After CTV responded to viewer concerns and stepped up to the plate with both television coverage and online live streaming to make the Olympics an excellent experience, and after Brian Williams had introduced a promo piece on the Paralympics, I had muted yet high hopes that for once, we'd get to watch the Paralympics live on TV, or at least have live streaming of all events like we had with the Olympics. Then I thought perhaps those streams wouldn’t be direct from the television stations (CTV, Sportsnet, and TSN) as they had been during the Olympics, but at least be direct-to-internet ones. Ha!
CTV responded to the complaints and comments about the Paralympics coverage by giving BC, and only BC, viewers the chance to watch the Paralympics Opening Ceremonies live (and in doing so mimicking Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s fine politics of division). Then in a bold step, they recently announced they’d broadcast live to the whole country the Closing Ceremonies. But as for showing any event live, tough. Only the cable stations showed live events, only alternating between the two stations, not simultaneously with different events, not every day, not on all their local iterations, and only sledge hockey. As for online streams, CTV relied on paralympicsport.tv and felt it unnecessary – despite much Canuckian unhappiness – to do for the Paralympics what they had done for the Olympics.
I know they were shocked at the millions and millions of hits they had on their Olympics site as people flocked there to watch the various events live, but I would’ve thought that would put a spark in their eyes about what they could do for the Paralympics, not send them scurrying back into their usual-modus-operandi-of-showing-American-reruns-rather-than-a-Canadian-live-event. I would’ve thought that they would grasp this opportunity and leap past their competitors into the exciting world of live Internet broadcast. I would’ve thought they’d have the vision of a first world country showing the globe that it’s a good thing to include all people of all abilities everywhere by broadcasting on the Internet all the events live. Ha. Their old-age conservative mindset took hold again instead.
They responded to complaints by whining about how they did more than previous host broadcasters of Paralympics (or the CBC) as if it was terribly brave and hard to do more. We all know even a daily highlights package was more, previous coverage being so pitiful. Worse, they had no clue, despite going on and on about it during the Olympics, that the national spirit of unity, of one Canada, infected every Canadian to the point that they wanted to include their fellow Canadians with disabilities in the party, to see all elite athletes shine as the Olympians had, to shine live and proud.
Well, CTV had other ideas. Phhttt to the idea of those with disabilities being as exciting to watch as the Olympians. Piffle to the idea of giving Canadians choice as to which event they could watch live as they had been able to do during the Olympics. Phui to the idea of even showing highlights on the main broadcast network, which would garner a much bigger audience for the Paralympics. And a big raspberry to uniting Canada.
I shall not be surprised if they once again diss the Junos, scheduling it around some foreign US program, showing it live to some Canadians, not to others. And if once again they hide the Grey Cup on TSN, a paid-cable channel, instead of, with bright forward-looking eyes, broadcast it live, at the same time, on the Internet to all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.