Monday, June 09, 2008

Tories and CBC: A Couple of Losers

Question: Is Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada running a government or do they still think they're the opposition in an election campaign?

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Well, CBC really bungled big time. They went into negotiations with the composer of Hockey Night in Canada theme song and the company that controls the rights with the attitude that they had all the power, that they controlled the timing of the negotiations, and that the composer and Copyright Music and Visuals were at their mercy, being just an individual and a small company. Boy, were they wrong. They assumed that they were the only ones interested in the theme song and that Dolores Claman had no one else to sell the song rights to. They assumed that they could use the cudgel of holding a competition for a new theme song over their heads as a way to indicate that they controlled time and Claman and CMV did not. They were also miffed at being sued over selling ring tones of the theme song, presumably without permission, and they were going to teach the vulnerable composer a lesson.

Well, CBC assumed wrong. They did have competition for the song -- their arch rival. They were not the only one to control the timing of when the negotiations would end -- the seemingly helpless Claman and CMV did as well once the two understood that there was more than one broadcaster interested in it. The icing on the cake is that whereas CBC bought the rights for a set number of years, CTV has bought them in perpetuity, forever sealing the door against a competitor sneaking them away from them. Lesson learned from CBC's screw up.

Because of CBC's bullying tactics, the song is not ending up in no-income oblivion, but instead will now be used by TSN and CTV, the worst possible outcome for CBC.

As for Hockey Night in Canada viewers, this is a sudden and unwelcome change in the way Canada's game is broadcast. As usual the ones who try to steamroller over a seemingly helpless individual ruin it for the rest of us.

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