Has the CCA Shot Itself in the Foot .... AGAIN?
The new broadcasting contract
The Canadian Curling Association has signed a six-year contract that, beginning in 2008, gives TSN exclusive rights to all broadcasts of all major and even not-so-major curling events [h/t to BF for the tip].
After the way the CBC covered (or didn't cover) curling in 2004-5, I do not have much sympathy for their being left out in the cold. But I can't help but suspect the CCA buggered it up again, especially in comparison with what they might have been able to get.
CBC spokesperson Ruth-Ellen Soles said the network received a "perfunctory call" Thursday morning from the CCA telling them of the deal.No tender? No negotiations with the opposition? Unless the CBC is misrepresenting what happened [gee, the CBC misrepresent something? is that really possible?], for the CCA to negotiate a deal with TSN without seeking other bids sounds like a breach of some sort of fiduciary duty to me.
"For the first time ever there was no tender process," said Soles, meaning CBC had no chance to submit a counter-offer.
In addition, I think many curling fans have quite enjoyed having the different perspectives and approaches in the telecasts during the past year with competing networks and teams telecasting different events. Exclusivity will make for much blander, flatter, and more one-sided coverage. For the sake of the game, this was a big mistake. Competition, even if it was on different days, led to better telecasts.
Also, the contract is REALLY exclusive:
Once it kicks in, TSN's exclusive deal includes rights for radio, broadband, mobile, video-on-demand, interactive television and podcasts. The all-sports channel also has the opportunity to show select matches on CTV.RADIO???? I guess this means that unless we're hired by TSN, beginning in 2008, Alan and I will be off the air. 8-(
And what will happen to CurlTV, the internet coverage of the non-televised matches? Did TSN just ace out Rogers (who was reported to have some interest in CurlTV)?
I predict this contract will mean we will see less, not more, curling than we would have had the current hodge-podge of contracts been extended. I also wonder whether the CCA negotiated this deal because they are too lazy or too stupid or too incompetent to negotiate a better deal, or whether they fear (based on their bungles of the past two years) that they are. So perhaps they took the easy way out and just rolled over for TSN.
I also predict that with media exclusivity, players will receive LESS overall compensation than they would if there were competition. But of course that counter-factual hypothesis will be difficult to test.
But if TSN gets lazy, watch for Rogers to start a new league.