Friday, October 21, 2005

Everything Old is New Again

Well - finally - after months of tension, the new CCA broadcasting arrangements are in place. Suitably there is a CBC story here and a TSN story here.

And what was the outcome of all the protests and complaints and changes in plan? This summarizes it well (from the TSN story):
TSN will televise afternoon and evening draws for the first seven of nine days (Saturday through Friday) from the Scott Tournament of Hearts, Tim Hortons Brier, and the Ford World Curling Championships held in Canada. This upcoming season, TSN will also televise the highly anticipated Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, the first event of the season, which takes place from Halifax beginning December 3.
So we are back where were were, almost, with the usual suspect tournaments, except for losing the morning draws. This confirms the Eclectic Econoclast's suggestions that no network regards these as economically viable.

What have our protests wrought? Well, viewers no longer have to try to figure out where CBC Country Canada and The Score are and can get their curling fix on the old familiar CBC and TSN (you can turn in your digital tuner). Also, as TSN likes to point out, and I am happy to see:
TSN today also announced the return of the popular curling broadcast team of Vic Rauter, Linda Moore and Ray Turnbull. Over the years, the trio has created a broad and supportive fan base among Canadian curling fans.
Count me as part of that fan base.

But over the last several years the key fact is that we real fans have lost coverage overall, in that nobody is taking on the morning draws in the major tournaments. I am still thinking about what this means - perhaps our cable and satellite providers might want to make these rounds available as pay-per-view simply to see who cares (I doubt they can charge much and get an audience).

Does this open up an opportunity for some other organization to try to commercialize the sport more effectively? In the end it is clear the CCA over the last several years has gone backwards in terms of demonstrably growing the appeal of the sport.

For now I am glad to know that there will be coverage and where I can find it.


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