I just found out Bell has whacked the sports segment from several CTV stations across Canada. From the information I’ve gathered the stations impacted include Calgary, Vancouver, Barrie, Kitchener, London and Windsor. (I notice CTV Saskatoon had a sportscast tonight, so it looks like they were spared.)
Most of these stations got the bad news this week. Among the people whacked in Calgary was Lisa Bowes who I knew from my own sports TV days in southern Ontario. I was interning at The Score the same time she was there.
I’m not exactly sure what these stations will be doing in the future. It sounds like the sports segment might end up coming from a national feed! The problem is a national feed will always give local sports teams the shaft. I’ve seen Citytv try to go this route and it is an absolute cheapskate way to do sports, and viewers see right through it and don’t tune in.
The reason this latest move by CTV is dumb is because many people tune in just to watch the sports! This is where you get your information on local happenings like junior hockey or the university athletics, or who won at curling, and so on. And sports is a huge part of the life of a community – it certainly is in the place I am now, and it was a big part of Peel Region when I was reporting there for cable TV. One of my ex-sports colleagues there liked to say sports was the best part of the newscast, and he was right! It certainly livens things up and provides a respite from the doom and gloom of the rest of the newscast.
Anyway, this is more depressing news for the media in Canada. I understand many journalists at the Vancouver Sun/Province got whacked last week, too. But the real people who get whacked whenever this happens are (a) readers, and (b) viewers.
This industry is being run into the ground! There, that’s my rant about the media for tonight.
Update (June): Now CTV has gotten around to the rest of the country in getting rid of sportscasts. Saskatoon and Regina got whacked! Here is the reaction in Montreal! Depressing.