Tuesday, 10 June 2008

CBC Loses Hockey Night Theme: Another Musical Disaster?

So that’s the problem! The CBC just doesn’t care about music!

The news came out yesterday afternoon: CTV had bought all rights in perpetuity to the theme to Hockey Night in Canada from the composer right under the nose of the CBC. As all hockey fans know by now, the CBC had been “negotiating” the use of the theme for 13 months. When it announced an impasse on Friday, CTV jumped into action and picked up the rights for a rumored $2.5 to $3 million.

I really am not much of a hockey fan nor a TV watcher, but I can’t help thinking this is just another sign of the CBC’s complete misreading of the importance of music in people’s lives. Its plans to relegate serious music to the fringes certainly indicated a misunderstanding of both the role of the public broadcaster as an incubator and purveyor of talent, and of the deep love ordinary people have for interesting music of all kinds. Now letting an iconic theme slip through its fingers drives the point home.

There will be a nationwide contest to choose a new theme. What about some classical composers getting together to come up with something that really rocks?


Anonymous said...

I agree with you Mary. Since CBC blew it with the Hockey Night Theme Song, they should at least try to come up with something which is significantly, distintive Canadian.

Remember a few years back, the English musicians came up with Feed the World for famine relief in Africa, the Americans had We Are the World and the Canadians had Tears are not Enough written by David Foster and Bryan Adams.

What was interesting about the Canadian version was Gordon Lightfoot leading off, Anne Murray, and the French artists as well as numerous other Canadian musicians.
Anyone who heard the song, would and could immediately understand it was Canadian.

Jimmy Zoubris

Jack Ruttan said...

I had the impression that the 2.5 - 3 million figure was an opening tactic by the agent when CBC offered to "buy the song outright." Before that, the CBC had licensed it for something like $500/year, and I think they wanted all the rights for something like the same amount. Sure that CTV paid a lot less than millions, but maybe something more reasonable.