Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Monday, June 09, 2008

CTV Steals Hockey Night in Canada Theme

Notice I didn't use the words "Buys", or "Aquires", or some other neutral term for what CTV did today.  No, I specifically chose to use a negative term, "Steals"... as in "Theft".

CTV gleefully announced that they managed to swipe the "Hockey Night In Canada (On CBC)" theme from the CBC today.  While CBC never actually owned it, I think today's announcement is another ugly example of corporate greed... at the expense of Canadians, and one of our Canadian institutions.

The "Hockey Night in Canada (on CBC)" theme is a Canadian icon, and one that has been solely that of the CBC for many generations... for 40 years.  By waltzing in and swiping it from the CBC, they've in essence taken something that Canadians felt was their own, in that it was used by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation... the network owned by the taxpayers.

While I'm no fan of the leftists who run the CBC, I still recognize that it's a Canadian icon, and think that it should remain at least partially owned and funded by us, the people.  (on that note, I think that we, the people, ought to get more of a say in OUR network... not just the special interest groups who are currently running the shows)

The folks at CTV are trying to pass this off saying that they've "saved a Canadian icon", because the CBC wasn't going to pay the $3,000,000 the copyright owners wanted for the theme.  That demand in and of itself was highway robbery, and I'm glad the CBC stuck to their guns in protecting the taxpayers dollars.  And I think it's shameful that the execs at CTV took advantage of the situation, and stole a Canadian icon from us through a corporate buyout.  (ironically, the very next story on the news tonight was about the iconic golden works of art that were stolen, and recently recovered, out in BC... two theft stories, back to back...)

If the folks at CTV are serious in their claim that they've "saved a Canadian icon", then here's a challenge for you suits... grant the CBC the perpetual rights to continue to use the "Hockey Night In Canada (on CBC)" theme during hockey season.

Either that, or allow them to use it for a REASONABLE fee... because don't forget, for every dollar you charge them to use it, YOU'RE TAKING FROM THE CANADIAN PEOPLE.

I think this is a shameful little fiasco.  I say we stick it to the suits at CTV, and tell them that Canadians don't want these American style corporate buyouts of what are Canadian institutions.  Send e-mails, make phone calls, and keep pressing the issue until they respect this Canadian icon, and the Canadian people, with a reasonable arrangement.

So, on that note... before CTV starts to enforce their "rights" to this great Canadian icon...


  • At Mon Jun 09, 07:10:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    Wow. I usually agree with your posts, but we part company on this one.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 07:14:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    C'mon, that is just plain dumb. The CBC decided not to renew the license. They screwed up not CTV. CBC thought they could continue to be cheap here while wasting millions of dollars elsewhere. Who was going to complain? A bunch of sports fans who actually watch cbc for hockey only? CTV made a smart move and now TSN gets the most iconic song in Canadian television. Good for them.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 07:28:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    CBC did not want the theme song. They tried to save a few scant dollars in one of the few areas that makes them money - Hockey coverage. Instead of the few dollars they tried to save here why could they not save hundreds of millions of dollars by deleting the legions of artsy-fartsy lefty crap that no one every watches (excepting, of course, artsy-fartsy lefties; few in number really).

    I think CTV purchasing the rights to this theme music is hilarious. CBC was trying to ditch it or get it for free. To bad, so sad.

    CBC never, ever, did own the rights to this music - they rented it! It is not theirs, nor yours or ours. Its right of ownership belongs to its creator and she felt like selling it. That is her right and her decision. Not mine, not yours.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 07:29:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think CTV is only a peripheral player in this tragicomedy, and as television viewers you and I have no standing whatsoever. CBC did NOT 'own' that music, they rented it but acted as if they owned it. This upset the actual owners who felt their property rights had been disregarded, and they acted to protect their interests.

