Why Worry?

Word today that Hockey Night In Canada’s coverage of Edmonton Oiler games will be lower this season is causing some heartache. One question: Why?

The article I linked to is an interesting item. Yasmin Jaswal writes "the broadcast company will only show 13 of the Edmonton Oilers’ 82 games, the second-lowest number of games of any Canadian team." I’m not certain it’s a bad thing. In the last several years, HNIC’s quality of coverage has flagged at the same time coverage by Rogers and tsn has improved. The local Sportsnet broadcast is (in my opinion) much improved in the last year or so, and tsn is at this point the industry standard.

CBC’s top play by play broadcasters do the eastern games or the Vancouver games; the HNIC broadcasts are focused on the Leafs early game to the point where time overruns impact the western game (Jari Kurri’s retirement ceremony didn’t hit the airwaves because of the Toronto wrap up a few years ago); the quality of between-period content is lukewarm at best and the CBC is apparently more interested in loud and proud as opposed to informative and entertaining.

I’ve been watching HNIC games since the late 1960’s, and it’s with more than a little sadness that I suggest Oiler fans should be pleased that Rogers and tsn have more games.

  • I tend to agree with the idea that the quality of CBC broadcasts has gone steeply downhill. I really liked the Hughson (Canuck sympathies aside) / Simpson tandem on the Western game, and the replacements have either been raw (Weekes) or flat-out bad.

    That said, passing on Oilers games is a good decision for the CBC, not a poor one – I’d bet heavy money ratings are better for Vancouver games than Edmonton games, and television is all about getting the most possible viewers.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    I only watch CBC during Oiler games and after being taught hockey by the ” goalie group” I feel just a little dumber and in need of a shower! Thankfully 12-13 games I can do.

  • oiler/hab

    my first 2nd fist. gotta pay my dues and work my way up to a true fist.

    I would like to fist….no wait….thumb ron Mclean’s eyeball’s out of his sockets!!

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Im just glad we dont have to hear Pete Lobardies(sp?) when the Oil are playin the Flammers when they’re on the flames network. Can anybody tell me if Mcguire is still workin for TSN or is he just on versus now?

  • book¡e

    I Can’t stand Jim Hughson, but Saturday’s just aren’t the same without HNIC. Sportsnet quality is terrible, while TSN panel with Pierre is annoying. They over analyze everything.
    They had a toke board for too many men numbers for god sake.

    • oiler/hab

      I have to disagree with Coco, I think Jim Hughson is the best voice in hockey. Yes, he’s a homer but so were all the greats. I tune into HNIC always and even when I don’t really care about the teams because of Jimbo

  • I agree that cbc’s coverage has declined in quality however the fact that they will be showing fewer games is still a bad thing. More-so for me because I rely on national coverage to see the oil play. More SN games is great but unless tsn or cbc show them then only northern Alberta gets to see the action

  • Puritania

    As an Oilers fan living in Nova Scotia it is sad to hear CBC is gonna be airing less games. I rely on the national networks to get my Copper and Blue fix. Hopefully TSN gets more than last year then so I can watch my team more often. Thankfully Ched has them all covered so I can at least listen to them but I cant stand that Blowhard Bob Staufer. He knows the team really well but he’s such a douche-bag.

  • Butterific

    TSN won the final battle when Pierre McGuire found new employment with NBC.

    The other segment I find that SN really lacks that both TSN and CBC excel at is streaming media. I’m cheap, so I don’t have cable. I pay for internet. I use internet. That also means a lot of Fox Southwest productions. I keep waiting to see a strange blue glow appear from my monitor during a Dallas vs. Edmonton game.

    At least with TSN I can get a good definition stream of the game on VOD and CBC streams live and really does do a good job there. Sportsnet’s overall use of the web and social media are rather behind in compared to the other two.

  • Oilers4ever

    Weekes and the other schmuck CBC use for the late games should both be fired… there’s a reason the CBC lost the CFL… yes TSN paid more cash… but their presentation also kicked the ass out of the CBC.. hockey is the same.. personally.. I hope one day HNIC is TSN…

  • smiliegirl15

    I’ve been watching HNIC games since the late 1960’s, and it’s with more than a little sadness that I suggest Oiler fans should be pleased that Rogers and tsn have more games.

    Good point. TSN also has Canada’s unofficial national anthem too.