Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The CCA:
An Exemplary Death Wish?

In his previous four postings, co-blogger, Alan Adamson has noted a number of questionable decisions made by the CCA over the past month or two. In the most recent one, he asks, "Huh? Is the CCA Nuts?"

My answer: Yes.

Back during the Brier and the Scott tournaments, I suggested several times that either the CCA or its legal representative(s) were negligent in negotiating their contract with the CBC.
My take: It looks as if the CCA should consider suing its lawyers for lack of due diligence if, in fact, the CBC made decisions that the CCA would have opposed but were not covered in the terms of the contract. That, or it should be asking serious questions of its own negotiators.
A commenter on that piece said that the CCA went into that contract with its eyes wide open and knew full well what they were negotiating. Given the silliness that has ensued, I am inclined to believe him.

Recent comments at In the Hack suggest that even though the CCA has promised that they will have a new, better deal signed, it appears they are struggling. The other networks are hesitant/reluctant to sign a deal until the CBC-CCA contract dispute is settled, and with the CBC managers running the network during its lockout, who knows how much time they have to work on a deal with the quirky CCA? This comment says the quotation below is from the Trono Globe and Mail, but I was unable to find it there:
The curling television mess just got a whole lot messier. TSN has walked away from a potential TV deal with the Canadian Curling Association because of concerns over a possible lawsuit.

Sources say The Score television network also has withdrawn as a potential curling broadcaster.
The networks are backing off because CBC has threatened to sue the CCA over the association's decision to terminate its deal with the network after only one year.

...If the CBC and CCA can't make peace, it is unlikely curling's big events will be seen on Canadian television during the 2005-06 season -- a season that will include the added bonus of Olympic qualifying tournament later this year.
I hate to say this, but I wonder if the CCA is on the verge of death. It has buggered up television coverage; it has fought change; and it (essentially) has tried to deny autographs to kids.

Meanwhile the World Curling Tour is growing in popularity.

If the Tour held a big money tournament at the same time as the Brier or the Scott, which would you rather watch? My preference (for nostalgia's sake) would be the traditional tournaments. But I can readily imagine that if, increasingly, the better teams were competing in other tournaments, the old stand-bys would lose their lustre.

Perhaps the days of the CCA are numbered. At the very least, their management needs to wake up or be shaken up.


At 8/17/2005 8:51 a.m., Blogger Amateur said...

I don't know that much about the inner workings of the CCA but I can speculate a bit based on my involvement with other sports.

The CCA is a not-for-profit run by a board of volunteers who in turn manage a paid professional staff. This means that there are two possible shake-ups: (1) the board replaces the staff, or (2) the members replace the board. Or both.

The CCA is the officially recognized (by the COA) sport federation for curling and, as such, has sole authority over the selection and support of the Olympic teams. That won't change unless the COA and/or Sport Canada decide that they are mismanaging selection or mishandling funds.

This is the CCA's main source of power over the top athletes, right now.

At 8/23/2005 9:49 p.m., Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Amateur and I sparred a bit over how selection processes ought to be run in major sporting events. My concern was that administrators have too much power over athletes because of their control over selection for events like the Olympics.
Now I will give the CCA credit - they appear to be using a straight and simple tournament with the winner becoming our Olympic selection. I have already praised this approach, by comparison to the lordly approach of the British selectors.
My guess is that the CCA's ability to interfere with and overrule that outcome is one limited by their sense of what is politically acceptable.
I doubt, for example, that they would be able to get away with barring Colleen Jones' team should they fail to pay the manifestly stupid fine being discussed here. But I would not be surprised if the actual written rules of the sport give them that discretion. That is the problem.


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