    You and I may have heard this music regularly, and we may have an emotional attachment to it, but we do not own it and have no say in how the legal owners handle it. Feel free to criticize CBC for being stupid enough to lose their greatest national icon, but don't blame CTV for taking advantage of their oppositions' stupidity, that's only good business.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 07:39:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How can you say you're glad that CBC didn't cave and pay $3 Million, but then call it shameful that CTV jumped in and bought it? Did you want CBC to buy it or didn't you, or are you just upset that the owners wouldn't sell it to you for the price you wanted?

    So if CBC doesn't want to buy it, the owners shouldn't be able to sell it to someone else? CTV merely purchased something that nobody else was willing to pay for.

    You just seem to feel that the CBC is somehow entitled to the song (which was legally owned by someone else--we do have copyright protection in this country) for a bargain price, and that the owner shouldn't be able to sell it freely. Huh?

    If there's a house in your neighbourhood that you've always loved, it's just come on the market but you're not willing to pay the asking price, and somebody else comes along and pays it, don't be mad at the other guy! The HNIC theme song, no matter how sentimental it may be to you, is no different.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 08:06:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Unknown said…

    Get real. CBC never composed the song, and violated their licensing agreement with the composer when they started selling the theme as a ringtone. The composer filed lawsuit against them in response. If you want to make an argument about the length of copyright term, go for it; I'll back you up on it. But legally, the composer is perfectly within her rights to choose to sell to CTV instead of CBC.

    And this hockey nut couldn't be happier, because the quality of Hockey Night in Canada has been steadily degrading for years. It was passed by TSN long ago, and it passed the point of no return on March 11, 2006. I don't believe it should be preserved, just allowed to die. This is one more nail in its well-deserved coffin.

    Consider this: SRC lost the French language rights to the Montreal Canadiens a few years back. Nobody cries about the lost tradition since RDS has done a fantastic job presenting all 82 Canadiens games through the season, and have been rewarded with ratings rivalling CBC on some nights! So will it be with TSN/CTV, once they take over the NHL completely in six years (the expiration of the current HNIC deal; I don't believe CBC will be able to pony up for it again. They only barely held onto it this time around).

  • At Mon Jun 09, 08:21:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "While I'm no fan of the leftists who run the CBC, I still recognize that it's a Canadian icon, and think that it should remain at least partially owned and funded by us, the people. (on that note, I think that we, the people, ought to get more of a say in OUR network... not just the special interest groups who are currently running the shows)"

    I agree with this. as the people who fund the CBC, we should have more say.

    but CTV/TSN did not steal this from us. The way I see it, they saw the inherent value in this song (yes, I know others don't get it, but for those who grew up in hockey households, there is a value). Sadly, CBC did not see that value, or chose not to listen to the people who said they wanted the song to stay as is.

    To me, it's just another example of how out of touch the CBC is with many canadians.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 08:46:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Eric said…

    Oh for heaven's sake, chill out. The Hockey Night in Canada theme is private property, after all, and good on the elderly woman who wrote it for holding out for as much as she got.
    Canadian icon? What kind of a ridiculous country defines itself by the theme song to a TV program? And by the way, CTV is a private network which used private money to purchase the rights to the theme - it didn't cost the taxpayers a dime. If the CBC had coughed up the fee, we would ultimately all be paying for it, and I personally am not too thrilled with the idea of using tax dollars to purchase TV jingles.
    And by the way, CTV is a Canadian network - the sacred theme is still in Canadian hands, and will be played at all NFL games carried by that network and its affiliates, so Canadian devotees can still worship at the hockey altar.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 08:59:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Seriously? Man you gotta pull your head outta your nether-regions. If CTV hadn't purchased the theme it would have just disappeared because CBC was clearly done with it. Oh they didn't want to pay the "too high" licensing fee? Boo freaking hoo. Why should they get any special consideration because they're a taxpayer-funded tv channel??? Why should the writer surrender one single penny that she could get in the open market to a socialized institution??? Absolute crap. If the CBC wants to play with the big boys they need to privatize and let the markets work. If they have programming that people want to see then it'll be successful. If not... it'll die. And rightfully so.

