1 million ace on the 17th hole at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe on Sunday. More from NBCSports:
For the last three years, any player hitting an ace on the signature hole at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course earned a $1 million bonus from tourney sponsor American Century, with the Kansas City-based investment company stipulating that half of the prize go to its primary charity benefactor.
So Sakic will split the $1 million with Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation for cancer research.