Commentary, news, analysis and reader-driven discussions focusing on this year's Stanley Cup playoffs.
And then it did.
Just three days after NBC enraged fans south of the northern border by cutting away from overtime in the Buffalo-Ottawa finale, the CBC stunned hockey-mad Manitoba by pre-empting last night's Game 6 between the Ducks and Red Wings for coverage of the provincial election.
Hard to imagine which made for more compelling TV: A review of ladies hats at Pimlico or in-depth analysis of the hotly-contested races in Fort Rouge and Brandon West.
While the rest of the country was able to relax in front of big screens and watch the Ducks close out the series with a 4-3 win on Hockey Night In Canada, Manitobans were forced to settle for the grandeur of 2-by-3-inch streaming video on the CBC website or a trip to a local watering hole to catch the clincher.
The CBC finally went to the game in time for the exciting four-goal third period after concluding its election coverage.
"As the national public broadcaster, we have a mandate to provide coverage for significant events, and an election certainly qualifies as significant," said CBC spokesman Jeff Keay. "I say that advisedly knowing that there are a lot of NHL fans out there who might disagree with those priorities."
Keay hadn't yet heard how many hits the online feed received, or how many irate phone calls had been logged. "I dare say we would expect a few complaints," he said, "but fortunately our representatives are equipped with asbestos-lined earpieces."
According to a poll in the Winnipeg Sun, 71 percent of the folks who responded said the CBC should have stayed with the game and not bothered with the election. Those who spent the night at the bar definitely enjoyed a more dramatic evening. The CBC declared that Gary Doer’s New Democratic Party would earn its third straight majority government just 40 minutes into the broadcast. If it was that obvious, couldn't Kelly Hrudey have announced it during Behind The Mask?
Now that all the votes have been counted, it's worth noting that this is a result that may actually benefit hockey fans.
Progressive Conservative party leader Hugh McFayden earned headlines last week when he made a campaign promise to bring NHL hockey back to Winnipeg if elected. "We need to be bold and we need to be optimistic," McFadyen told The Winnipeg Sun. "I think the economics of the league and the economics of the province are changing and we have an opportunity to move forward on it."
Doer's NDP quickly co-opted the promise. "There's one person who can do this: It's Gary Doer," campaign co-chair Andrew Swan told CBC News.
Time will tell if he can keep that pledge. In the meantime, Manitoban fans would probably settle for uninterrupted access to Hockey Night In Canada.
posted by SI.com | View comments |
The CBC is funny that way. I find it odd especially since every other local channel is already doing the election coverage bit. Yet none of those other channels had the "exclusive" right to show the hockey game too.
I have a HD Dish and lots of times a secondary channel will continue coverage when the primary channel has to divert but that is not always available to the masses.
I also think that stations get greedy with their "rights". Many times they have more on their plates than can be held or dealt with effectively? There are lot's of times where a network has the rights to 2 major live events and they tape delay one or the other or simply not show one. Much like with NBC last Saturday .
The NHL should never have allowed NBC to dictate the start time of that Saturday game. And the CBC should have stayed with their game coverage or allowed somebody else to run with it in their absence.
Of course hell hasn't frozen over so neither occurred.
Manitoba - making Saskatchewan look good for a hundred years.
Seriously though, pretty much the entire country had called the election over the long weekend. Absolutely no surprise, and no reason to cover it, instead of the game. If anything, a ticker for election results would have sufficed.
a total of 416,135 were cast for this bloddy election. do we care? of course not. Being from winnipeg where we lost the winnipeg jets due to politics, why should any die hard hockey fan care about an election? Really, after tommorow, who will remeber who won the election? CBC should have covered the hockey game. Imagine all of those people who voted early so they could watch the hockey game, how do you think they felt? I guess American Idol's ratings went up. The election coverage is just another way the government is wasting our money
As an American, I'll ask you Canucks; if a Canadian team had been playing instead of Anaheim and Detroit, would the switch still have been made? I cynically dare say it wouldn't have been.
You bet your sweet bippy they'd have made the change. Canadian team or not. The CBC classifies itself as the People's Network. It is one of the few stations that still broadcasts over the air as well, not just via cable and they feel they have to serve the outlying areas who need to know.
Not saying it makes sense of course, it simply is the way they perceive themselves.
Let me think... Elections for CBC and a stupid horse race for NBC... I think there is a difference here! And a big one! As much as a society can love hockey, democracy is much more important! I think the day hockey (or baseball, football, basketball, soccer etc.) become more important than an elections, we have a big problem!!!! The game was still broadcast online on the website of the CBC and only Manitoba didn't had the game, not the entire country as it was the case for NBC.
I support the decision of the CBC. As a public broadcaster, its first role is information, not entertainment (but still do a good job on that side).
Thank god the HD feed I get at home is CBC Ontario and I could watch the game. What I don't understand is that CBC has a 'CBC Newsworld' channel that almost everyone in Winnipeg gets with cable, why didn't they just have election coverage on there all night? Or even put the game on Newsworld in Manitoba only?
The CBC is right about this - as a government-funded public broadcaster, they serve the public interest. Because of this, the election should have been covered instead of the game.
That said, they should have let TSN show the game, and then everything would have been win/win.
how could you support CBC? other than HNIC, name me another show you would watch. Manitoba poilitcs sucks! plain and simple
As an American, I'd have to say to me hockey is much more important than an election here. I'm for sure the minority, but I'd rather watch the playoffs than see a live feed of which dolt is making it into office. Like the previous poster said, a ticker or brief updates via a split screen would be fine.
Being from Brandon and being from Brandon't West end i can fairly say that you are right, no one cares who was running let alone who won. And to answer a question asked earlier that if it were a Canadian team playing would CBC have cut to go to the Election? No, they wouldn't have and if they did busloads of angry Manitobans wearing Pool Elevator hats would have burned down Ottawa and with it half of Southern Ontario. (Plus Chris Chelios is so ugly we here in Canada take every chance we can get to take him off TV)
450,000+ votes cast. Maybe a third of those would have wanted to watch the game, kind of a no brainer. Televised children's game vs. 4-5 years of public policy that affects every single manitoban. Grow up.
The CBC here in Prince Edward Island has already announced that it will pre-empt the start of Game 1 of the Finals(!) for local election coverage on May 28. I'm torn by this decision as a DIE-HARD Senators fan and as the son of a candidate. Ultimately though, it is the right call for our public broadcaster to make for all the reasons given above. My only hope is that the election will be decided by puck drop (the polls close at 7 p.m. local time, the game starts at 9).
Election coverage before polls close often discourage voters; therefore, it is deleterious to democracy. After the polls close, it doesn't matter...votes are counted and results may be summarily announced via any media. Calling it an obligatory public service is sublimely absurd.
Just like CBC could have done a split screen and/or a ticker @ the bottom of the screen, NBC could have showed the OT periods and at intermission go to coverage of the horse race. These network execs need to use their brains for a little more than a hat rack.
Americans will always be americans, I doubt if Basketball or Football would have been interrupted for horseracing, But of course hockey was. Thanks again NBC for your bias coverage. Why even televise the hockey finals if your not going to show the overtime periods.