    I'll be happy to hear the theme on TSN. In fact I hope TSN grabs Don Cherry too and the last thing holding the CBC alive crumbles and dies. I prefer Sportsnet's NHL broadcast to CBC anyway so this is just another reason to not watch CBC.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 09:12:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's called the free market. If CTV was willing to pay a price the CBC was not, that's CBC's problem. And since CTV's purchase costs the taxpayer NOTHING, arguing that the CBC was trying to save taxpayer dollars (as if that was for even a fraction of a second their concern) is absolutely stupid.

    And you're failing to recognize that if CTV had not purchased it, because the CBC was not making reasonable counteroffers (hardly a fraction of what was being asked) for what one would consider a valuable Canadian cultural icon, the song would've disappeared completely. So, arguing that CTV did some sort of disservice to Canadians is completely disingenuous. They saved an icon from slipping into obscurity.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 10:21:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    And no worries anyway. Stompin' Tom to the rescue. (Good grief!)

  • At Mon Jun 09, 10:31:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wonder if a big American media company would have bought the rights. Imagine if MSG media bought it.

  • At Mon Jun 09, 11:06:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    No worries Joanne, I wasn't expecting much support from my friends on our side of the aisle... just wanted to throw my two cents in on this one.

    Like I said, while I'm no fan of the CBC, I do think there are aspects of it that are Canadian institutions, and should be protected. My guess is that the CBC was trying a negotiating tactic, with the intention of resigning the rights once the owner made a more reasonable proposal. The execs at CTV made a perfectly legal decision to swoop in and exploit an opening they saw, but I still say it reeks of corporate greed, and not public service.

  • At Tue Jun 10, 12:16:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Who the hell cares! It's a theme song for a game with ego driven millionaire owners, played by overpriced and undertaltented millionaire players in arenas built to accomodate millionaire private box owners.

  • At Tue Jun 10, 01:20:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bev Oda screwed this thing up. The minister of Heritage and the CBC should get off her...well u get the idea. The CONservatives should not have let this debacle happen on their watch.

  • At Tue Jun 10, 08:32:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger me dere robert said…

    Good post!

  • At Tue Jun 10, 08:39:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger me dere robert said…

    I find it sad that the lady who created the song used the fact that it means so much to Canadians to try to milk the CBC for all the money she could get.

    If I created the song, after 40 years I would be happy to let the CBC use it for next to nothing and happy knowing what this songs means to our country.

    Greed is a terrible thing.

  • At Tue Jun 10, 09:11:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    optimus. you are right. the cbc sold the tune without rights to do so. that was the problem and why the cbc decided not to continue using it. i think the suit re selling the tune will continue.

  • At Tue Jun 10, 09:45:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! People are really getting worked up over this. Nothing's really even happened yet. I'm waiting to see if CTV will let CBC use the song.

    Think about, ALL hockey games on Canada's 2 biggest networks with the same theme song. That would be great!

    Now, should CTV decide to hog it all to itself and not even attempt to negotiate a fee with CBC for usage rights, then I'll flip my lid. But for now, I'm trying to remain optimistic.

    Mike Wisniewski

  • At Tue Jun 10, 09:45:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You'd be crying foul if MotherCorp had paid $3 million for the song. Get over yourself and step in line with the rest of your Tory gang. Independant thinking is not good in Blogging Tory land!

  • At Tue Jun 10, 09:47:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    CBC had cut off negotiations. CTV actually saved our "national icon". btw, what kind of country defines itself by a simple song?

  • At Tue Jun 10, 12:47:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hmmm, the CBC bungeled this so bad that one could almost think that its CEO was Stephane Dion!

    Who cares!? If a jingle is needed to make a hockey broadcast worthwhile then there's something wrong.

  • At Tue Jun 10, 05:23:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Holy pooh
    A conservative not respecting the invisible hand of the market.
    What next?
    Oh I guess it's tradishunal is reason enough, that's why religions get tax exemption while raking in the loot.
    That's why the tories in Alberta could subsidise fuel prices when the market set a price that made all the independent, pioneer types squeal.
    Either you believe in free trade or you don't. You can't believe when it dumps on others and not you.


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